Planning to Live in the Moment

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The word “thrive” has been popping up in my life a lot lately.  I’ve seen it everywhere from blog posts to billboards.  I’m starting to think that maybe God wants a little more out of me than he has been getting lately.

Not so long ago I told a friend that every day I feel like I am waking up on a horse that is already off and running, and no matter how hard I try I can’t seem to grasp the reigns.

I was tired of waking up to chaos every morning and ready to make some changes.  Change like that is tough and slow when you still have a toddler who doesn’t sleep well, but even small things can make a difference.


I really like the idea of being able to live in the moment and bloom where I am planted.  But the funny (and ironic) thing about enjoying the moments as they come is that it requires some advanced planning.

Here’s why.

Planning to live in the moment.  We all want to spend our time living in the moment and enjoying life.  But the ironic thing is that we actually have to plan ahead to make it happen more often.

It’s a typical school morning.

Let’s say some random person (it’s me) finally is able to pull herself out of bed after only hitting the snooze button once.  Feeling super proud of herself, she stumbles out to the kitchen for coffee.

Except–oops–she forgot to set up the pot the night before.  Now she has to make coffee before drinking her morning coffee!  (She manages to measure out the coffee grinds, but turns it on before adding water because she got pulled away.)

The kids are up and headed down the steps.  Hey, they got themselves up!  But the 10-year-old has no clean pants to wear.  The 8-year-old can’t find his lunchbox anywhere.  Oh, and the 11-year-old did his homework, but he’s already left for school with his father and there sits the homework on the counter.

The 1-year-old has a dirty diaper, and now you realize you can’t change him and get to school on time.

Now, I know I am rarely going to have mornings when nothing goes wrong.  But most of those situations could have been prevented with a little bit of routine and planning.

The night before routine.

The best way to make sure my morning runs smoothly is to plan it out before my head ever hits the pillow.  I have a checklist of things everyone needs to do, and it looks like this:

  • all kids complete homework, have it checked by a parent (if necessary), and put it INSIDE their backpacks
  • all kids prep a lunch
  • the dishwasher is loaded and run
  • a load of laundry is set to wash overnight
  • clothes for the morning are laid out
  • the coffee pot is set up to make delicious wake up juice

It’s also important to have a plan for the morning.

The plan for the kids each morning looks like this:

  • get dressed
  • eat breakfast
  • pack their lunch
  • brush/potty/wash faces
  • get into car with backpacks and lunch boxes

live in the moment

Meanwhile, I do these 4 things:

  • empty the dishwasher
  • change out laundry (I need to do 3 loads per day to keep it going smoothly)
  • make the bed (it looks much nicer and is my space for folding laundry)
  • plan out supper

I have found that if I only do these 4 things in the morning and nothing else (aside from monitoring kid activities, of course), the house will still run pretty smoothly.  Ideally, I will also do some cleaning, too.  But on those days where everything is just crazy and I can do these 4 things, we will be fine.

Back in June, I purchased Money Saving Mom’s Make Over Your Mornings course.  It was a great course both because of its wonderful content, but also because it is so encouraging!  Since we are getting back into the school year, it’s the perfect time for me to review it and get more ideas for my own effort to live in the moment.

If you haven’t checked out Make Over Your Mornings yet, I really encourage you to give it a try.  I was worried that it would be geared towards morning people (which I am obviously NOT), but in reality, it is full of information that everyone can benefit from.

Not sure it will work for you?  No worries!  There is a 100% money back guarantee if you find that the course doesn’t meet your needs.

What kind of routines do you have in place to help you plan to live in the moment?

  1. Fabulous resources and testimony. visiting you this week from Motivation Monday. Feel free to visit back anytime.

  2. Your mornings sound a lot like mine! Towards the end of the summer term life was a little (okay, a lot!) chaotic. I’m determined to get back into better habits when the kids go back to school… Being organised the night before really does make a huge difference 🙂 #sundaystars

    • We totally lose most of our routines in the summer time (I do manage to keep a shortened version of these morning and evening routines, but generally chaos reigns). We might not like the whole going back to school thing, but we sure need the routine back! Thanks for the visit.

  3. I don’t have kids yet, but I totally do these things and have a pre-bed routine that makes mornings easier. I don’t see how people make it through without one!

    • I don’t think there’s anything wrong with working ahead a little bit! If you’re ready for it and it fits your learning style, I’d go for it. I like to do a couple of Make Over Your Morning lessons per day, myself. 🙂

  4. I purchased this course and I have really enjoyed it. I am still working through it, but what I have learned has really help me get my mornings off to a better start. It is worth the money because as a Mom I need all the help I can get to get my mornings off to a great start! Great Post! I’m visiting from Me, Coffee & Jesus

  5. Hi Jamie, you have done great putting your course to work for you. My kids are a little older now, but I remember the school days very well, the chaos and the relieve after everyone was were they supposed to be… Since I started working, many moons ago, I adopted an evening routine and have kept it up all those years. Whenever I forget to do something it sure throws things out of sink . Stopping by from Around the Fire Pit

    • Sites “aren’t trusted” when you click on this site… Liked what I have read so far on “Medium Sized Family”. Jamie, I love your sense of humor in dealing with it all. My children are grown now, but I had 3 under the age of 4. I remember the days of almost completing tasks very well. The children grow up way too fast and its sounds like you are making the most of it. Love to see that! Blessings to you and yours.

  6. I am definitely going to check this out. I’ve blogged a lot about getting organized and have even tried to follow things like FlyLady where it’s about setting habits and small routines to get things done without it seeming like an all day task, but I just don’t follow through like I should – and I need to. Thanks for sharing this! #FridayFunday

  7. Fabulous tips. If every parent did these things before school, all my students would arrive ready to learn! (By the way, when I click your pinterest share button, the image does not appear… Thought you’d want to know.) Thanks for linking up to Blogger Brags. I have pinned your post to the Blogger Brags Pinterest board.

  8. Yes, routine is so necessary for me to function most well! I find that when things are too chaotic before I get to bed, then my mornings are ever more chaotic and I struggle the entire day and/or I don’t get as much done as I need to because I’m spending my time taking care of things that could have been handled the night before. Sometimes, though, I consciously leave things at night and just know/plan to take care of them in the morning, which also helps me out! 🙂

  9. I don’t make my bed, but the four things really does help. Mine are laundry, dishes, a 15 minute quick clean, and prepping supper (like taking meat out of the freezer). Makes such a big difference.

  10. I know because of my pain problems I need 30 minutes to stretch/ yoga to get up and moving in the morning. II build in enough time to allow me to accomplish this.