Welcome to Day 4 of the 5 Days to a Better Morning Challenge! I’m so excited that so many of you committed to join me in this journey. If you missed the first posts in this series, read Day 1 here, Day 2 here, and Day 3 here.
I’m a firm believer that a successful morning begins the night before. When you go to bed at a decent hour, with a plan for the next day, and with everything that you can prepped for the next day, you’re giving yourself a huge jumpstart on the next day. Plus, you’ll likely wake up feeling organized, calm, and focused.
Here are two things you can do to prep for a great tomorrow:
Plan Your Breakfast
If you wake up in the morning and have breakfast all planned and prepped ahead of time, it makes mornings SO much easier. Often, it truly only takes 5 or 10 minutes of planning and prep work the night before, but can make a huge difference in the morning!
We’ve done different things at different seasons and I think it’s important to figure out what works for you and your family. I’m really spoiled right now in that Jesse makes breakfast for us every morning. He loves it and it allows me to read aloud to the kids while he’s cooking breakfast.
Instead of making breakfast the night before, we rotate through three different breakfast options that can all be made in 15 minutes or less: bacon & eggs, oatmeal, or Cream of Wheat. Each of these are filling and we all like them. Plus, they don’t make much of a mess to make.
Baked Oatmeal is one of staple Make Ahead breakfasts. We all love it, plus, you can whip up a batch in under 10 minutes and stick it in the refrigerator overnight and then just stick it in the oven to bake in the morning.
A few years ago, when we were in a different season of life, we had oatmeal every single morning for breakfast. The kids learned how to make it and I’d just oversee while they’d each make their own bowl. It was cheap, simple, and clean up was a breeze.
When the kids were younger and Jesse had already left for work by breakfast time, I relied on Make Ahead Breakfasts — like Baked Oatmeal, Pancakes or Waffles from the Freezer, or sometimes cereal.
My encouragement to you is to figure out what you think will work for you and your family and then make a plan accordingly. Try it for a few weeks. If it doesn’t work, go back to the drawing board and try again!
Prep the Lunches
If you need to go somewhere the next day and you’ll be gone during lunch time, go ahead and pack lunches the night before. You can do this while you’re making dinner or right after dinner (before you clean up the kitchen). If you weave it right into your dinner or post-dinner efforts, it probably won’t feel like much extra effort, but it could really save you a lot of stress the next day.
An added benefit is that you won’t be tempted to hit up the drive-thru the next day or be pulling your hair out trying to concoct a lunch out of thin air two minutes before you have to be pulling out of the driveway.
Need some ideas? Here are a few of our favorite make-ahead lunch options:
- Hard-Boiled Eggs
- Sliced Cheese & Crackers
- Homemade Soup — especially great for the colder months!
- Homemade Instant Oatmeal Packets (these are great if you have access to a microwave at work
- Freezer-Friendly Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches
- Freezer-Friendly Banana Bread
- Easy Morning Glory Muffins
- Homemade Energy Bites
- Brown Bag Burritos
- Homemade Pizza Pockets
- Southwest Roll-ups
- Best Ever Chocolate Oatmeal Bars
Looking for more make-ahead sack lunch ideas? Check out my Lunchbox Freezer Cooking series.
What are YOUR favorite quick & easy breakfast and lunch ideas? I’d love to hear!
Day 4 Project
1. Follow your Morning Routine and check in with your accountability partner to let them know how it’s going. Leave a comment to let us know how you’re doing. (And if you’ve not created your Morning Routine yet, be sure to go here and follow the steps and then leave a comment on this post letting us know your plan!)
2. Prep your breakfast and lunch for tomorrow. Tell us in the comments your simple plan for how you’re going to follow through with it (Such as, “I’m going to prep breakfast before bed. I’m going to make a pan of Baked Oatmeal to stick in the fridge overnight.”)
Make Ahead Pancake Batter is one of our favorite quick & easy “fancy” breakfasts.
Looking for some more practical help?
- Check out Jessica’s post for a comprehensive list of Make Ahead Breakfast ideas. She also has a fantastic Breakfast Freezer Cooking Plan.
- Read my post on 3 Strategies to Simplify Brown Bag Lunches. And check out Jessica’s Easy Lunches Freezer Cooking Plan and Laura’s Healthy, Inexpensive Lunches Printable List.
- Download Day 1 of Make Over Your Mornings (it’s FREE!) — my 14-day course to help you jumpstart a successful day.