Create a Christian Miracle Morning
intentional living Organization

How to create a Morning Action Plan for a Peaceful and Purposeful Morning

A Quick Backstory

I distinctly remember the first morning I rose with intention before 5 am to change the trajectory of my life.  It wasn’t easy. 

We were stationed in Stuttgart, Germany.  My children were 4, 6, & 8. I was teaching full time at a local DoDEA school with a 35-minute commute one way.  My Superman was working/soldiering 12+ hour days. We were in full swing of wrestling season and the ONLY day off we ever had was a Sunday to catch up on laundry, housework, grocery shopping, and food prepping.  

I don’t write this for us to play a comparison game about who has more responsibilities or whose life is more challenging (that’s Satan nagging at you).  I write this with love in my heart because I know what it’s like to not want to face the day.

I was exhausted and running on fumes. I was frustrated. I was overwhelmed. I was hiding deep anger and resentment over my life.  And I knew something had to change or I was going to break, and I don’t just mean those black pants that were pulling at the seams across my rear-end. (That’s another blog post)

I know this feeling of dread that happens when we think about rising early.  I discovered that I didn’t want to rise early to face the day because I didn’t want to rise early to face my life.

I didn’t want to face the obligations in front of me: a struggling marriage, a struggling motherhood, a struggling woman.

I was running on fumes because I was not filling my own cup. I was not sitting at the feet of Jesus listening like Mary.  I was running around like a crazy Martha and angry at everyone else for “stealing” my time that I refused to make for myself.  Time alone with God, time to work on my dreams, time to exercise and time to create healthy habits for myself and our home.

I didn’t want to rise early to face the day because I didn’t want to rise early to face my life.

Facing the reality we don’t want to see is never easy.  But, we cannot throw off all that’s hindering us or the sin that’s entangling us if we do NOT face our realities.  I wrote more about this when I shared how I simplified my space.

How do we Create

Peaceful and Purposeful Mornings?

 

1.|  Start Less Stressed.

I don’t want to wake up stressed and on edge thinking of all the things that I must do every single morning.  I’ve been there.  This life led me to frustration, anger, and shouting matches with my Superman and those sweet blessings.

1.| Turn off the notifications on your smartphone.  Nothing shouts at us more than those little red circles on the phone beckoning us to answer all the people out there.

2.| Create rhythms + routines to set designated times for your tasks during the day.  This creates time focus on being present for the Creator and yourself first.

3.| Start with silence and gratitude.  Take in a few minutes of calm and quiet.  Thank the Creator for your blessings.

4.| Forget social media right away.  I promise you, sis, those folks can wait.

5.| Rest at the feet of Jesus. Start your day in the Word.  Recognize who He is and who you are as His child.

6.| Get crazy intentional about simplifying your life. 

 

2.| Combat the Unseen Enemy for Your Mornings

To reclaim our mornings, we may have to wade through the Enemy’s lies.  I swallowed the lie Satan fed me about who I was and what I could do.  To manifest the fruits of the Spirit in our lives (Galatians 5:22-23), we must weed through the Enemy’s malicious whispers.

Lies that we may believe:

1.| I am too busy to get organized and to have time for myself.

2.| I am too exhausted to rise any earlier.

3.| I can just read | pray | journal | exercise later.

4.| Time for myself is selfish.  

5.| I’m not a morning person.  I’m a night owl.

6.| What’s the point in rising early?  I’ll never accomplish anything.

Part of my Christian Miracle Morning routine became to combat the lies of the Enemy with Godly Affirmations.  I have learned to recognize the Father’s voice because I’m spending time with Him daily.

To practice self-control and reclaim our mornings we have to be focused and intentional with our time.

CREATE A CHRISTIAN MIRACLE MORNING .png

3.| Use a MAP

The MAP is a Morning Action Plan.

When we have a MAP we know exactly where we’re going and how to get there.  Even in the case of a detour, we can still arrive at the destination with less stress than if we’re just wandering in the wilderness. {Side note: I much prefer to be marching around Jericho with a purpose than wandering in the Wilderness in forty years of stuck!}

To combat the hundreds of mindless time-sucking choices I would make each morning, I use a Morning Action Plan (MAP) to ensure I’m ready with a plan in place to save my thoughts for more important tasks (like how I’m appointed to serve others as God’s handiwork).

I rise early and give myself a Power Hour daily.

When we have a MAP, we can create an hour to fill our cups so that we can serve others better.  A simple plan creates a successful morning.

 

Here’s a peek at my typical morning routine.

morning routine.png

 

What to Include in Your Morning Action Plan

  1. Workout.  *I use at home fitness programs which I highly recommend for anyone!  You can find the programs I use HERE.
  2. Podcast or Reading Plan. *This is usually a personal development book/podcast to help me with various areas I want to improve.
  3. Reflections.  *I use my “In the Word” printable to dig deeper into my Bible study and usually reserve this block for reflections from a Podcast.
  4. Mindset/Affirmation. *Who does God say I am?
  5. MAP.  *Which tasks must be done BEFORE I leave my house for the day?
  6. NAP. *Which tasks must I do in the evening to be prepared for the morning?
  7. Serving Others. *How will I serve others today?
  8. Gratitude. *Offer thanks always!
  9. Make Good Choices. *I know I have weak areas.  When I write down my intentions for when the “temptations” come, I am much more likely to overcome them.

map 1

Pick up Your MAP

Sister, having a MAP can be done in a simple notebook.  I know because I did that for years.  One morning I woke up and thought, I don’t want to write these categories every day.  Writing out these tasks and drawing the boxes were taking precious minutes.

I wanted something more efficient.  I am all about simple + efficient tools that save precious time so we can live out our purpose.  (That’s what a simple life is all about after all).  So, I create a downloadable Morning Action Plan for you too.

open this tool

 

 

 Just Get Out of Bed

I’ve had women write to me and say, I need help to get OUT OF THE BED. 

Here are Five Morning Motivation Tips to help you rise early, get out of bed, and seize your day.  Having this Morning Action Plan in place will help you!

1.| Set your intentions the night before.

When you go to bed, visualize what you’re going to do in the morning: Wake up FEELING REFRESHED is #1 on the list (Drinking coffee comes in a close second).

Mornings go WAAAYYYY better with this mindset than if we go to bed complaining about what we do NOT want to do in the morning.  Your mindset the night before REALLY changes the way you feel and operate in the morning. I used my 10-minute power pockets on Sunday to set up my clothes for the week so that I am prepared each day.  

2.| Keep your alarm clock across the room.

Turn off those social media notifications and put your phone on the charger across the room.  By doing BOTH of these things, you MUST get out of bed AND you eliminate those distractions for the intentions you set the night before.  YES, I am SERIOUS.  It’s way too often we are sucked straight into social media and our intentions get left behind.

3.|  Listen to Something Motivational!

To focus on a mindset shift, we need to change the input.  When I first began these intentional mornings, the early morning thoughts usually sound like this:

  • I need coffee.
  • Why is that alarm clock across the room?
  • I could sleep for 10 more minutes.
  • I could sleep for 30 more minutes.
  • Did I set the coffee last night? I don’t want to do this today.

Christ said, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45).  Paul also writes about this in Romans 12:1-2.   You can see the power of Godly Affirmations that I use right here.  Change the input, change the mindset.

We MUST combat these lazy (eh, I mean crazy) early morning thoughts. So, I listen to several inspiration podcasts in the mornings while I’m doing mindless activities like brushing my teeth, getting dressed, etc. so I can fill my mind with goodness while doing the stuff that requires very little mindpower to do.

The mindless activities I’m talking about are things like brushing your teeth,  washing your face, and drinking a full glass of water before you ever leave the bathroom in the morning.

These activities require no thinking capabilities… you know, you can be in zombie mode and make these happen!  This is why I LOVE listening to the motivational podcasts while I’m doing these.  I’m telling you, sister, I do ALL of this before I ever leave my bathroom in the morning.

4.|  Get Dressed in Your Workout Clothes Before you Leave the Bathroom.

Put those workout clothes (and shoes) in the bathroom and get dressed BEFORE doing anything else.

Why?  By this time, you are ready.  There’s something about dressing fully and putting on workout clothes that reminds us that we are intentional.  It’s a simple shift that helps create a huge impact in the way we begin our days.

5.| Make Your Bed

So many studies link making the bed to more efficiency, productivity, and better habits.  While I don’t think the Lord cares whether you have straight or lumpy bed covers, He does care about your peace and the life you’re living.  Making the bed says, “I’ve done something productive today that I set my mind to do.”  It triggers the brain into helping you follow through with your intentions and your power hour.

Stick with Your Morning Power Hour by Following the Action Plan

Having a Morning Action Plan helps really create intention.  A simple plan to know exactly what we’re going to focus to make a major shift for the day.  Keep it.  Set fierce boundaries around this.

christian map

open this tool

 

Other Helpful Tools

To be able to focus on ourselves each morning and not feel guilty, we may need a few things in place.  I know you, girl.  That house, that job, those kids are all vying for your attention too.  Let’s talk about boundaries for these.

1.| Simplify Your Space.  Once I got rid of the clutter hanging about my mind stopped racing about what needed to be different.  There’s a huge correlation between clutter and cortisol (your stress hormone).  I have a FREE DOWNLOAD for that here.

2.| Implement a Chore Chart.  One of the very first Spirit-led strategies I began in my life was to bring order and peace into our home with solid routines and focused habits to restructure the chores.

3.| Set Fierce Boundaries.  You’ve promised yourself that you’re going to do this.  This means fierce boundaries in other areas of your life too:  bedtime, social media, creating menus, etc.  Evaluate other areas in your life to determine what needs to change so that you can reclaim your mornings.  Remind yourself every morning that you are made for more (John 10:10).

 


THE STARTING POINT

I know what it’s like to start from scratch when we’re ready to change our lives to simplify and live intentionally for the Creator.   And without the right tools, it can be almost overwhelming.

When I first moved into the realm of living as His handiwork I found difficulty balancing contentment and complacency.  I knew I was called to live more abundantly, but how did I do that living in godliness with contentment?

I want to help you begin this journey without the struggle. If you’re ready for more resources, then read on here.

learn more

Stephanie

Daughter of the King.
Veteran's Wife. Mother of Three Blessings.
Lover of Lemons, Salad, Coffee & the Simple Life
Learning to use the Mess to make His Message.

Binge Read for more blessings

5 Comments

  1. […] from my family to spend a few minutes in reflection.  Here’s what I found: I missed my Morning Power Hour, I’ve been eating terribly, and workouts have been intermittent (to say it graciously).  […]

  2. MamaK says:

    Where is showering on the MAP? Do you do it right after the workout? Super serious, as fitting showering in a is a bit of a source of anxiety for me and I won’t be able to confidently go about the rest of my day feeling stinky and gross after working out, especially if I have to go out in public.

    1. Dauntless with Dignity says:

      I shower right after my workout before I wake up my children!

  3. […] a Morning Action Plan (MAP) to ensure I’m ready for the next day. You can read more about my Morning Action Plan here.  The Morning Action Plan comes with a free printable so make sure you snag that over there! […]

  4. […] your toes! I might step on them for just a second.) Before you can begin to rise early and get a Morning Action Plan in place, you must have the right mindset.  I want you to forget every label you’ve placed […]

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