Believe it or not, your morning routine starts the night before. When we think of an evening routine often an image of light yoga, meditation, a cup of tea, or a warm bath come to mind, but not this evening routine! This isn't your average night routine. I wanted to share with you exactly what I do every night to make sure I am ready to hit the ground running the next day.
GET A GOOD NIGHT'S SLEEP: Create a wind down routine that works for you. It doesn't have to be a "picture perfect" evening routine for you to get a good night's sleep. Make sure you think about what actually helps you wind down and get ready for bed. For me it is taking a bath! Baths are so soothing and help me relax before it's time to sleep. Just as important as the things you should be doing before bed, are the things that you should avoid! Avoid any difficult work tasks or things that stimulate your brain right before you go to sleep. You want to keep the work to a minimum to prepare your brain to shut down for the evening. Another thing to be mindful of is screen time right before bed. Try putting your devices "to bed" an hour before you do so you aren't starting at screens up until the moment you fall asleep.
MAKE AS MANY DECISIONS ABOUT TOMORROW AS POSSIBLE: The best thing that has been helping me hop right out of bed and get my day started is laying out the clothing I am going to wear tomorrow the night before. This might seem like something your parent's did for you when you were a kid, but it works for adults too! It has really been helping me get right up and straight to the gym so I make sure I actually workout. Even if you aren't going to the gym in the morning, if you lay out your clothing the before you are more likely to pick out an outfit that is more put together and set your self up for a smooth morning routine with one less decision to make.
SET YOURSELF UP TO WAKE UP TO A CLEAN KITCHEN: Let's be honest, it isn't realistic for us to wake up to a perfectly clean home every morning, so if all else fails, I make sure I at least wake up to a clean kitchen every morning. Whether we clean up right after dinner or hang out for a bit and get the cleaning in before we go to bed, it doesn't matter. As long as the entire kitchen is cleaned up and the dishwasher is started before I hop in bed I get the wonderful feeling of walking out of my bedroom in the morning to a clean space. We have played around with when to run the dishwasher and find it's best to run it at night. It quickly fills up with all of the dishes from the night before so it's usually full at that time anyway, but beyond that I have the most free time first thing in the morning and last thing at night. So running the dishwasher at night allows me to take advantage of the early morning time to put the clean dishes away. That way we can fill the dishwasher up as the day goes on and never have a sink full of dirty dishes waiting to go in the dishwasher!
KNOW WHAT NEEDS TO GET DONE TOMORROW: Determine your schedule and to-do list for tomorrow, tonight! There are two main benefits here. First, you are set up for success and ready to hit the ground running when you wake up because you know exactly what to expect and what needs to get done for the day. Second, often times not having these things figured out can lead to stress at night. For me personally, when I lay down in bed my mind starts to wander about all of the things I have to do the next day. I find myself repeating these things in my head over and over again because I don't want to forget! Rather than keeping myself up coming up with this list in my head, I write it down and create my to-do list for tomorrow so my mind can be clear when I go to bed.
REFLECT: This is completely personal and looks different for everyone. Take time to reflect on the day you had as well as the upcoming day ahead. This may include internal reflection, connecting with your spouse and talking, journaling, praying, or whatever works for you! I like to work through what went well that day, areas of improvement, checking in with my goals, and figuring out what I should repeat tomorrow versus what I should try to change.
This "night routine" is so easy to implement and will make a huge impact on your day tomorrow!