Honestly, I think your morning routine is the most important routine of the day. Your evening routine, however, comes in at a close second.
A good evening routine is essential for the success of your morning routine. It should remove any obstacles to getting out of bed the next day.
Your morning routine is about fueling your soul before the day begins, while your evening routine focuses on preparation and connection.
- Morning Routine Checklist + FREE Printable Workbook
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If you don’t yet have a solid morning routine, download my free morning routine workbook below. It will help you with that.
Once you have your morning routine down, you need to determine what you can add to your evening routine to set yourself up for success.
The biggest problem I hear from people who are trying to implement a morning routine is how to get to bed on time.
This is where your evening routine comes into play. Everything you do at night should support your ability to wind down before bed.
10 smart things to add to your evening routine
You likely have an evening routine for your kids already. Now it’s time to concentrate on creating one for yourself.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
1 // Set the mood
You can change the atmosphere in your home to support a healthy evening routine by doing just a few key things right before you start dinner.
- Turn down the blinds
- Turn off any overhead lights
- Turn on your lamps
- Light a candle or two
By changing the lighting, you set the mood for your home by creating a more cozy environment.
This makes it easier for you and your family to relax.
It also signals to your brain that nighttime is coming, and it’s time to wind down.
2 // Eat a home-cooked meal
Cooking at home will save you money and provide an opportunity for your family to connect. There are lots of scientific reasons to eat dinner as a family.
It leads to better family relationships, healthier eating habits, and even better grades for your kids.
We try to eat together as a family almost every single night.
Our kids love to sit around the table and tell us stories about their days at school.
Sometimes, we liven things up with a fun game to get the conversations flowing.
This habit has definitely improved our relationship with our kids.
3 // Clean the kitchen
This might sound crazy, but a clean kitchen makes me feel like I can accomplish anything.
When I wake up to a dirty kitchen, I feel like I’m already starting my day behind schedule.
This is one of those things I’ve been trying extra hard to get done each night before bed. Most of the time I do it right after we eat dinner.
The kids help with the dishes, which is a huge bonus. Click here for tips on how to keep your house clean when you have kids.
Before we turn out the kitchen lights, we load the dishwasher, put any leftovers away in the fridge, and wipe down the tabletop and counters.
This makes it super easy to come downstairs the next morning and brew a cup of coffee or make breakfast.
4 // Pick up toys
Sometime before your kids start their bedtime routines, set aside some time for them to clean up any toys they played with before dinner.
This includes their bedrooms and any common areas where they might have played. Teach them to pitch in by cleaning up their mess.
I’m telling you, it makes a world of difference to wake up to a clean and tidy space. Messy, cluttered homes cause more stress than you realize.
Who needs added stress in the morning? Not me!
Give yourself the gift of waking up to a calm, quiet house – the perfect environment for a soothing morning routine.
5 // Prepare lunches
This is one of the easiest ways to save time in the morning, especially if you work outside of the home or have kids in school.
My husband does this too, so he can quickly grab his lunch in the morning before he heads out the door.
Sometime after dinner, usually while my kids are getting ready for bed, I will make their sandwiches for the next day and throw them in the fridge.
This allows them to easily grab what they need for their lunchboxes in the morning while I am upstairs getting dressed for the day.
Even my kindergartener puts together his own lunch box in the morning. He knows what he is allowed to take, and he packs it himself.
6 // Set out clothes
I don’t always do this, but setting out your clothes the night before reduces the number of decisions you need to make in the morning.
This will definitely help you get out the door faster. If working out is part of your morning routine, you should set out your gym clothes the night before as well.
Whatever you can do to make your life easier in the morning is worth adding to your evening routine.
7 // Check your calendar
Before you go to bed at night, make note of what appointments you have upcoming and check in with your to-do list for the next day.
I usually map out my week ahead of time, so I know exactly what I need to accomplish before the week begins.
As a busy mom with a family of five, I require a bit of flexibility, so I typically finalize my to-do list for each day the night before.
Even if you plan out your entire week at once, it is still smart to remind yourself of what needs to be done the next day.
8 // Connect with your family
If you have time left between dinner and bedtime, use that opportunity to connect further with your husband or your kids.
Play a board game, go on a walk, do a devotion together, or watch a movie.
I know your days are long and stressful, but human connection is what makes life worth living.
If your kids are still young and not in school yet, put them to bed early and use this time to talk with your husband about your day and listen to him tell you about his.
It is so important to prioritize time for your marriage after you have kids, and your evening routine is the perfect time to fit that in.
9 // Unplug and unwind
Try to resist the urge to camp out on the couch in front of Netflix or scroll social media all night long.
If you want to do that, make it intentional and set a time limit.
Otherwise, put the phone down and pay attention to the people around you or give yourself a chance to wind down with a little self-care.
Take a bath, read a book, get busy with your hubby… whatever it is that will help you relax before bed – do that!
Those things are much more effective at telling your brain it’s time to slow down than staring at a screen for too long before bed.
10 // Go to bed on time
Last, but not least, if you want to be successful at waking up early to implement a good morning routine, you have to get enough sleep.
Decide what time you need to get to bed in order to wake up at the time you desire.
Then, make sure you have enough time to complete your evening routine before your bedtime.
If it’s tough for you to make it to bed on time, set an alarm to remind you that it’s time to go get ready for bed.
Make it your goal to be in bed and turn the lights off 15 minutes before you’d like to be asleep.
Now, it’s your turn
An evening routine is super important when it comes to a successful morning routine. A good day starts the night before.
Make it as easy as possible to implement your morning routine and start your day off on a good note by adding these things to your evening routine:
- Set the mood
- Eat a home-cooked meal
- Clean the kitchen
- Pick up toys
- Prepare lunches
- Set out clothes
- Check your calendar
- Connect with your family
- Unplug and unwind
- Go to bed on time