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About Last Night ... & Every Night!

There is a lot written about, talked about and encouraged for a great morning routine. Starting your day well sets you up in the best possible way for an awesome day. Many times, though, we discount exactly when that morning routine begins.

Spoiler alert: It's not when you open your eyes in the morning!

A great morning actually begins the night before!! So, an even better evening routine is exactly what we all need.

Less scrolling. More prepping. Less blue light (#screeens). More dim light. Less hustle and bustle. More low key activity.

Another spoiler alert: I do not know a single person ... even the experts ... who claim to have a perfect evening routine. We are all a work in progress. Routines change with age, stage of life, current life situations and all the rest.

I'm going to toss out a huge list of potential things to include in a good evening routine. Some of them might make you laugh. That's OK. Just read on past it. Others may cause you to pause and ponder. As you're reading and thinking, see if you can come up with one or two ways to adjust your p.m. routine for better sleep and for a smoother morning.

Here are some ideas to consider including in your evening routine. And, these are in no particular order. Just a list of ideas!!

  • go to bed earlier based on when you want to get up. start with 15 minutes and increase it from there

  • decide on clothes for the next day - even set them out if you like ........... when I'm walking or leaving the house early, I put those clothes in my bathroom so that I don't have to scramble in the dark when husband is still sleeping!

  • decide on breakfast for the next morning - anything you can prep ahead of time? (make the oatmeal or grits to be reheated, start a breakfast casserole, cut up the fruit, set the coffee timer, etc.)

  • decide on tomorrow's lunch; if you take it to work, do as much prep as possible

  • decide on tomorrow's dinner - is there anything you need to take out of the freezer? something to throw in the crock-pot in the a.m.? anything you need to get from the store?

  • take a shower (this doesn't really work for me but is great for many; never hurts to try it once or twice to see)

  • set your alarm

  • move your alarm across the room or even to another room

  • stop looking at screens 30 minutes before you try to sleep (most people say 60 minutes but I'm trying to be more realistic!!)

  • read for 30 minutes

  • jot down several things in a gratitude journal

  • dim the lights for the last 60-90 minutes that you are awake

  • light a candle or use calming scents or both

  • play relaxing music

  • end of day hygiene (teeth, face, etc.)

  • stretch or take a leisurely walk - no strenuous exercise as you are winding down your day (save that to wake you up in the mornig)

  • do a Brain Dump to declutter your mind so you'll rest better

  • plan for the next day; make a list

  • snuggle - with kids, spouse, furry friends, a stuffed animal, your pillow!

  • clean/organize/quick pick-up - leaving an empty kitchen sink and clear counters and no legos in the floor can make a huge difference for your morning

An evening routine should be tailored to your personal preferences, needs, stage of life. Experiment with different activities and timings to find what works best for you. It will be a little tricky if you have young children but it's still worth testing out. It won't be the same every single night thanks to the pitter patter of little feet at any moment, but anything that you can do in the evening to better prep for the morning will save you time ... and likely some sanity!!!!

Cheering for you big as you are more intentional about the last bit of your day.

Sweet dreams!!!

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