morning & evening rituals

I love Mondays. There's something about the first.

First day of the month: make the budget.

First day of the week: plan the week.

First hour of the day: morning ritual.

I love it.

Last Monday was May 1, the first day of the month and the first day of the week. And on that day, I started something new: morning and evening rituals. I got the idea from some planner research--I have some goodies coming your way soon!--as well as Better Than Before, a book I reviewed on Friday. Gretchen Rubin explains that when you create a habit, you don't have to make a decision about something. So, I don't have to decide if I'm gonna get up at 5:00; I just do. Then when I'm up, I don't have to try to remember what I planned to do; I just do it.

That mentality helps me to stay on task and target in my rushed mornings and busy evenings. My bedtime timer goes off, and I don't have to decide whether or not I'll go to bed, or if I'll brush my teeth before I go to bed; I just do. 

My morning and evening rituals have helped me start and end my day in the absolute best way, and, in a spirit of vulnerability, here's what I do to wake up for the day and wind down:

Morning Ritual
Use the bathroom
Put in contacts
Floss, mouth wash, and brush teeth
Get dressed
Fix hair

Then my day begins, and I love it. All the main things are finished, and sometimes I start my day still in my workout clothes. Working from home lends itself to the joy of being smelly 'til a shower break.

Evening Ritual
Remove contacts
Brush teeth
Remove makeup
Review next day and check alarm
Read for ten minutes

By the time I lie down for bed, I am so tired I can barely keep my eyes open to read. But, currently I'm in a really good book that my friend wrote. Stay tuned to find out what it is!

What do you do to get yourself up in the morning or go to bed at night? If you don't have a routine of some kind, try a morning and evening ritual of your own, and let me know how it goes!