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Make the Most of Your Mornings: What To Do When You Fall Off the Bandwagon (Day 14)

Last night, I went to a ladies’ get-together and then had an 8 p.m. dinner meeting with some folks from a company in California that I work with. I knew that it was going to be a late night and I knew there was going to be no way I’d be able to get my evening routine done and get to bed on time.

And I didn’t.

In fact, I didn’t get home until 10 p.m. and then I couldn’t fall asleep until 11:30 p.m. — thanks to the extra cup of coffee I had in the afternoon to try and help me be alert for the meeting! As a result, I got up late this morning (well, “late” is a relative term, but it was quite a bit later than I usually get up) and I started the day tired and behind.

So what do you when you fall off the bandwagon?

1. Don’t Beat Yourself Up

Life happens, things come up, and things are never going to go along perfectly smoothly all the time.

When you hit a rough patch, have a disruption to your normal schedule, or you’re up all night with a sick child, don’t beat yourself up or feel all frustrated that you got off track. This won’t do anything to help you — and it will likely only make matters worse.

2. Have a Plan B

You’re going to have disruptions. That’s life. Whenever possible, though, plan ahead for them.

Since I knew that I wasn’t going to get home until late last night, I went ahead and planned that I would be getting up late. Knowing that this was part of the plan helped me to not feel so off-track when I got up “late”.

3. Do The Best You Can Do

When things are out-of-sorts or your schedule gets thrown out the window, just focus on doing the best you can do. For instance, I simplified my usual morning schedule today, made sure my to-do list wasn’t too long, and just prayed for God’s grace to help me go through today even when I was tired and feeling behind.

It wasn’t the best or most productive day, but I got the main things accomplished, and I’m going to bed with the house in fairly good shape and things mostly back on track.

4. Don’t Let a Bump in the Road Knock You Completely Off Course

Falling off the bandwagon can be a great reminder of why you’re making the changes you’re making. I realized last night that staying up until 11:30 p.m. felt like I was staying up until 2 a.m. My internal clock is getting re-adjusted back to a schedule that works better for our family — and that is encouraging!

When you fall down or hit a bump, don’t let it throw you off course. Just dust yourself off and keep moving forward.

Don’t give up! Tiny steps in the right direction are always better than standing still or moving backward.

Day 14 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. Did you create a morning plan of action? If so, tell us how it went this morning! If you haven’t created one yet, go ahead and create one and tell us about it in the comments.

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  • Michelle says:

    Timely post! My hubby got home late in the evening from 9 day trip. No way would I miss that by sticking to my “bedtime routine”! But, it did throw me for a loop this morning. Part of me wanted to be frustrated that all of my hard work was messed up, but the Lord gently gave me perspective. We enjoyed the day and made the most of it (even though we were all a bit tired).Some days there are just more important things in life…

    • Definitely sounds like a good reason to not stick to the routine! Sometimes I find I can become almost legalistic with my routine, great example of being able to be flexible and keeping what’s important in perspective.

  • Marie says:

    Perfect timing! I love this encouragement because that’s how my last night went. I watched my friend’s son and once my three went to bed at 7pm the little one started to cry. The only way to console him was to hold him and then he fell fast asleep on me for an hour. and when he woke up he was unsure of where he was and cried for another hour. needless to say my 5 things did not get done. I did however go to bed ontime. Waking has been a struggle. And this morning my husband was kind enough to set the alarm for 6 but didn’t realize he set it for pm so i did not wake up until 7:04. But I made up for it at nap time and reorganized the dinner plan to something less involved. I really love this series. I just wish i could implement it more. I’m hoping that next week will be a new start for me with having two in school.

  • Tabitha says:

    I’ve found this series so encouraging and I’m glad that I reading this way past my bed time too! I knew also it was going to be a late night and I’ll for sure be sleeping in to get my rest to enjoy chasing my toddler around the house, crashing toy trucks and reading lots of stories! 🙂 Anyways thanks for encouraging me Crystal!

  • You’ve got such perfect timing. I guess it is about that time to pick ourselves up. Thanks!

  • Amanda says:

    What perfect timing for this post! The past 2 or 3 days I’ve been really slacking, we’ve been getting to bed late, I’ve been putting that snooze button on and sleeping till my daughter woke up, I haven’t done our bed time or morning routines and it seems with out those simple routines and sleep/wake times our lives have been more chaotic (and our house looks it too) I was getting pretty discourage but this post has made me feel better! Thank you! Off to do my 5 Evening Must Do’s! 🙂

  • Thanks for this! I fell off my bandwagon today, partly due to the lost dog I encountered on my run this morning.

  • Zoya says:

    Thanks so much for this! I kind of fell off the bandwagon yesterday as well by going to sleep late and also my little daughter couldn’t sleep that well last night because she was getting over a sickness. But overall this series has really motivated me! I’ve been doing my evening must do’s almost every night and the mornings are a lot better too! I’ve decided what I want my morning plan of action is: get dressed etc, pray and read Bible, exercise 10-20 min and then get breakfast and morning chores started such as taking dishes out of the dishwasher and starting a load of laundry. My 2 toddlers are early risers sometimes, but even if they are awake I can just give them their morning milk and have them hopefully play quietly while I finish everything up. I’m excited to get this going! Thanks a bunch!

  • Shelly says:

    I was able to get to bed on time, but I was not able to go to sleep right away. I was able to get all of my tasks done before bed. This morning I was a little sleepy because I did not sleep really good but I was determined to try to stay on track. So I started right into my morning tasks. For the second day I was able to get in my exercise.

    I had missed my exercise two days in a row. I would normally get upset with myself but this time I just determined to stick with it and make it a higher priority. I decided to make exercise one of my 5 morning tasks and that has really helped the last two days.

    I will keep all your suggestions in mind as I know I will fall off track off and on. It helps to have a plan to get right back on track.

  • Love this! This past week has been super off for me. We’re overhauling my son’s feedings so that all of us, including him, can get more sleep and have a better schedule all around. However the process has thrown off our normal schedule and I feel a bit scattered. Great advice for times like this!

  • I was thrown totally off track yesterday since my mom was in town. But I’m back at it this morning and got up at 5 like it was normal. In facet, I woke up just before my alarm did!!!

    I haven’t been exercising and that’s frustrating. But I’m going to work hard at doing something at least for 30 minutes every day 🙂

  • Love what you wrote: “Tiny steps in the right direction are always better than standing still or moving backward.”

    So true and important to keep in mind! Thanks.

  • Kathryn says:

    I just don’t see this as “falling off the bandwagon.” Falling off the bandwagon seems to imply a weakness in will, a lack of discipline- like watching too much TV before bed or something. From what you described, it sounded like you deliberately chose to make the women’s get together and the other meeting take priority. I probably would have made the same decision- seeing a good group of women on occasion is very refreshing 🙂

    • Lori says:

      I am in total agreement with you. This is just being flexible with your life! One day certainly does not equal “falling off the bandwagon”!

  • jerrianne says:

    As I read the post the word that came to mind is GRACE. Give yourself some grace. God’s grace is even better. As I told my grandson, today is a new day, a chance to start anew. ( He is 5 and having trouble in K with his behavior, hoping and praying for a good day)

  • I do determine my bedtime, but I often suffer from insomnia, so sometimes it is later than I wish! I am committed to waking up at 7 am. not as early as some people, but it works for me! It gives me an hour before school time to work!
    I don’t eat breakfast….so no nutritious breakfast, but I did eat a fairly healthy lunch/tea and I exercised yesterday, 2 hours of hiking and 45 minutes of biking…
    I have a morning plan of action….school, nature hike, canning peaches and baking and possibly visiting with friends.

  • Susan says:

    I see this as simply being flexible and handling what comes your way. Things come up, life happens, all days are not created equal. I don’t see it as “falling off the bandwagon” because, to me, that term implies failure. But a disruption to your routine certainly does not equal failure.

    If you get off track, give yourself the gift of a fresh start and simply start over tomorrow. Don’t look back to yesterday with regret.

  • K says:

    Gotta get on those Evening 5 Must-Do’s.

    I did manage to get up earlier on yesterday. I ate a decent breakfast.

    Didn’t exercise until later in the morning. Worked out as I made it part of my preschooler’s lesson on the human body. We talked about how God created the human body, (man/woman), and how exercise is one of the ways He gives us to take care of our body. After that, we worked out to an x-tra lite version of one of Denise Austin’s videos. We didn’t do everything perfectly and I let my preschooler just go with what she wanted to do, but it worked out and we had fun. 🙂

  • Sherry Lochner says:

    I needed this today!
    Wednesday night I did well to get in bed on time with all my evening must-dos done! Woohoo! The only thing is that I slept until 3 am and was having issues with back pain and stomach pain. I stayed up, but I did my morning routine different as I didn’t want a shower at 3 am. This back pain has been kicking my tail lately, and I haven’t been able to do as much. I have to tell myself to take it one day at a time and just do what I can. Much prayers appreciated for my back pain!

  • Jimi says:

    Thanks again for the encouragement! We went to a dinner theater last night, which meant dashing home from work, changing clothes, heading right back out and getting home well after bedtime. So, the evening routine was a no-go…other than brushing my teeth and washing my face. And this morning was a crawl back in bed morning (after seeing my son off to school). BUT, I did exercise when I got up. And that always makes me feel better about the day.

  • This is perfect for me today! I have a cold, I haven’t gotten a full night of sleep in 3 nights due to a combination of illness, bizarre cat behavior, and children… and I completely fell off the bandwagon. I am telling myself this is temporary, and I believe it will be. I am also definitely feeling the effects of not having done my evening routine last night! At this point I know I need to rest so I can get better. So I think I will be sleeping late tomorrow as well. But tonight I plan to get my evening routine accomplished!

  • Amanda says:

    This couldn’t have come at a better time! This whole week has been plagued by a series of set backs. I gave myself some grace and just concentrate on getting my 5 items done at night. Next week will be better!

  • I blew my new schedule Sunday night/Monday morning! I knew you were running my guest post this week, so I stayed up until 1:30am activating a new theme on my blog, and making dozens of updates so that I’d be ready for all my visitors. I was so tired the next day that it was a good reminder why I’ve chosen my new schedule! 🙂

  • I would add that if you are a new mom or making other huge life changes, then give yourself a break! Even though I’m a stay-at-home Mom, I mentally give myself 6-8 weeks off for the birth of a new child. Learning to sleep through the night, adapting to new routines, breastfeeding around the clock… there’s more than enough to think about without piling on self-improvement goals at the same time. So give yourself grace if you’re going through those kind of big life changes. 🙂

  • I love this challenge, but it came at a bad time for our family. We are dealing with a serious medical issue that means lots of late nights and sleeping disruptions to take care of medicine and other needs.

    While I am following along the best I can, I hope you’ll put together a checklist at the end (like you have for the 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home challenge) for those of us who have had lots of bumps in the road during the past two weeks.


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