A New Morning Routine


On Tuesday, I posted about my personal goals for 2017.  Goal #4 was to complete a monthly focus.  For January, I have chosen my mornings.

I think I’ve mentioned before that my old morning routine is no longer working out as well… The new puppy has added in a whole new set of tasks and requirements.  And I wanted to re-think it, and re-work it to fit my life now… Of course, as she always seems to do, just when I needed some inspiration on the topic, Cait Flanders posted about her slow morning routine that she is working on for January.

Unlike Cait, however, I am not trying to slow down my mornings… As much as I would love to…  I’m more interested in making sure that I get the important tasks completed.  I already naturally have very slow mornings… If I make a cup of tea, I sometimes just sit and drink it staring out the window…  And that is fine, if it fits in to the timeline of getting to work on time.


So, what do my mornings need?

Bare-bones, I need to get ready for work: shower, get dressed, eat breakfast & pack up my lunch.  I also need to walk the dog and get him packed up for his day, if he is going to doggy daycare, or eventually get the house prepped for him to stay home (if we ever end up doing this).  If he’s going to doggy daycare, a morning walk isn’t totally necessary because he will get lots of exercise playing with the dogs, but I’d like to get in the habit of doing it so that I am prepared for leaving him at home alone once we can trust him there…

Ideally, I would like to include fitness for myself.  Maybe a run a couple times a week.  But does this fit with walking the dog?  He isn’t really a “running” dog… but we could see if he is interested in learning to run?  Although, I’ve been told that running isn’t good for Bernese Mountain Dogs because of their genetic inclination for joint problems… So, for now I will keep that separate.

I would love if I could get some blogging time in the mornings too, but maybe not every morning?  Or maybe some reading?


Now that I’ve gone over what needs to get done in the morning, I need to figure out how I can make this all fit in to the time before work… If I get up at 5:30 am and have the goal of being at work before 9 am, that “should” give me about 3 hours at home in the morning to do my morning routine (leave the house by 8:30 am at the latest).  But what if I have a late night because of a special occasion (or a late soccer practice/game).  I think getting enough sleep is probably more important than completing all my morning tasks.  I need to have a pared down routine for those days so that I know exactly what I must do.  If I remove the decision making, I should prevent the stalls in the morning that waste time.

Okay, so I need a realistic idea of how long things take me.

Waking Up: 10-15 minutes.
I need to give myself a few minutes in the morning to just wake up… I’m not exactly a morning person… I don’t jump out of bed at the sound of my alarm raring to go.  Maybe this means hitting the snooze button once, or petting the dog, or just sitting…

Fitness: 30 minutes to 1 hour.
If I go for a run, it’ll be an hour.  Even if it is a short run, getting ready, stretching afterwards… It just takes an hour… If I do yoga, or another fitness challenge, it can be as short as 30 minutes.  I have to make sure that if I want to do this uninterrupted, I need to get the dog out to do his business in the backyard first.

Shower & Dress: 15 to 30 minutes.
Realistically, I should just assume 30 minutes all the time.  I have a really hard time getting out of the nice warm and steamy shower once I’m in there… Maybe when our renovations are complete, and the bathroom has a nice heated tile floor, it won’t be as much of an unpleasant shock to get out of the shower… But this has always been a problem for me.  As a teenager, my mum used to have an egg-timer in the bathroom that she would turn on to make sure I didn’t take too long of a shower… As much as I hate to admit that something my mum did was right… Maybe I need to get a timer for myself in the shower.

Breakfast & Tea: 15 to 30 minutes.
If I prep breakfast the night before, then it should be really quick to warm up / toast.  Boiling the kettle for tea is quick and easy.  And I can multitask at this point in the kitchen by getting my lunch kit put together. (If you’ve seen my habit tracker, my lunch is supposed to be made the night before, but assembling the kit with things from inside & outside the fridge is done in the morning.)  I also need to feed the animals their breakfasts at this point.

Walk the Dog: 15 to 30 minutes.
If I just go around the block or through the park out back, it can be quick, but I should work on getting it to be as long as I can if I’m going to have him stay home all day.  Don’t want a hyper dog alone in the house…

Pack Up Stuff:  10 to 15 minutes.
Even if everything is ready to go, assembling things and making sure I haven’t forgotten anything for the day always takes a bit of time.

So far, this is totaling up to:

  • 10-15 (waking up)
  • 30-60 (fitness workout)
  • 15-30 (shower & dress)
  • 15-30 (breakfast & tea)
  • 15-30 (dog walk)
  • 10-15 (pack up stuff for the day)
  • TOTAL: 95-180

At the maximum, this is 3 hours… so theoretically I should be able to do this using the maximum amount of time for each task from 5:30 to 8:30 in the morning.


I was thinking that, in order to make it easy for myself, I should lay out all the options of what my mornings would look like, but that gets really complicated, really fast… Am I going for a run?  Or doing yoga?  Or having a rest from fitness?  Am I taking the dog for a walk?  Or not?  Was it a late night last night?  Do I need to sleep in a bit so that I can function?  You can see that it would get out of hand very quickly…  I decided to take a few of the options that are on the extremes, so I would have an idea of what the limits are for me getting ready in the morning.


So, working backwards, the deadline to leave the house is 8:30 am.  Let’s continue working backwards…  That means that I need to be packing up to go at 8:15 am.  So, at the very latest, I should be taking the dog for a walk at 8:00 am, but preferably by 7:45 am.  (unless I’m not taking him for a walk…)  Then, ideally, I’d be making and eating breakfast at 7:15 am so that I have time to sit down and enjoy it.  7:30 am for a quick breakfast (or just packing a breakfast to go).  Or as late as 8:00 am if I’m not taking the dog for a walk.  Which means that I need to be in the shower by 6:45 am, or 7:00 am at the latest.  (but if I’m not taking the dog for a walk, it could be as late as 7:45 am)  So, if I’m doing a full run, I need to be ready to go by 5:45 am or 6:00 am.  If I’m doing only a small workout, then it could be started as late as 6:30 am.  Or I guess as late as 7:15 am if I’m not walking the dog.  Which then provides me with a wake-up time anywhere from 5:30 am to 7:00 am if I am doing some kind of workout, or as late as 7:30 am if no workout is done.

Was that method too crazy?  I’m bonkers, I know…


But, the end result from all that craziness is that I have this wonderful spread in my bullet journal that I can refer to for deadlines any morning, while providing myself with a bit of flexibility and also the knowledge that this was planned and not just thrown together off the top of my head.




Do you have a morning routine that you follow each morning?  Am I crazy for putting this together for myself?


55 thoughts on “A New Morning Routine

  1. I need to work on a morning routine, too. Here’s mine: Wake up at 7:00am, brush teeth, apply mascara, get dressed, let dog out, feed animals, kiss husband goodbye and leave @ 7:30am to get to work at 8am. Lately I’ve been waking after 7 and leaving at 7:45am and getting to work just on time.

    I think what I need to work on is making sure I get my 7 hours of sleep every night. I just love your bullet jounals they are so fun to look at but I don’t think I’d be able to keep one myself.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very cool schedule. I like all the colors and effort you put into it. Thanks for sharing. I don’t have a schedule but I typically wake up around 8:30 AM. I start work later in the day than most people.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks! I had fun putting it together. Like a craft project from elementary school.

      I used to get to work much later, but I’ve been forced to work “normal” hours now with taking the dog to doggy daycare… They are only open regular hours…


  3. I really like your bullet journal page!! I ordered one. But now I’m too intimidated to start it! It won’t look so gorgeous as yours!!
    My wake up routine- wake up sometime in the day. lol
    Unless I have to go get my grandbabies for day care, then I have to be up and in the van, ready to go by 6:45. The only way I can even force myself to do those days, is the anticipation of the smiles, hugs and kisses I’m gonna get!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! Don’t be intimidated! You are the only person that has to use it, and if you don’t like what a page looks like, turn the page and start again. If you are nervous, start with pencil for trying out your layouts first. And if you look at the original bullet journal, he has none of the fancy stuff… Just the real basics. I have a friend that does her bullet journal like that… I should ask if she will share it on here…

      Even if I didn’t have a requirement to get up for work, the dog and the cats would make sure I get up at breakfast time. They are all extremely hungry in the morning. This morning I had one cat on top of me when I woke up, one on my bedside table staring at me, and the dog was definitely stirring impatiently in his crate…

      Liked by 1 person

      • LOL!! When I have to go pick up the grands for day care, I have to make sure to have dry cereal, sippy cup, and bottle full of milk! Approach with caution! lol
        Ok, I’ll look at it again. I gotta do something! My purse calendar is too tiny!!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Love your Bullet Journal page! I just started mine at the start of the New Year and I am loving it, keeps me accountable and I adore the format ideas I am seeing all over Pinterest. I have pinned your schedule because I love the set-up and my days are not static and change, I think I will incorporate this into my February plans. Thanks so much!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love it! I’d love to come up with something similar for myself; mornings have been my eternal struggle! I have no self control and end up hitting the snooze button 16 times, and end up being about 5 mins late to work every day.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Since reading this I have decided my “one” goal for the month is being in bed with eyes closed by midnight, so I can wake up at 7am. I missed it last night, stayed up too late and I’m having the worst unmotivated evening currently.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I keep putting a 10:30pm bedtime on my habit tracker, but I rarely actually make it to bed by then. Last night I didn’t take the dog out for his bedtime walk until 11pm, so I definitely wasn’t in bed until almost midnight… Much too late for a 5:30am wake up.


  7. Wow. I also am not naturally a morning person and have to be at work at nine. I need a schedule similar to yours, because of my weight loss goals. I’m too tired after along day to workout. Your schedule is something I may put into practice.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I really like having my evenings free for whatever fun activity is happening and not feeling obligated to squeeze my fitness in as well. It makes the morning the most logical time for me to try and get my running in. I can’t say I’m all that great at it yet… but I am definitely making progress with the morning routine. I hope you can make it work for you too!


  8. I really like your page. I am trying to figure out how to adapt it to my mornings. Up until the end of October I had a very strict morning schedule. My alarm was set for 6:15, let my dog out, fixed her food and made coffee; and about this my son would call on his way to work. Then at 7:00 I would enter into a quiet time and would study and do scripture writing for two or three hours. Then I had a horrible fall bruising my left side and ribs and spraining my wrist. Ribs take up to four weeks to heal. Needless to say my schedule went out the window. I am wanting to get back on my schedule. This is probably too long and too much unnecessary information. I am looking forward to reading your blogs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sorry to hear about your fall. That does not sound pleasant at all. I’m sure it won’t take much to get back in to your old routine once you are fully healed. What I like about how I’ve done it is that I don’t have a set schedule for each day, I just have general schedules to follow based on what I need to accomplish that morning, or what I can fit in based on how early I actually get up. If you give yourself some options it might be easier to stick with than if it is very strict.

      Thank you so much for commenting. It definitely wasn’t too long! 🙂


  9. I really like your schedule. For me it seems like a tough morning. Just imagening waking up at 5:30… But I feel challenged an inspired as well. I really like to plan a morning routine myself. Thanks for sharing the idea.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 5:30am is definitely a challenge for me. I am just not a morning person, but having these routine options set out for myself has been extremely helpful and my mornings have been much more productive!


  10. We have a Labernese (half lab, half Bernese) who LOVES to run.
    The second you let him off leash he is part greyhound I’m sure!
    Genuinely keeps up with my friends whippet.
    I was concerned about running and his joints, but the vet says he is fine and healthy.
    As long as you run with him off leash so that he can choose to start and stop, he should be fine.
    We didn’t start running with him until he was 18 months, but at four years old he can easily do 15km with my husband (he probably does more like 30km as he runs back and forth and in circles around us).

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s good to know. I know Bentley likes to run in the park with the other dogs, but he’s never been able to keep up with the fast dogs. Luckily I am not a fast runner, so maybe he’d be okay with it… Right now if you run with him, he gets excited and tries to jump up beside you while running… I may wait for a bit for him to be a bit older before trying to go for a run with him. Right now everything is a game!


  11. As I posted before already, I admire you 😊😊😊 What is the latest you usually go to bed? Those 3h extra in the morning look so wonderful, but I sooo think I’m not able to do so as I’m a total night owl and have such a hard time getting out of bed (specially in winter time…), mostly also bexause I just tend to go to bed so super late… 😕

    Liked by 1 person

    • I used to be a total night owl, but I’ve been slowly trying to train myself to go the other way… Mornings are more productive… Evenings I end up on the couch, drinking wine and watching TV… Right now, my goal is 10:30 pm, but my actual is more like 11:30 pm or so… Sometimes after midnight… Those are the mornings where I don’t get up at 5:30 am and instead go for the late start, get less things done, type of morning…
      It is really hard to get up in the dark during winter, so I totally feel you there.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I see what you mean. I’ve been trying for over three decades by now 😀 How do you discipline yourself to really get to bed? I feel like every evening I tell myself – this is going to be an early evening! And it always turns out to be after midnight… 😦

        Liked by 1 person

        • Do you watch specific programs or randomly zap around? I quit my TV when I moved here. Barely watch it, so I only have movies to watch, which I have to plan if I want to sit down and do so. The horrible thing on my side is the mean, mean internet 😉

          Liked by 1 person

        • I do a bit of both… I don’t often have a series that I follow routinely, but I have a tendency to watch a few specific channels or types of shows… And then there is Netflix…

          Liked by 1 person

        • Yeah, Netflix is on demand TV and movies, but it’s got limitations in what is available. And Netflix in Canada is different than in the USA, so it’s probably different in Europe too.

          Liked by 1 person

        • I think the selection in the USA is a lot bigger than what is available in Canada. Copyright laws are different or something… And yes, it’s a monthly fee. It can be as low as $7/month if you get the lowest package. We get the middle package at $10/month.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, those copyright laws are strange – sometimes even on youtube you are restricted on some videos!!! 😦 10 dollars a month isn’t bad, specially if you share it 🙂 Does that mean you don’t have many DVD’s at home then, since you can watch everything? Do the lists of movies change monthly as well?

          Liked by 1 person

        • No, we don’t want DVDs much at all… I still have some, but no, we typically watch Netflix or whatever is on TV.
          The lists of movies and shows do change, but I don’t know what sort of schedule they are on. A show we had been watching, but hadn’t finished yet, was just removed and now I’m sad because I don’t know if I’ll ever get to finish it…

          Liked by 1 person

        • Netflix sounds like a good alternative to owning many DVD’s for sure then, allowing space for other (or no) things. A good thought. I’m not sure it could work for me as I love having my favourite movies (and books!) around, just the ones that mean something to me of course but they’re still loads… Which is silly, really, as you don’t watch or read those items in a too regular basis. But that story of what’s happened with you and your show you’ve been watching sounds very uncomfortable to my ears :-/ I hope you’ll still get it somewhere, online or lent at the library, so you can finish watching it! Open stories are so unnerving don’t you think 😀 ?

          Liked by 1 person

  12. Haven’t thought about a morning routine page. I get up at 4 am almost every morning. Even the mornings I don’t have to be at work until 9. This is a great idea to help me get things done in the mornings. That you for posting this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 4AM?!? That’s so early! I’m glad that you think this is a good idea. I’ve really enjoyed using it as a guideline for my mornings. It has definitely helped me out. 🙂


  13. Love the visual morning options. I need something like this for myself… life with 4 kiddos, sometimes my husband is home, sometimes he works night shift & isn’t home to help with morning routines. I’ve been struggling to get my own tasks completed – this is a brilliant visual. How’s it continuing to work for you?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Honestly, I have fallen off the wagon a bit lately… Mostly because my situation was different while I was away for work for an extended period of time… I am back home now, so time to get back in to the regular routine…


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