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Hi friends, for those of you who don't know or are new to the blog, my husband and I (and our golden retriever) live in a 39-foot 5th wheel/toy hauler on some family property just outside of Bend, Oregon. As a minimalist living in an RV, I thought you might be interested in seeing how I spend my mornings with intention, before heading off to work.

For as long as I can remember, I've always been a morning person. A few years ago, I was getting up as early as 4am to go to my CrossFit class before heading off to work. While I don't rise quite that early now, I still enjoy waking up before the rest of the world. And really, I feel my very best and am the most productive between 5-10am. If you are the same way and you'd like to know what I do to have a more joyful and productive morning, just keep reading. And, here are a few tips to help you get started.

Tip #1: Get up early

You must allow yourself time to accomplish the things you want to accomplish. If you wake up late and are rushing to get ready, my experience is that the rest of the day you'll be feeling rushed and overwhelmed. What I've learned is that the first hour I'm awake sets the tone for the rest of the day.

Tip #2: Go to bed early

In order for you to get up early, you must go to bed early! If you don't allow yourself enough sleep, that snooze button may just be too enticing. Or you may sleep right through your alarm. Also, if you don't get enough sleep, you may be opening yourself up to getting sick! I know going to bed early can be a challenge for some, whether you have a spouse, children or roommates or have other situations, but I guaranty if you try and set aside that time for sleep, your morning will be so much smoother.

To ease yourself into getting more sleep and thus getting up earlier, try to go to sleep/wake up fifteen minutes earlier for a few days, then increase another fifteen minutes, and so on and so forth. Your body will get accustomed to the change more gradually with hopefully less of an adjustment period.

Tip #3: Decide what your "what" is

What do you want to do in the morning? What are the habits you'd like to create? I'd suggest you write these down somewhere. I have a notes section on my laptop that I use regularly for jotting down various ideas and thoughts that I'd like to remember. By being crystal clear about your intentions, you can then create an ideal morning routine.

Tip #4: Decide what your "why" is

Why do you want to do the things you want to do? What are your goals? If you don't have a "why" you likely won't stay motivated. You may have heard of SMART goals, where your goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound? That topic is for another post, but you need to know your "why" so that you can be successful in creating new habits and actually achieving your goals.


Ring, ring, time to rise and shine!

I don't seem to have a problem with hitting the snooze button, but if you do, you may want to place your phone away from your bed so you're forced to get up to turn it off. You may even want to put it in another room. My alarm is quite obnoxious and if I had a smartphone, I'd download a song that I'd be happy to wake up to. True story: When we had our smartphones years ago, I chose to wake up to the Oregon Fight Song. I'd jump out of bed and start clapping and singing the song. My husband, the night owl, was less than pleased, but I loved it! Ha! Yes, I am THAT morning person!

If we aren't commuting that day, my husband will still be sleeping when I leave for work. On those days he makes the bed later in the morning.

1. Take BB temperature/wash face/brush teeth

I like to do this first thing in the morning so that it wakes me up and gets me ready to start my routine. My skincare routine is super simple with only two steps so this is really quick for me. Of course, I also use the restroom.

2. Turn heat down/off depending on the day. Turn the fireplace off.

3. Open the doggy door so Hannah can go potty outside (in her dog run)

4. Make hot tea/lemon and honey drink

5. Read my affirmations

After I wrap myself in a blanket, I sit on the couch and read my affirmations out loud (specific biblical scriptures) as well as review my vision board. Even though I spend under ten minutes reviewing my board, it's such a great reminder to remember what and who I'm grateful for every day, to remember who I am in Christ, and to encourage me to continue pursuing my health goals.

6. Bible reading + prayer

Before I start reading, I turn on my favorite youtube worship playlist, sometimes it's just instrumental and sometimes it's worship music. Then the headphones come on and I start studying. Either I'll be reading a daily devotional book (My Utmost For His Highest) or I'll be part of a Bible study group. I'm a member of Truth To Table and so I might go through a specific study, weekly class, watch part of a sermon, an e-course, etc. Lastly, I pray for my husband, pray for myself as a wife, and for our future family. From beginning to end, I spend roughly thirty minutes reading and praying.

7. Stretch

My chiropractor has created a stretching routine for me to do 3-4 times a week, so I try to just do it each morning and it has helped so much with pain management, flexibility, and posture. This takes roughly fifteen to twenty minutes.

8. Feed Hannah/re-fill water bowl

9. Get dressed, hair and makeup

Most workdays I wear a strict uniform (which I lay out the night before), but on days when I'm in the office and at my desk all day, I wear casual business attire. My hair is usually either down (straightened from the night before), it's curly and pulled back, or it's in a work hat. Super simple! And my day to day makeup routine is very minimal with just eyeshadow and mascara. Since I shower in the evenings, getting ready legitimately takes no more than fifteen minutes.

10. Make breakfast, take pills + vitamins, fill a water bottle

Breakfast is super simple and it's the same every day (1 cup gf oatmeal, 2 handfuls of blueberries, few dashes of cinnamon, and about 1 tbsp honey). Making tasks automated and part of a routine helps my brain to function better and helps to lower my stress and anxiety.

Normally I pack my lunch the night before so that it's ready to grab when I leave for work. Just like breakfast, my lunch is typically the same every day, with a slight variation of ingredients, a yummy and hearty rice bowl. This doesn't happen every night but I'm trying to be more consistent.

My whole routine takes just under two hours but they are probably my two most favorite hours of the day. Plus, the morning is when I'm feeling my absolute best! I don't do everything in this routine every single day, but this is my ideal routine. Some mornings if I have less time than usual, I will study and stretch at night.

Also, I'd love to walk Hannah in the mornings but don't feel comfortable taking her out in the dark. We have coyotes around the property, deer, elk, and we've even had a cougar!

What are some things you love to do during your morning routine? I'd love to know in the comments below!


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