Last week, I had a little incident with our alarm system.
My husband happened to be out of town, and the keypad battery (our system is not hardwired) died while I was asleep. The good news is that the alarm system still totally worked, despite the keypad battery failure. The bad news is that while I was trying to replace the batteries, the motion sensor in our living room totally detected me rummaging through our media cabinet, trying to get fresh batteries.
The alarm went off, the company almost immediately called me, and of course I forgot the “safe word” that I was supposed to know to tell them that they did not need to send back up. The cop that arrived just a few minutes later was very kind (after I presented my ID and proof that I actually lived here and did not break in).
I was telling this story to a friend at work and she immediately asked me a question about the story that I was not expecting…
“You don’t go downstairs in the morning until you’re completely ready for work?”
I had never put too much thought into how I get ready in the morning, but J and I both typically get completely ready for our day before we make the trek down the stairs and into our kitchen for coffee. It got me thinking about the house and how floor plan/design can impact how you operate daily and how the design and details of your home can totally impact your routines. As an interior designer with a Master’s degree, I can point to countless studies that show that there is a psychology to the interior environment (and I’ve even talked about it in past posts), but I also think there are countless anecdotal examples in pop culture right now that support this theory as well. Take the Marie Kondo show on Netflix for example. Or the way that Erin and Ben Napier are transforming their community on HGTV’s Hometown (can you tell I’ve been watching TV alone while J is out of town)?
So with that, I’ve started thinking about things I want to do as part of my evening and morning routines, but struggle with or have struggled with in the past. I’m confident that a few simples design changes around the house could totally impact my habits, but I want to test the theory for a week and report back. Here are the goals I want to accomplish each morning/evening:
- Wake up without immediately jumping into Instagram/emails (and then laying in bed for an hour even when I’m awake)! This makes me so late, and I’m not getting any additional sleep.
- Consistently spend a little time with God.
- Get a workout in!
- Take better care of my skin.
- Get out the door on time.
Based on that list, I’m going to try a few simple changes to my space for at least a week to see if I can change how my mornings look.
FIND A HOME FOR MY CELL PHONE
… That is not my bedside table. J already does this. He puts his phone (with the alarm turned on!) in our master bath so that when the alarm goes off, he has to physically get UP our of bed to turn it off. While I’ve thought about doing this before, I’ve never fully committed to it, because the thought of waking up that way sounds so miserable. Change doesn’t happen without a little discomfort though, so I’m going to go for it. Bonus – it means that when I get in bed I can’t look at it for hours past my bedtime, letting the blue light keep me up. Maybe that will help me sleep better and be more rested when the 5 am alarm goes off.
KEEP SURFACES CLEAR OF CLUTTER
…except for my devotional, prayer journal, and a lamp. I think the lamp is the key here. I don’t have one right now, but I think having one to turn on the morning (as soon as my alarm goes off), could help me wake up faster. I’ve been putting off buying one because I didn’t want to spend money on something that I would want to change when we go through the whole process of designing the bedroom in the future. While I still basically agree with that logic, I think we can afford to spend a few bucks on a cute lamp from Target that will do the trick in the mean time.
FIND DEDICATED HOMES FOR HABIT FORMING-ITEMS
I’m starting a 12 week exercise program that I’ve done before (and loved!) when we lived in an apartment. Now that we don’t have a five minute commute (like we did in the apartment), I have to get up a bit earlier to fit the workout in and still make it to work on time. I sleep in some of my workout clothes, but having the rest that I can’t sleep in (tennis shoes and sports bra, I’m looking at you!) in a spot I can find with my eyes closed will hopefully help me to push through on mornings when I have no motivation.
For my skin, I want to take a note from Sherry from Young House Love, who keeps her “woo woo face routine” stuff in the kitchen (if you don’t follow Sherry, you should. I’m a long time follower and take her recommendations very seriously, because she is a genius)… I think I’m going to start doing the same. When I come downstairs in the morning, groggy and half-asleep, for my workout, my bottle of water (essential for skin health) will be in the cabinet by the fridge and my my roller will be in the freezer, perfect for waking me up right before my workout!
Last but not least, I’m going to try and carve out a space in the fridge to put my lunch (and breakfast) when applicable, so I’m not trying to pack lunch while running out the door! Trying to get lunches together in the morning almost always takes longer than I plan for, so hopefully leaving space for this and forcing myself to do this at night will help with that process!
I’m going to give this whole thing a week and do my very best to be consistent (even when I’m tired)! I’ll report back and let you know how it goes… anyone else have any tips for productive evenings and smoother mornings?