Do you want to radically simplify your morning routine?

How to Radically Simplify Your Morning Routine

We need systems to make wellness work in real life, it’s not enough to hope for a happy and healthy life.

In this episode, we’ll talk about how mindsets, routines, and habits work together to move you in the direction you want to go.

“We need systems to make wellness work in real life because it’s not enough to just hope that you’ll be able to live a happy and healthy life, it’s really about mindset, routines, and habits working together to move you in that direction.”

I like to think about routines as a part of an overall system for your life that makes wellness work, which includes mindset, routines, and habits.

One of the problems we often run into is focusing on one part and not the others.

We often skip the mindset piece and skip straight to the tactics.

1 | Mindset

How are you thinking about your morning?

Questions to ask yourself:

  • What do I need in the morning?

  • What you make my life a little more streamlined?

  • What would set me up for success?

  • What do the people around me need?

It’s so easy to focus on the people in your life who need extra care in the morning– make sure you consider yourself too.

Pick one thing at a time

This does not have to be an all or nothing situation.

I’m going to give you so many tips and ideas, so I encourage you to pick one small thing to start.

Doing one thing and letting it become sticky will not only help you find that radical consistency, but it will also allow you to feel successful and build momentum.

Let go of the comparison, because your routine is not going to look like anyone else’s.

Practice self-compassion

Practice “gentle is the new perfect” and just know that you’re human.

Mornings will sometimes go how you want, and sometimes they won’t.

“When life gets messy, it’s okay.”

2 | Honor your season

Look at your real life, and ask yourself about how long things actually take.

Set a timer and see how long breakfast honestly takes, how long getting dressed honestly takes, and really figure out what get-up to out-the-door really looks like.

My routine takes longer than I want it to, but once I accepted that it takes that long it just took the pressure off.

Be realistic about how much time things take in the season that you’re in.

Really be honest about what’s going on in your life.

Maybe you need more sleep and a morning routine isn’t going to work for you in this season, and that’s okay.

Sometimes a season is messy or hard and that’s okay.

3 | Set up the night before

Simplify your morning routine by setting up the night before.

Setting up the night before:

  • Set a timer and spend that time to do things to get you ready for the next morning.

  • Check your calendar for the next day to see if there’s anything you need to do or have ready for yourself or your kids for the next day.

Simplify your morning:

  • Pack your bags the night before.

  • Have your gym bag ready by the door.

  • Set out water bottles to remind you to take them, or fill them the night before and put them in the fridge.

  • Put a glass of water by your bed to make sure you start hydrating when you get up.

  • Set the coffee to auto brew.

  • Get a good night’s sleep.

  • Shower at night.


Pack lunches the night before to speed things up in the morning.

When you make dinner, make enough for lunch the next day.

Check out this show on simplified meal prep for more tips.

You can also make lunches while the kitchen is still a mess from dinner so you don’t have to clean up twice.

Especially if you find that you skip lunch, I would highly recommend doing some lunch prep at that dinner time so that you have something the next day.

4 | 5 minute morning

Check out this episode on my 5-Minute Morning.

I also use my simplified morning journal to spend some time for myself before everyone else is up.

Taking a little time for yourself is a way to remind yourself that you’re worthy of care.

It’s about doing something that is restorative, whether it’s reading, journaling, sitting with a cup of coffee, connecting with your faith or spiritual practice or whatever that time is for you.

This doesn’t need to be a long practice and it can look how you want it to look.

The things I like to think about are how I want to feel, what I want to focus on, and what I want to let go of.

These help me feel grounded so I know how I want to be showing up that day and how I can take care of myself and take care of others.

5 | Decision template for clothes

The idea of a decision diet is to help you reduce the number of decisions you have to make by making them ahead of time.

Check out this post for more tips on a decision diet.

There are so many decisions you have to make in the morning, so by using “decision templates” you can streamline your morning by making decisions ahead of time.

If picking out clothing in the morning is overwhelming for you, try a decision template.

In this case, it might look like creating a uniform (e.g. in fall and winter, jeans + a sweater).

Then in the morning, you just have to figure out which pair of jeans and which sweater you want to wear.

This is so helpful with kids, too.

With Elle, we pick out all five of her outfits every weekend, and we lay them out on the floor so that they’re completely done and ready for her each day of the week.

We look at the calendar together and take into account P.E. days and after school activities and decide what she wants to wear each day.

We also pick her outfits out straight from the laundry basket, so then I don’t have to fold or hang anything.

6 | Decision template for breakfast

One of my favorite ways to use a decision template is with food, especially breakfast.

I have two or three breakfasts that I alternate between for a little variety, and I decide ahead of time what I want to eat for breakfast during the week.

That way, I can make sure I have the groceries I need and I don’t have to think about it during the week at all.

For me right now, that looks like a green smoothie three days a week and a grain-free tortilla with greens and an egg two days a week.

For Elle right now, we are alternating between pancakes, waffles, and smoothies.

To streamline this, we ask her how she wants to do it and she picks ahead of time what she wants each day.

Smoothie hack: make smoothie packs ahead of time so all you need to do in the morning is dump them in the blender and add milk.

Pancake + waffle hack:

  1. Make a double or triple batch of any of these pancake or waffle recipes and then we freeze them (we like the pumpkin pancakes right now for fall)

  2. Make sure the waffles and pancakes are totally cool and then either put them on a sheet pan to freeze individually, then you can put them in a resealable bag in the freezer, OR wait until they’re cool and put parchment between each one before putting them in a resealable bag in the freezer.

  3. Then, when it’s time for breakfast, pull one out and put it in the toaster.

It’s exactly the same thing as having a store-bought frozen waffle.

Other make-ahead breakfast ideas:

7 | Stay on track with a timer or playlist

For myself, I make sure to keep an eye on the time and know when we need to be done with breakfast.

One idea is a visual timer.

Another is a “get ready for the day” playlist to help with that routine and rhythm and keep everybody on track while adding some joy.


How to Radically Simplify Meal Prep

My 5-Minute Morning: The Secret to Starting Your Day Refreshed, Revived, and Ready to Thrive

Simplified Morning Journal

How to Go on a Decision Diet for More Mental Energy and Willpower

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes (gf, df)

RWFL Breakfast Recipes

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