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Make the Most of Your Mornings: Don’t Focus on Quitting Bad Habits, Focus on Starting Good Habits (Day 11)

Over the weekend, I read The Real Reason You Can’t Quit Diet Coke, Ditch the Junk Food, or Get to Bed on Time by Anne from Modern Mrs. Darcy. Here’s a little of what she says:

Have you ever resolved to drop a bad habit–and failed? I have. And I’m not alone.

You may decide you need to drop a bad habit, but it’s hard to just QUIT doing something. You may be committed to change, and have fabulous intentions–but you still struggle to follow through. Why?

It’s because people typically set themselves up to lose.

To be successful, you have to replace a negative habit with a positive one. So instead of resolving to “stop eating junk” you have to “choose healthy snacks” instead. This isn’t just a question of semantics: it’s a powerful–and overlooked–difference.

This is so true — especially when it comes to making the most of your mornings. If your normal course of action for the last five years has been sleeping in until the last minute each morning and then running around in a crazy chaotic mess trying to get everything done and yourself out the door on time, telling yourself that from now on you’re going to wake up early and get a bunch of extra things done in the morning is probably setting yourself up for failure.

No matter how strong your resolve is, determination alone is probably not going to be enough for long-term success.

Don’t get me wrong; commitment is the first step. But it’s just that — the first step. If all you ever do is commit to change, I’m proud of you for your drive and desire to change, but I want you to see long-term success in the goals you set. So you’ve got to take it a step farther and stop focusing on what you’re giving up and instead focus on the good habits you are resolving to instill in your life.

Create Your Game Plan for Success

Once you’ve determined what areas you need and want to change, pick the most important areas — those that are going to make the biggest difference in your overall life, sanity, and fulfillment. Start with those and come up with a specific plan for the good habits you are going to focus on implementing in your life.

For instance, if you want to make getting up by 6 a.m. a reality, plan to have everything done for the day by 8 p.m. or earlier so that you can wind down, get ready for bed, and get to bed at a decent hour. In addition, figure out what things you love to wake up to in the morning and implement those as part of your morning.

Maybe you love a good cup of coffee with special creamer and classical music playing in the background. Buy the special creamer, set the coffeemaker to turn on right before you wake up, and set your alarm to play classical music beginning at 6:05 a.m. By doing these things, you’re helping yourself succeed — and making it a whole lot easier to get up in the morning.

My Game Plan for Getting Out of My Workout Clothes Each Morning

Last Friday, I confessed that I’ve been struggling with making time for getting a shower and getting out of my workout clothes in the morning. For some of you, I am sure this seemed beyond bizarre that I can’t get my act together in this simple area, but you all were so gracious to give me such helpful suggestions and practical ideas. I spent the weekend mulling over things and devising a plan.

Here’s what I came up with:

1) I Declare That From This Day Forth Wearing Pajamas or Workout Clothes Past 9 a.m. is Not An Option

There, I made a personal declaration and you can hold me to it. You have my permission to email me, text me, call me, or drop by to see if I’m living up to this. 🙂

2) I Will Stop Working Out at 7:00 a.m. in Order to Take a Shower

I realized that one of the problems was that I was feeling like I had to always complete the full P90X workout every single day — even if we hadn’t started it until later than planned. Often, this was throwing off my whole morning since once we were finished working out, there was no time for a shower before I needed to jump into our morning chores and homeschooling.

3) I Will Lay Out My Clothes I Love to Wear Every Night Before Bed

I was already laying out clothes as part of my Top 5 Evening Must-Do’s (not that I was ever changing into them, but…), however, I realized that I was mostly choosing outfits that I’ve worn so many times I wasn’t really excited about putting them on. I was inspired by some of you to consider sprucing up my wardrobe a bit to make getting dressed in the morning a little more fun.

4) As Soon As I’m Showered and Dressed, I Get to Have My Morning Coffee.

I love my morning coffee. It’s my cup of happy that I look forward to waking up to. I realized that making this rule would highly motivate me to get showered and dressed!

For those of you who get showered and dressed every day without nary a thought or consideration, I’m sure this list seems over-the-top crazy. And it might be. But I had to draw a line in the sand and I had to be very specific if I want to overcome this lifelong nemesis.

I’m hoping sharing this might encourage or inspire some of you who are struggling in this area or another area. Don’t just say you want to change; come up with a clear cut plan of action for making the change happen. And then go do it!

My Day 10 Project Update

Bedtime: I made it to bed by 9:30 last night — finally managed to hit my bedtime!

My Top 5 Evening Must Do’s: Done!

Wake Up Time: 4:35 a.m.

Day 11 Project

1. Did you determine your bedtime and 5 Evening Must-Do’s? If so, leave a comment telling us how you did on them last night.

2. Did you determine what time you’re going to commit to waking up every morning for the next three weeks? If so, leave a comment telling us how you did this morning!

3. Did you get in some exercise yesterday and eat a nutritious breakfast? If not, make a commitment today to a specific way you’re going to incorporate exercise and a nutritious breakfast into your day.

4. Read The Real Reason You Can’t Quit Diet Coke, Ditch the Junk Food, or Get to Bed on Time and think about one area in your life that you are currently struggling with. How can you set yourself up for success replacing a negative habit with a positive one? I’d love to hear what you come up with!

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  • I wish I could just drop by!! I am sure that my 2 youngest would have a blast with your kids!!
    I got up at 7 this morning. Had hubs wake me up when he was leaving for some work. 7 again tomorrow…oh boy. We started back to school today, and I wanted to be in the kitchen when they got up because I had a surprise for them. Pictures are on my blog tomorrow(Tuesday).
    I only slept for 4 hours last night; darn insomnia again, so I am heading to bed early tonight. Hopefully, I won’t have any trouble tonight!!

  • Shelly says:

    I was up on time this morning and was able to get a lot done. I did get to bed on time last night and I was able to get my five tasks done. This morning for breakfast I had a scone and some yogurt.

    My biggest area I am struggling with is night time eating. I eat before bed. I don’t stay up to eat just snack while watching tv. So I will be replacing my eating by doing a craft such as my knitting or crocheting while watching tv. I might also do some blog writing if crafting doesn’t sound good while I am in the same room as my family watching tv. I am hopeful I can make the change as it is a hard habit to break.

    • Blogging while watching TV is great for me. It’s kind of how I started blogging actually! My husband loved TV before we got married and I could do without it all together so I found something to keep me busy while we watched it together.

  • Busy Mom says:

    Hi Crystal! Make game plan is very similar to yours! Get up and immediately take a shower, get dressed, put on makeup, DRY my hair, and drink COFFEE! For some reason if I don’t dry/straighten/curl my hair, it is as if I havn’t even taken a shower! It makes it so much easier to leave the house, go for a walk, answer the door, and feel productive when ALL of these steps are completed!!

  • Kortney says:

    Good game plan! 🙂 I’m by no means a fashionista and I, too, could put some more effort into choosing something to wear that makes me feel good each day. One thing I try to do is wear something “new” every week – which means wearing a shirt/pants combo I’ve never done before, adding a scarf or mixing some kind of layer that I haven’t tried.

  • michelle says:

    This is a great post, and so true! About two months ago I gave up Diet Coke. I had a horrible habit, 12 pack in 2 days, digging change out of the couch cushions when we ran out bad. Then one day it was really hot out and I had a million errands to run and all I drank was diet coke. By 1 pm I was so dehydrated I could hardly think straight, and decided I would resolve to drink more water. I haven’t had a diet coke since then, and it wasn’t even hard. I didn’t realize until I read this that it seemed easy because I didn’t make myself give up diet coke. I never once said I would never drink it again, and didn’t even have that thought, only that I was going to drink water more often. Definitely has shown in my life that replacing negative habits with positive ones makes things a lot easier. Now to apply this to my mornings, I have really been struggling to get up earlier. We are late risers (today none of us got up until 930, including my 15 month old, and that’s a normal day!) I think I have been setting myself up to fail-trying to get up too early (530!) And then instead of getting up at say 7 when I wake up just throwing it all out the window and staying in bed until the kids wake up.

  • Amanda says:

    1. Went to bed at 9:45 instead of 9:30 but I think the fact that I was probably asleep by 9:46 makes up for that! Must do’s were done including a little extra with the help of my husband!

    2. Woke up right away at 5:30 this morning! No snooze button!

    3. Yes and Yes!

    4. I have been struggling with doing my bible time. I have plenty of time to do it in the mornings…I just get distracted by facebook etc….I’ve decided no computer time until I’ve spent some time reading and praying. It worked well for me this morning! I did my devotional while my husband was in the shower and then we had breakfast together…. I was up for almost 2 hours before I even touched the computer! Hopefully I can keep it up!

  • I need to do this one! In spite of my success at getting up at 7am and getting some things done, getting dressed has not been one of them. I think, like you, I may need to draw a line in the sand to get dressed by a certain time each morning. 🙂

  • Carrie says:

    Why change? I always wear my workout clothes all day after working out! They’re comfy! One of my mom friends joked that even if you get dressed in the morning _planning_ to go to the gym and don’t actually make it, the consolation is that you get to wear yoga pants all day.

    • Crystal says:

      Because it makes me feel ick all day long to be in my sweaty workout clothes and have sweaty matted hair. 🙂

      • Anne says:

        I find that I feel like I can get more done when I’m wearing workout clothes so after I workout I take a shower and put on fresh workout clothes if we’re not going anywhere that day. Then I just set them aside at night to put on in the morning for the sweaty workout.

  • GAHHHHH! I’m just getting the wake up time down (barely!) and there’s so much more to be done. Keeping up is getting challenging. I feel like such a snail! At the very least, I’m usually (key word: usually) to bed on time, my must do’s I’ve got in the bag, and the wake up time is slowly getting better. For me, it seems like everything is dependent upon finding our own place and moving out, so it’s been quite a struggle to set myself up for success in a place that isn’t really ours. At the end of the day, though, I’ve got to figure something out and this is just the motivation I need!

  • I am jumping on this bandwagon a little late.
    I have always been such a night owl, up late now nursing the baby, but I do so even when I don’t have a good reason. I know I will feel better and get more done if I can get to bed sooner and wake earlier.
    I have given up something hard before. I gave up all caffeinated beverages in December 2010 and have not had any since. My husband told me I would make it with my New Year’s resolution because I was putting of starting til then. So with a little spit and determination I have done really well. I think it is important to not put off goals to start… start ASAP. so I am getting up early tomorrow. 6:30am Reading and praying and getting ready for the day. I am hoping I will be busy enough and get enough done that hitting the sack much earlier tomorrow won’t be a problem. 630 is about as early as I can do since our youngest is about 2mo old and not sleeping through the night and I am the only one who can feed him.

    • Oh and I have 4 kids 5 and under.. before my oldest started school we didn’t get dressed around here unless we had somewhere to go. I didn’t need more laundry when they were just going to wear their princess dresses every day. School has begun and times have changed. Mommy needs to get in gear. but really if you aren’t going anywhere why create more laundry?!

  • Carolen says:

    1. Went to bed at 9pm; read aloud a chapter with my Honey
    2. Must-do’s – I am slacking on these. My kitchen is being remodeled, so cleaning it is not an option and that is throwing me off. I must come up with a better plan for these.
    3. I have gotten up at 3:45am every weekday since I started this challenge. That is nearly 3 weeks!!! On weekends I don’t get up as early, but 7am on a Saturday is fairly good.
    4. I have also done my running program everyday since the excercise post. (except my rest days on the weekends) This is an awesome accomplishment for me and I do feel tons better for it.
    5. The good habit I am picking up is eating healthy snacks. I love celery and hummus, but I also need to add a little variety to this.

  • Su says:

    Well, in the big picture I know this is a little thing. However, I’d like to replace some of my delicous yummy coffee each day with green tea. However, I’m not finding one that I think tastes super good. Can anyone recommend green teas they enjoy?

    • bobcat says:

      Republic of Tea has some good ones. I like Spring Cherry, which doesn’t have a green label like some of their green teas, but it is indeed a green tea. I also like Honey Ginseng, but it tastes herby, so if you don’t like green tea, you may not like it. With all brands, I find the ones that are fruit flavored, especially tropical fruits, usually mask the original green tea taste, which not everyone likes. Also, you may want to heat the water to a lower temperature and only steep it for 30 sec….if you steep too long or use too high of a temp, green tea can get much more bitter.

    • Maybe consider a White Tea instead? I prefer the flavor of white vs. green. If I drink green tea, I like it to have a “flavor” such as blackberry or orange, etc. It tastes much better that way. 😉

  • bobcat says:

    This is a great p0st! I, too, need to micro-plan and be very specific with how I am going to get simple things accomplished….it is nice to see that I’m not the only one! But it’s good because it shows determination.

  • Paula says:

    I’m glad to read about your coffee ‘reward’ – I’ve done this kind of thing for years, but never told anyone because it kinda felt like I was treating myself like a kid (bribing myself? 🙂 ). But I don’t really care because sometimes it’s the motivation I need to get something done or change my routine up. So – I’m glad I’m not alone! Thanks! We welcomed a new baby boy on last Tuesday, so I’ve kinda excused myself from these ‘making the most’ posts, but I still read them – and maybe when we get settled back into our normal life routines I’ll be able to go though it on my own!

    • Crystal says:

      Congratulations on your new baby boy — and I think you have a good reason to excuse yourself from following along with us in this challenge. 🙂

      And you know, it might sound juvenile, but whatever it takes to stay motivated works for me!! 🙂

  • Carrie says:

    I so agree with Anne’s article and your sentiments Crystal! It’s impossible to do two things at once, like it’s impossible to feel fear and gratitude at the same time… so if we proactively do something good we fill that space. Habits rock!

  • Tabitha says:

    I woke up by 5. My 5 items for my evening routine are: make coffee, start dishwasher, pick up toys, clean counters and plan next day to do list. This was one area I was slacking on this summer and I’m glad to get back into the swing of things! My exercise routine is super simple 5 days a week for at least 20 minutes. Kim @ helps me stay accountable to my health and fitness weekly goals! Breakfast is my favorite meal so I would never miss it! 🙂
    I definitely want to check out that book you suggested there is a few areas, I need to improve on! 🙂

  • Kerri says:

    I am beginning to get on track. I am hitting my bed time and my body has started to wake up on its own in the morning without the alarm. As I have clarified my goals, it has created some good discussion starters with my husband. He has been supportive in my endeavor to make the most of my mornings.

    I love the coffee AFTER completing the morning routine idea. 🙂 I am definitely stealing it.

    I have also decided that, as much as I prefer to workout in the morning, it does not work for me in this season of life, so I have moved it to afternoon nap time.

  • Andrea says:

    I’ve been waking up every morning at 6, and just started waking at 5:30 so I could get my oldest up for school. For the past week, I’ve been drinking a green smoothie first thing in the morning. I love that it makes me feel so energized, hydrated, and I know I’m getting good green veggies in first thing in the morning! Now, all I need is a Vitamix =) I started eating healthier about a month ago and haven’t “needed” any caffeine for weeks!

  • I didn’t keep up with my plan over the weekend, so I will have to work on that! I noticed that not following the plan over the weekend makes it harder to do it on Monday. Proof in point: I didn’t get up until 8:20 am yesterday. 🙁 This morning was better but I was up a little later than usual.

    Love your specific game plan for getting dressed in the morning. I’m sure it will make a difference!

  • Rachael says:

    This series has been so encouraging. Before you announced it, I had recently committed to get up at 6 a.m. every morning so I can get my shower in before my daughters wake up, and it makes our mornings go so much more smoothly.

    I wonder if any other moms would be interested in you writing about ways to make mornings go smoother for our children as well … getting dressed, getting breakfast, brushing teeth, etc. I try not to let my girls sit around in jammies watching cartoons for too long in the mornings, but some mornings are more successful than others.

    • Jessica says:

      I’m not sure I am much help but one of the rules in our house is that we don’t go downstairs (that includes TV) and I don’t make breakfast until all kids are dressed. My kids have learned to pop out of bed and get dressed. It helps that they wake up hungry!

  • Bedtime: Made it to bed at 10:30 (my goal)!

    Wake Up Time: 5:45, out of bed by 6:00 A.M.

    5 DO’s: Didn’t come up with “5” do’s until last night.

    Breakfast: Oatmeal and Iced Coffee.

    Exercise: 100 Workout (10 different workout at 10 reps each)

    I’m excited to say my productivity levels were doubled yesterday. I was able to get a lot done before noon, which is usually when my “day” would often really get started. My goal is to use this time to set healthy standards and a positive attitude for the rest of the day.

    Also, I love getting up with my husband and being “fully awake” while he’s still home. No more droopy eyed good bye’s while crawling back to bed. It’s a few more minutes spent with him that I can cherish. 🙂

  • So I’m not the only one who still wears pajamas past 9AM haha! I say this after I had two cups of coffee, took a shower about ten minutes ago, and put my pajamas back on after my shower. Hmmm work on this, I must!

    I’ve been having a terrible problem going to the gym lately, but I still woke up at 4am!

  • Your plan sounds great, Crystal.

    I haven’t made it to bed on to in a few days. I have a bunch of night owls in my house. Not really sure what to do about it. Maybe I just need to tell everyone good night and go to bed!

    I should probably let go of the “I need two hours” to wind down idea and just get into to bed and see what happens.

  • Jimi says:

    Bedtime – We had the lights out by about 10:10, I think. The goal is 10:00, but I’ve started thinking that we should aim for a little earlier.
    5 Must Do’s – Done
    Wake-up – I got out of bed about 6:15. Goal is 6:00, but 6:15 is much better than the last few days. And, I didn’t get back in bed. (My son leaves for school very early…and I have enough time to get back in bed if I want to run around all rushed and crazy a little later. Ha.)
    Exercise – Walked 2 miles last night and put on my workout clothes this morning and ran a little over a mile with my husband. Yay. Major success.
    Breakfast – Had toast, turkey bacon and milk. Again, bit improvement.

    Replacing negative habit with postitive – In order to keep from getting back in bed, I need to put on my workout clothes as soon as I get up, including my running shoes…even if I don’t end up working out that morning. I would love to have enough time in the morning to run and then sit down and eat breakfast and read my Bible and then get in the shower. But, that will mean getting up earlier, so for now we’ll focus on getting up, exercising and getting to work on time.
    Now, let’s see if we can do this again.

  • Sherry Lochner says:

    I got to bed early as SONday was very painful day for me. 🙁 I did manage to complete most on my must-dos though.

    I woke a litte before the alarm went off and got started with my day. Things have been going so smoothly since implementing “Making the Most of Your Mornings”! I had a breakfast salad (spinach, fried eggs, bacon, grilled onion, and peppers)

    I’m getting some exercise in on Tuesday hopefully, if my pain level is manageable.

    I’m going to work on my habit of picking at my fingernails. I have grown them out before a few times, but something happens and I regress. I’m going to replace with ? (not sure what? help?)

    • Sherry Lochner says:

      Forgot to say that my 17 year old daughter (who has been consistently so hard to get out of bed) has been getting out of bed with her alarm every day! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  • Sarah says:

    I’m just loving this series of posts! Just wanted to let you know that 🙂

  • Really great advice. Truly! And I hear you about the work out clothes thing! I love being showered and ready for the day, but I find the process of showering, drying my hair, makeup, etc. to be such a frustrating loss of time!! I think your ideas sound great.

  • Emily says:

    Ok, stepping out on a limb here, but does anyone have any suggestions for a replacement habit for messing with your hair? I won’t go into it too much, but I have trichatillomania and have had since I was 10 years old (26 now). I want my life to be free from it completely. I have had good phases, but I don’t know what triggers them, either. Thank you so much!!!

    • Jessica says:

      I’m not sure it would help with any disorders, but when my hair drives me crazy (which it does when it rains, is too humid, too hot, I’m really busy, active, or run out of time) I brush it wet into a low bun. I then jut let it air dry throughout the day and I don’t mess with it because it looks worse if I do.

  • Laura says:

    I was wondering if anyone has some advice for sleeping well at night. I really want to make the most of my mornings, but lately I’ve been waking up in the night and have been unable to fall back asleep. If I do finally get back to sleep, I end up sleeping in to catch up on sleep, and then, as you all know, the day is thrown off! I exercise, eat well, and have no known health issues to be causing my lack of sleep. Any tips would be appreciated! Thank you.

    • Kristy K says:

      Something that has helped me fall asleep and stay asleep is not getting on my phone or computer in the evenings. I read a study about the lights from those devices making it hard for people to get a good night’s sleep. This seems to help me. I try not to use those after 8:30, since I usually go to bed at 9:30 or 10.

    • Emily says:

      I had similar issues in the past, too. I agree with doing all of the old stand-bys first: no electronics right before bed (maybe read something light-hearted), no caffeine after lunch, good multi-vitamin, etc. But for me, I had to say “enough is enough.” I got myself out of bed on the nights I woke up in middle of the night, I forced myself up. It was awful the next day, but it honestly helped after a day or two.

      One other thing is that I got a massage. I didn’t realize just how much tension I had in my body that wasn’t letting me fully relax until I got the massage. Amazing difference!

  • Jackie says:

    I like your idea of showering before having coffee. I work second shift and I often find myself showering at 12:30 pm. I feel so much better when I get up and just get it done. One less thing I have to do right before work. If I drink my cup of coffee first thing in the morning I find I sit on the couch watching TV for much longer than I intend to. If I shower first I might be more motivated to get going on my to do list.

  • Kristy K says:

    My oldest catches the middle school bus at 6:35 this year, and in order for us to get everything ready in time in time for him to go, I have to wake up at 5:30. This is hugely difficult for me. Last Friday, I snoozed the alarm until 6:15 before I realized I had to be up. He actually didn’t miss the bus that day… we just had to hustle.

    I realized that if we pack lunch the night before and lay out clothes, I can actually sleep in until 6 without having to rush. Just a little preparation the night before makes all the difference and that extra half hour of sleep is wonderful.

    (I also moved my alarm clock across the room so I have to get out of bed to turn it off)

  • Elysha says:

    Can I ask a question? How do you keep a routine if you do not have a consistent night schedule? Two nights of the week, I teach a class until 8:30 pm, and another night of the week, I teach until 9:45 pm. I still have to wake up at the same hour each day to get my boys off to school… but some days the mornings are very slow going.
    My husband is very involved and helps the nights I work. I suppose I just need some encouragement…
    Thank you.

    • cindy says:

      Elysha, I teach late at least one night a week too, and it does make it hard to keep my routine. what really helps me is doing everything I can ahead of time and trying to maintain a steady bedtime (currently 10pm) instead of having a ton to do when I get home after teaching. On your weekends (or mornings when you don’t teach), can you prep parts of lunches for later so they are easier to get together (pb&j in the freezer, cut up and portion out fruit/veggies, maybe even pre-pack the lunchbags)? Can you prep your clothing ahead of time so it’s ready with less thought? Think about your evening Must-Do’s and see if there’s a way to do them before class instead of after. The night that I teach late this semester, I plan to pre-prep all my evening must-do’s as much as possible beforehand, and still try for the same bedtime – not sure yet how that will work out, but I’m going to try! I wish you luck finding what works for you!

      • Elysha says:

        Thank you Cindy. I am learning how to freezer cook, and prepare foods in advance. It is a completely new concept for me. By the time I get home, my brain is completely fried and all I’m able to do is sit in front of the tv and unwind. Last night I got home at 10:30, in bed by 11:30, and was awake today at 6:00 am… It’s almost seven hours of sleep but it doesn’t FEEL like seven hours. Perhaps I need to dose up on some fruits, veggies, and protein?

        • Cindy says:

          I feel your pain! I admit to tossing a bottle of 5-hour energy into my lunchbag this morning (class tonight from 5:30-8:30 tonight, and I was on campus by 8:15 this morning). I definitely find that having healthy foods is a necessity on these long days, and then being able to get a good breakfast and a large cup of coffee the next morning really helps me get going – try overnight oats – YUM!

  • Heather says:

    Thank you Crystal for these posts! I realized last night that I failed to share my goals with my husband. I guess he just though I was extra tired every night. Once I took the time to
    communicate that with him it has made a huge difference. He wants me to reach my goals to. I have been able to get 5’s done at night, get to bed on time, exercise in the morning, and feels so much more prepared for the day!! I encourage everyone to share your goals with your husband or support person!

  • Rebecca says:

    I’ve been doing great on every resolution I’ve made, except I just can’t get to bed early enough. It’s like I get the kid to bed (7:30) and it’s almost midnight before I turn around. This is the one negative habit that needs to go! I’ll have to think about what I can replace that habit with – since my goal is sleeping, it’s hard to offer myself a reward if I’m asleep. But, I definitely agree that replacing a negative habit with a positive one is the best way to go. Motivation and determination only get you so far. Great post!

  • cindy says:

    1. I’ve been in bed every night by 10 (I think it was actually 10:02 last night, but pretty close!). With it being the start of the school year, I’d typically stay up very late doing lesson prep or things like that, so this has been huge for me to be in bed on time each night!
    2. Once I started setting the alarm, I’ve done really well with getting up at 6am – it feels great to have a little bit of time to myself before starting my day. I’m definitely finding that having done my must-do’s before bed makes my morning much much much smoother!

    3. I prepped refrigerator oats and took them with me to eat at work both yesterday and today. I have more in the fridge/freezer for the rest of the week.

    4. I don’t necessarily have a bad habit I want to replace, but I want to add a good habit in relation to exercise. Right now it’s a time issue – I leave for work before 8 and don’t get home until close to 6, at which point what I really need and want to do is spend time with my family. By the time the kiddo is in bed, I’m exhausted, and exercise is out. I need to really consider where in the day I can get in a little exercise because I just need to get moving in other ways. So here’s my plan:
    (1) Park farther from my building at work (except Wed, when I finish work after dark).
    (2) Give up the elevator and take the stairs instead.
    (3) Get out of my building for a walk around campus several times a day.
    (4) Dig out my old pedometer and try for 10,000 steps a day.

    Ultimately, I’d like to make my current 6am wake-up time a 5am wake-up and work out in the morning. But for now, (1)-(4) above are what’s reasonable for me, so I’ll start with that!

  • Crystal, thanks for the mention!

    I love your action plan. Morning coffee is a huge reward for me, too, but my mornings go so much better when I do *everything* on this action list. Getting to bed on time is the hardest!

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