Time in the morning is a precious commodity. It seems like there is never enough of it. With these easy steps, we’ll show you how to create and stick to a morning routine that will keep everyone on-time and happy.

Creating a morning routine is easy, just treat it like a living thing that can change when your needs do.

Write down what your current and ideal mornings looks like. First, write down what your mornings entail right now. Then, take a few moments to visualize what your ideal morning routine would look like. Do you want to start exercising in the morning? Do you not want to scramble around to pack lunches for all the kids?

After you have an idea of what you want your morning to look like, it’s time to set a realistic schedule. Look over your lists and create a rough-draft of a schedule with all of your morning routine activities. First, add in non-negotiable items, like when the kids have to get on the bus and when you must leave for work. Then work through the other items that you’d like to have in your routine from both your current morning and your ideal morning. Make sure you indicate start time and length of the activity.

Now that you have an idea of what your morning would look like, it’s time to get realistic. Is there anything that just doesn’t fit in with your current lifestyle or you think you have to do because everyone else is? Drop that from your schedule. Do you have to wake up at 4 a.m. to get it all in? Think about moving some activities to the evening. If you need to make sure everyone gets lunch, but you always rush to make it happen in the morning, do that activity the night before or encourage your kids to be responsible to make their own lunch–if they’re old enough, that is!

Treat this routine like a scheduled appointment you cannot be late for. You may even want to set up a “missed appointment” fee for yourself if you don’t complete a morning routine activity. For example: throw $5 in your family vacation fund jar every time you skip doing yoga. It’ll encourage you to stick to your routine, but it will be beneficial in the long run either way.

Finally, evaluate and refine your morning routine until you find something that works for you. If there is anything you tried to make room for but always end up skipping, chances are it isn’t really something you want to do. Remove it from your schedule to make room for a morning activity that you do want in your life.

With this blend of current and ideal morning routine, you’re able to keep items that you have to accomplish while also blending in things that would make your morning enjoyable. Remember, you don’t have to get it right the first time; keep tweaking it until you have a routine that works for you and your family.

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