Faith Arrows use God's word to point you to Him. They are devotionals that share a story and encouragement on how we can apply the scripture to our lives. The purpose of Faith Arrows is to point you to Jesus and help you grow in your walk with Him.
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A successful day starts the night before. It really does. Realizing this truth and putting it into action has been life changing for me.
At the end of last week, I started to look over the previous week by asking “Did I meet my goals for the week?” I answered no to that question several times as I looked over my weekly goals. It was a busier week but I also realized a pattern. I did not plan my days the night before. This impacted how my week went.
In April of last year, I completed the Make Over Your Evenings online course by Crystal Paine. In the course, Crystal encouraged us to come up with an evening routine. In this routine, we were instructed to include five things that help us be ready for the next day and also help us wind down for sleep.
Since taking this course, I have changed my list of things several times. Some of my originals are still working, others have been thrown out. My list has more than five things but it works well. So, what does planning the night before look like for me?
First, I make sure the kitchen is cleaned up. Often I will get this done right after dinner but sometimes because of schedule it doesn’t happen. When I wake up in the morning to a clean kitchen, I feel more energized and ready for the day.
Secondly, I clear off my phone. I look through my text, Facebook Messenger and Voxer. I respond to messages as much as I can before 8:30 pm. My goal is to turn off my phone and put it away by 8:30. My phone can consume a lot of my time so that is why I put this on my evening routine list. There are still times where I am on my phone after 8:30 because of the evening’s activities, but my goal is to put it away.
Next on my list is cleaning out my email. Last year, I read a book called 5 AM Miracle by Jeff Sanders. It is a great book that really challenged my thinking. One of my biggest takeaways was ‘Inbox Zero.’ Yes, it really does mean having zero emails in your inbox. When I sit down, I respond to any emails that I can. If there are emails that will take longer to work with, I move them into another folder such as ‘Read/Review’ or my ‘Action’ folder and respond to them at a later time. I absolutely love the feeling of a clean inbox!
Next, I look over my calendar to see what’s happening the next day. On the daily grid, I add in meetings and time sensitive ‘to dos’ first. Then, I fill in the other things I would like to accomplish. This format has helped me tremendously over the past year. It gives me a picture of how much time I really have. It helps me to be more realistic about what I can tackle in a day. This year, I am trying out a new planner called the Brilliant Life Planner. I LOVE this planner! It has been so helpful having the time blocked format.
Next, I fill out my Choose Gratitude journal for the day. It involves writing two to five things I am thankful for from the day. After I have finished with that, I spend time reading a book. Right now I am reading The Happiness Dare. Reading is very life-giving for me and helps me wind down for the night.
The next few things I do are in my bathroom/bedroom closet area. I lay out my outfit for the next day. I love this habit! When morning comes, I am often rushed to get ready before the kids need to be up for school. Now, come morning, I don’t have to think about what to wear because it’s already picked out. After completing this task, I move on washing my face, brushing my teeth, and getting into my PJ’s.
Around 9:30, Jonathan and I meet for devotions. Currently, we are using Jesus Always by Sarah Young. We also enjoy using Draw Close by Willard F. Harley, Jr. and Joyce S. Harley. This devotional time is a great time to connect. We also pray for one another before lights out at 10:00.
So, that’s what it looks like for me to get ready the night before. I want you to know I don’t always start on my evening routine on time. I don’t get everything done on my list each night. I am on my phone past 8:30 some nights. Other nights my inbox still has emails in it when I go to bed. I don’t always plan my time blocked schedule for the day. But, you can bet I will keep at this evening routine anyways. Why? Because it’s a starting place. It helps me to stay focused and set myself up for a successful day.
Does an evening routine sound like something you would like to start? Maybe it feels overwhelming to think about. I highly recommend taking Crystal Paine’s online course called Make Over Your Evenings.
What ways do you set yourself up for a successful day? Do you have an evening routine? If so, please comment below. I would love to hear what you include in your evening routine.
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