“The night-before routine is such a vital part of implementing a successful morning routine. I love the feeling of going to bed knowing that tomorrow is already set up for success.” – Crystal Paine Share this quote on Twitter

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Crystal Paine

What is your morning routine?

I try to wake up between 5-5:30am every morning, with this time fluctuating a little bit depending on what time I went to bed the night before (I aim to get at least seven hours of sleep each night).

Upon waking, I usually go to the kitchen, make coffee, and light a candle. I take 15-30 minutes to feel my soul with Bible reading, praying, and writing in my gratitude journal. Next, I tackle a few of the most important blogging and business tasks for the day so that I have them out of the way first. I then get my energy up with a quick 10-20 minute jog, followed by a refreshing shower. I get dressed and ready for the day, start a load of laundry, unload the dishwasher, and then head to my office to do my live Morning Motivation Show on Periscope (usually around 7:30am).

How long have you stuck with this routine so far?

As I share in my online course, Make Over Your Mornings, I implemented the concept of a morning routine years and years ago, but I have stuck with this specific routine for the past few years.

It varies a little bit if I’m traveling, or if my kids wake up early, on the weekends, or if we were up later the night before. But the main pieces of it stay the same, even if the time or order of it sometimes changes from day to day.

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How has your morning routine changed over recent years?

My morning routine has changed over the years depending on the age of my children, the changing needs of my family, and the different stages my business has gone through. Now that my children have gotten older and my husband and I both work from home, we’ve gotten into a really good rhythm as a family.

I’m in a season where my morning routine has stayed the same for a good while - mostly because I don’t have little babies who are waking up in the night and I have a better business team in place, so it’s not as demanding or time-consuming as it once was!

What time do you go to sleep?

I’ve learned the hard way that it’s very important to prioritize sleep. I’ve found that I need at least a good seven hours of sleep to feel energetic and make the most of my day.

Since I aim to wake up at 5:30am each day, I usually try to have the lights off no later than 10:30pm each night. This means I need to start winding down by 9-9:30pm.

Do you do anything before going to bed to make your morning easier?

Absolutely! I think the night-before routine is such a vital part of implementing a successful morning routine. I love the feeling of going to bed knowing that tomorrow is already set up for success.

On an ideal evening I: clean up the kitchen with my husband while our kids get ready for bed, snuggle and chat with my kids before saying goodnight, make myself a cup of herbal tea with cream, take my pills/vitamins and wash/moisturize my face, write out my to-do list for the next day, lay out what I’m going to wear the next day, and then settle into bed with a good book.

I don’t always follow this perfectly, but I’ve found that even a loose before-bed routine followed consistently makes such a difference in our home.

Do you use an alarm to wake you up in the morning, and if so do you ever hit the snooze button?

I use the Sleep Cycle app to wake up each morning. It gently wakes you up within a thirty minute window at the optimum time when your body is most ready to wake up.

I hate being startled by a loud alarm clock, so this app has become my best friend! Plus, I love how it allows me to track my sleep patterns and quality of sleep.

How soon after waking up do you have breakfast, and what do you typically have?

I usually have breakfast with my family, after my morning routine is complete and my family is up, dressed, and ready for the day to begin. We keep breakfasts easy and usually rotate through a couple of our healthy favorites: fried eggs, sausage, cereal, and oatmeal. Most mornings, I have eggs and/or sausage.

Do you have a morning workout routine?

Yes. I typically try to jog on the treadmill in our garage for at least 10-20 minutes each morning. This changes, depending on my current health goals.

There have been times in the past when I did P90X or was training for a race, but right now I am happy with my jog. It is very doable, it gets my heart pumping, and it makes me feel refreshed and ready for the day ahead.

Do you have a morning meditation routine?

I pray, reflect on the words from my Bible reading (I’m currently using the devotional/reading plans from She Reads Truth), and write in my gratitude journal a few things I am thankful for. This not only calms my spirit and feeds my soul, but it helps me start my day out with a thankful attitude.

Do you answer email first thing in the morning or leave it until later in the day?

I am a firm believer in staying on top of email. In fact, my goal is to have no more than five or fewer emails in my inbox at any given time. Because of this, my inbox is one of the first things I deal with each morning.

I go through my email as soon as my work time begins, and I make sure it is empty before moving on to other tasks. Since I keep my inbox so under control, this usually only takes a few minutes each morning.

Do you use any apps or products to enhance your sleep or morning routine?

As I mentioned above, I use the Sleep Cycle app each night. In addition to using it as my alarm clock, it also tracks my sleep. It helps me know how long it takes me to fall asleep and how restless I am throughout the night. I love this feature, because it has helped me track trends in my before-bed routine or behavior each night that are preventing me from getting the best night’s sleep possible.

I use Google Calendar as my virtual calendar, to brain dump everything in my mind, organize my days, and make sure I don’t forget anything important each night when I make my handwritten to-do list for the following day. I’m also a huge fan of Boomerang for Gmail. It’s a big help in keeping my email inbox empty and organized.

What and when is your first drink in the morning?

I like to immediately drink a full glass of cold water when I wake up. This hydrates my body and has a major impact on my energy levels. After that, I make my morning coffee that I can enjoy during my alone time in the kitchen.

Do you also follow this routine on weekends, or do you change some steps?

I follow this basic routine loosely on Saturdays. Sundays are my rest days, so I give myself a little grace to do things differently on that day each week.

What do you do if you fail to follow your morning routine, and how does this influence the rest of your day?

When I get up really late or have to be out the door really early in the morning, I usually have to abbreviate my morning routine to just a few basic things: Bible, shower, and getting dressed.

On those days, I have a choice: I can choose to beat myself up over the fact that I am not following my usual routine or I can give myself grace. I’m working on doing a better job of giving myself grace - because life happens and it’s okay if we don’t always do everything we’d hoped or planned to do. The best thing I can do on those days is to remind myself to just do what I can do, do the best that I can do, and remember that tomorrow is a new day!

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