HTC5: Fuel and Focus (AM & PM)

I used to be the girl that brushed her teeth in the shower, ate a banana for breakfast while packing, and got to class or work with 30 seconds to spare, wet hair, still very much mentally asleep. I was hardly ever put together… and I would mentally kick in about 45 minutes after I was on the clock at school or work. I’m realizing now that’s probably why I didn’t get a lot out of my AP Bio lectures senior year (shout out to Mr. Croteau for teaching me the Kreb’s cycle and my best bud Brandon for our “keep each other awake” agreement).

Starting my day in this cluttered, scattered, and rushed way has potential to negatively impact my students, my relationships at work, and certainly performance in and out of the classroom. Thankfully, before starting this year, I was able to use my Priorities List to shape how I spent the first two hours of my day… but I’m not here to tell you what time I brush my teeth. Nope … I’m here mostly to share about what I do before bed that sets me up for success to conquer the following day.

HTC5→ The most successful morning starts with the night before.

So much of my morning routine is expedited by what I do at night. I prepare and put everything in place so that my morning runs smoothly. It takes me just over an hour to:

  1. Packing lunches and all snacks for my husband and myselfIMG_8271
  2. Make my breakfast (overnight oats are life)
  3. Make my kale smoothie (it’s my 9am fuel)
  4. Fill up water bottles
  5. Prep the coffee maker so that in the morning all I have to do is press a button
  6. Pack my work bag, school bag, and anything else I can for the following day.
  7. Clean off surfaces and the floor of my bedroom
  8. Lay out my workout clothes and at least part of my outfit for the next day
  9. Place my Bible, Notebook, and Pen on the table.
  10. Leave a reminder note for myself for anything out of the ordinary happening (someone’s birthday, change in schedule, etc).

Since I take an hour to do all these things the night before, mornings are productive, peaceful, and easy to follow through with. I wake up 2 hours before I need to leave the house, and in that time, here’s what goes down:

5am: alarm goes off. I stand up out of my bed and hydrate immediately. (Made easy by step 4). Drinking at least 8oz of water will REALLY wake you up first thing in the morning, and it’s instantly effective, unlike coffee. I make the bed if Mike is up, if not, I save it for later.

5:10am: I have grabbed my pre-made overnight oats from the refrigerator (step2), pressed “brew” on the ready coffee maker (step 5), and sat down with my Bible and Notebook, and start my devotional time (Step 9). I take a brief moment to pour my coffee about 5 minutes in, and enjoy my morning waking up to Bible reading, prayer, and reflection. I am fueling and focusing all at once, and this keeps me motivated all day long. No wasted time looking for things.

5:40am: I throw on my workout clothes (step 8) and start my workout. I do BeachBody workouts right at home on DVD or on my computer. It’s remarkable how a morning workout benefits me… gives me MUCH more energy during the day, no more afternoon lull, etc. No wasted time driving to the gym or trying to find a pair of shorts.

6:15am: Shower time! Then I get ready, grab my pre-packed bags (step 6) and get out the door by 7:10am.

By the time my students have arrived, I’ve been awake for 3 hours, I’ve accomplished very important tasks of my daily life, and energy is high tide for the whole day. Booyah!

IMG_8347Disclaimer: I am not perfect at this.

I wish I could report that 3 weeks into my full-time work & part-time student life that I have not missed a workout or devotional time. But just this past week, while in the exhausting process of home searching, I woke up late a few times. But if that happens, I have guidelines to what I might sacrifice.

Night-time routine sacrifices: Almost nothing. Even if I’m super tired, I know I can manage a few extra minutes to make sure Michael and I both have a good spread of food for the next day. But I might save some of the dishes for tomorrow.

Morning routine sacrifices: I never sacrifice the task of making the bed. I’ve noticed a trend on social media trying to bring this discipline back, and I’m so glad my mom taught me to “make my bed before I get out of it.” Although I took that advice quite literally for 10 years and tried making a bed without my feet touching the ground, having the mindset to complete the first task of the day is a game changer.

I might sacrifice either my devotional time or my workout, (but never both), if I know I’ll have time to do it in the afternoon.

I will absolutely sacrifice putting on make-up if it means I’ll have extra time to do what I consider to be higher on the priorities list. 😉

Even after a week of feeling off, I make it a point to remember that tomorrow is a new day, and Monday is a new week; an opportunity to conquer my morning… and as a result, my entire day. I never focus on what I missed, but rather what more I can do in the mornings and days to come.

So this week, I would encourage you to join me and dive deeper into what would benefit your performance at work or school. How can you fuel yourself well? Think about an intentional, focused, mindset, and be the best you can be from the moment you wake up until you collapse into a neatly made bed.

Happy Routine-ing!

-Mally 🙂


Are you interested in any recipes for overnight oats, smoothies or healthyoptions when packing lunches? Not quite sure how to become a morning person? Leave a comment or send me a message and I’d be glad to give you the tips and tricks!

I’ll be back in a couple weeks, but until then, feel free to share with your friends if you feel like you’re getting practical, motivating advice from How To Conquer!

2 thoughts on “HTC5: Fuel and Focus (AM & PM)

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