What you do in the evening definitely affects how your morning goes. I'm telling you, it's not about you personality type. It's about setting yourself up for success, for joy. It’s about giving yourself the gift of a good solid start to the day, so you can handle what the rest of the day throws at you. So why wouldn't you want to set yourself up for success, right?
It's really important to make all your routines work for you and your life. What works for someone else may not work for you. I hope that through hearing what my (very flexible) evening routine looks like, you find what works for you!
In This Episode, Allie Discusses:
How an evening routine will help ease your morning routine.
The importance of making your routine work for you and your life. Don’t feel pressured to copy what works for someone else, because it may not work for you!
What a general evening routine looks like in the Casazza house.
Simple decisions you can make during your evening routine that will help relieve stress for the next day (What to wear, how to do your hair, when to work out, etc.)
How to create your own evening routine.
Mentioned in this Episode:
Your Simplified Evening Routine (This is FREE! Don’t miss out!)
Episode 028: A Simplified Laundry Routine
WANT TO SET YOUR MORNING UP FOR SUCCESS?
What you do in the evening definitely affects how your morning goes. I'm telling you, it's not about you personality type. It's about setting yourself up for success, for joy. I created a FREE guide to help you figure out what you can get done during your evening routine so you can make the next day easier! And you know I am all about making my days easier!
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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and i know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is the The Purpose Show.
Hey, beautiful! I am going to be talking about having an evening routine in this episode.
I personally think that the morning routine has the most impact. I guess I feel like it's the most important thing when it comes to your routines, because no matter what happens at night, you can always start over tomorrow. Also, for the current place I am in my life, a lot of the time evenings just don't go exactly as planned, and a lot of the time it’s because I'm exhausted. There was a lot going on. I'm running a company and homeschooling. I find that mornings are more in my control.
I've heard some people say the opposite and I used to feel the opposite, so I really think it's just about where you're at in your life. But what you do in the evening definitely affects how your morning goes. So why wouldn't you want to set yourself up for success, right?
It's not that I don't have an evening routine or anything; it's just that I'm really, really big and really rigid with my morning routine. My evening routine is becoming more rigid, but it's definitely something that will ebb and flow a little bit more than a morning routine.
But I've been asked about what our evening routine looks like a lot of times. We do have one, so I'm definitely going to open up and share what that will look like with you today. And then also I am going to get into a little bit at the end of what you can do to create your own evening routine.
This is one of those things where, depending on what type of learner you are, it really helps to look at this on paper and write it out for yourself. I put together a free download for you. You can fill it out on your computer or print it out, depending on your preference. It has a checklist of what an evening routine can do for you and also has some space with prompts to help you brainstorm out loud with yourself what your routine should be. Because everybody's life is different.
And that's the other thing I wanted to say before diving in. I think it's really important to make all your routines work for you and your life. You have a different schedule than I do. You have different things on your plate than I do. You're in a different season of life than I am most likely. But I think it can help to see what someone else is doing and then to copy some things and gain inspiration from other things. I always liked to learn this way, by hearing what someone else does, because it gets the wheels turning for me and helps me find a place, a jumping off point, of what to do for my own self.
Let's dive in. I am going to share what our families’ typical evening routine looks like.
Our evening routine starts after dinner. After we eat dinner - whether we got takeout, cooked a big meal from scratch, or we just ate leftovers, whatever it looks like - after we eat dinner, we start with meal cleanup and the evening routine keeps unfolding from there.
One thing that's important to note is that everybody in our family helps. When our kids were very, very small babies and really, really little toddlers it wasn't this way, but we also didn't really have a super rigid evening routine at that point. It was like survival mode. Now that we have a nine-year-old, a seven-year-old, a six-year-old and a three-year-old, things are different.
Our evening routine starts with cleanup. Everybody pitches in. Even Emmett, the youngest, helps pick things up. (For those of you with really little ones, it gets better and you're not always going to be the one doing everything.). So, like I said, we start with our meal cleanup - dishes (dishes are the kids’ job, I don’t do that anymore, which is amazing) or utensils or throwing away packages if we got takeout that night - whatever it is.
And then general pickup, wiping things down, going through the house and doing a general cleanup. I've shared before that we have a few different times in a day where we do a once-over of the house a 5/10-minute clean sweep because we're a home all the time.
Brian and I work from home and run the business from home. We have a home office. We even work out at home; we've got a gym in the garage. We homeschool the four kids. We're home all the time and there's a lot happening in our house.
For those of you who don't work at home, or homeschool, you don't realize how much mess and life is happening outside of your home when are doing the typical job and school thing. When everything is happening at home, it makes for a lot more mess, so we definitely have normal times of picking up throughout the day. I like to center those around meals, so pretty much every time we eat a meal or the kids will get a snack around 10:30 in the morning. Anytime there's food involved, we'll say, “Hey, I’m setting a timer for five minutes. Everybody pick up what you see,” and everyone picks up.
But at night it's a big, “Okay, let's get the house cleaned up for the next day.” It's mainly the kitchen, the floors, things that might have slipped under the couch, or been set down by Emmett that should have been put away, our entryway and our bathrooms.
It's not like we've got cleaning supplies out and we're wiping down the baseboards, detailing the bathrooms or anything. It's just a pick up. I'm straightening things up so that we're starting the next day with a clean slate. After the kitchen, the dishes are done, the kitchen is wiped down and general pickup is done, we also do the downstairs bathroom one more time.
That bathroom takes a hit, let me tell you. There's a man and three boys in this house and I'm singling them out because I don't care what you say, they are messier than girls. It's the main bathroom. It’s the only bathroom downstairs. If guests are over or if Emmett has to go potty, his little special potty seat that goes on top of the regular toilet seat is in there. There's a lot going on. I definitely, definitely give it a wipe down every time I'm in there because it's always taking a beating.
So, we give the downstairs bathroom a wipe down, switch out the hand towel with a fresh one, and give it another once over to make sure it looks good before we head upstairs.
Once that's all done then we head upstairs and it's time to get the kids ready for bed with showers, baths, and brush their teeth. For showers and baths, Emmett in particular always needs a bath. He needs a bath every day. If we ever do skip it it’s because we were out and he fell asleep and it's past bedtime and he just goes in bed, but he pretty much needs a bath every single day. He's very dirty. He's just a really wild little guy. He's constantly climbing under things and getting into stuff and he's just a dirty little guy.
Usually, though, I have the older kids on an every other day rotation. Bella will shower while the younger two bathe. And then the next day, Leland will shower while Emmett bathes. Everyone's getting cleaned every other day and that works for us, for where we're at right now. We'll see what happens when they're teenagers and we’ve got all that going on.
The kids use my bathroom. Although we have two bathrooms upstairs, they use my bathroom because our tub is amazing and huge. I put them in there and then I can clean our bathroom. It doesn’t usually need it very much, but I'll run the Swiffer Vac and pick up any hairs that fall on the floor. That’s one of my pet peeves. It's super gross to me when there's hair on the bathroom floor. I'll wipe down the counters. Sometimes we'll get into the cabinets and do a little purge, make sure everything looks okay. It's something productive to do while the kids are getting clean.
If the bathroom is fine, I will fold that load of laundry that I started early that morning if I haven't gotten it done yet. Like I shared in the laundry episode (which I'll link to in the show notes) I start a load of laundry in the morning and then by the time I go to bed that night it is dried, folded and put away. That’s how I stay on top of the laundry.
After all the showering and bathing, laundry or bathroom cleanup is done, the kids get ready for bed. We do teeth and all that.
Then usually we choose tomorrow’s clothes so that it's one less decision in the morning. The kids like to get themselves dressed. I don't care if they match perfectly all the time unless we are going somewhere where it matters. I'll let them choose their outfits. Then we get ready to get tucked in. Story, prayers, conversation, catch up over the day.
Sometimes I'll feel like one kid in particular maybe had a rough day. Maybe they just couldn't get things right, were in trouble a lot, or felt a little disconnected. Then I'll go in there and specifically spend a few extra minutes with them and help get their hearts back where it belongs with me. Speak life over them, pray with them, and whatever's needed there.
Honestly a lot of the time this kind of gets skipped over. We always pray with them, but sometimes it's just been a day and I just need to be alone, so we'll skip the story and just pray together and talk about the day real quick. And then it's “good night” and lights out.
But usually we do spend time at bedtime and it's a really sweet time.
The younger kids go to bed at eight. The older kids go to bed at nine. We have that difference of time and usually, though, everyone's in their room. I'll say goodnight to the older two, even though they’re not going to sleep yet. They usually go together in Bella's room and read books, talk a little bit, or build Lego's quietly. They have this unwinding time for about 45 minutes to an hour before it's time for them to go to bed. Then Leland will go into the boys' room, with his brother already asleep, and climb up to the top bunk and go to bed at his bedtime and Bella will stay in her room and go to sleep at her bedtime too.
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Once the kids are in bed, Brian and I will either finish anything that's lingering in the house if for some reason there's still something left over that needs to be done.
Every once in a while the workload will get really heavy, especially during launches. When there's a launch in our business, it means that we're releasing something new or something not new, but that's been closed. Some of my courses are not available all the time. Maybe they've been closed for months and then we'll reopen it. Different weeks like that in the business are a lot heavier workload. Sometimes the house just gets a little extra behind during those times because we're both working and balancing school, and things get behind for those 5-10 days, depending on the launch.
Sometimes we need to finish up some things in the house or the business. Sometimes we'll pull out our laptops and just sit on the couch together, have a glass of wine and talk, play music and wrap up any work.
But usually we're pretty done and all the stuff during the day has been done. Usually it's very rigid and the same, where we work in the morning and then we balance school. Brian does science, math and history, and I'll do language arts, reading and creative writing and all that with the kids in the afternoon.
Typically, we're all done with everything and we will sit and spend time together, watch Netflix. On Sunday nights, we have our weekly meeting where we go over everything together. So, it just depends on what night it is and what's going on in our lives during that month.
Before I go to bed I usually pick out what I'm going to wear the next day again, just because it's reducing morning decisions. I've shared before - and I feel like it always sounds a little dramatic, but I'm just being honest - I'm really, really an introvert. Dealing with decisions, people, and expelling energy, really has an effect on me. I have to be really, really careful with my energy levels and my emotional wellbeing. I've learned that I am kind of a sensitive person in that way. I have noticed since I turned 30 (I'm 31 now) I really started to just become “okay” with that about myself. I'm just careful with myself.
I try to make as many decisions as I can the night before, so that I start the morning out really well, not having to make a bunch of decisions and things like “What am I going to do with my hair? What am I going to wear? Am I going to work out this morning or not?”
They might seem trivial or like they don't matter, but they are decisions and those kinds of things just drain all my energy. The last thing I want is to make decisions, a bunch of decisions, in the morning and kind of dive into my day, and then before I even really start my work day, I'm already depleted. That's happened before and it's a bad feeling. So, I like to pick out what I'm going to wear the next day and sit it on top of my dresser.
I set my alarm. I make sure that my Bible, my journal, a pen and whatever book I'm currently reading is laid out for me downstairs in the area where I have my quiet time.
I also put my exercise clothes right by the toilet in my bathroom because when my alarm goes off I always get straight out of bed to avoid sleeping in. I go pee and then I will slip on my workout clothes before I head downstairs just because it helps wake me up a little bit more when I'm out of it.
Then I'm ready for Pilates later in the morning, which is a part of my morning ritual most days.
That's pretty much it. I usually go to bed around 10, but it just depends. This past week I have been extra tired. I don't know if you have your husband or kids around, so sorry if you do, but during PMS I am always really extra tired and I just listen to my body during those times. In the morning when I'm doing Pilates, I'll usually choose “stretch” workouts versus “feel the burn” workouts. I listen to my body and just stretch it out, do lots of breathing. It's definitely more like yoga than Pilates during that week. And then I'll go to bed really early.
Actually, as I'm recording this, last week was “that week” for me. I was really tired. I really listened to my body. I hydrated a ton. I didn't have a drink on date night. I'll usually have a drink on date night or a glass of wine here and there at home during the week. I didn't have anything extra. I loaded my body up with water and ate really healthy food choices, even though I wanted to eat junk because “PMS” and I just went to bed really early every night.
I was so tired. One night I went to bed at 7:30. I don't know what it was other than just that PMS time. I was just so exhausted. I've really learned to listen to my body. I'm definitely more of a night owl by nature. I've talked so much about that before. I still feel that tendency. To me, staying up till 10:00/10:30 when I get up so early, is staying up late. When I'm rhythmically getting up early, I can't stay up later than that. It's really hard for me. I don't enjoy it anymore.
I enjoy my quiet time when the kids are in bed. I still get that time with Brian. I can watch Netflix and be alone. If I want to get something done, I can. I can still get that time, but just every once in a while, I don't want it. I'm so tired and I just want to go to sleep.
So, that was last week for me. It just depends. I really believe in listening to your body if you can. If there's not stuff that you have to do, listen to what your body needs and just go to bed if you're tired.
But I will say my evening routine is huge for me because it helps me. It helps me want to wake up in the morning. That leads me into my next section of this episode, which is how you can create your evening routine.
I encourage you to get the free download that comes with this episode. It's Your Simplified Evening Routine. It's a free download. It's really straightforward and it's going to help spell this out for you so you can work through it on your own, instead of just listening to this.
But the biggest thing is to think about what's going to set you up for a successful morning. What do you need to get done before your day gets going? Is there anything that you could do at night instead of using your morning time for it?
I used to get up in the morning and find my workout clothes, get my workout shoes on, look for socks, put deodorant on, groggily go downstairs and then not really know where anything was. I didn't want to be fumbling through drawers trying to find my Bible or trying to find my headphones so I could listen to my audio book. I didn't want the kids to wake up. It made me not want to get out of bed.
To get out of bed at 5:00/5:45/6:00 in the morning, whatever time you wake up, it takes a lot. I do get up usually pretty early. I get up between 5:00-5:45 every morning, depending on the need, how much time I want in the morning and what time I go to bed. And that takes a lot.
And so, I need to want to get out of bed. What's going to do that for you? For me, waking up and making decisions, searching for things, scrambling, that's not going to make me want to get out of bed in the morning. I think that is the biggest misconception about waking up early, that people are not setting themselves up for a morning where they're excited to get up for what's going to get you up.
For me, it’s having that quiet time when the kids are asleep or at least they're upstairs, because we have that boundary set where they need to be in their room playing until it's time for breakfast. They don't decide when my day starts. I decide when my day starts. I decide when their breakfast is served too.
Having that parental boundary, I know that I'm going to get that quiet time. I know that I'm going to get to read. I'm going to be in the Word. I'm going to get time to pray. I'm going to be able to take a walk. I'm going to be able to read a book for 20 minutes uninterrupted. Are you kidding me? That's amazing. Of course, I'll get up for that.
So just write it all out. What would you love to do? What do you need to get done at night to give yourself that gift of a great morning? And again, like I said, what's going to help you look forward to the morning?
For me, another thing is knowing that I'm going to wake up to a clean house, an empty kitchen sink, a cozy space with a blanket, my books, and journal waiting for me to have alone time in the morning and that early morning “quiet” is huge. So, I set myself up for that.
I have a blanket that I got at Target, just like a throw blanket. It's my favorite blanket in the house. I have it slung over the arm of the couch downstairs in the front room where I sit and have my quiet time every morning. It's waiting for me.
I get my mug out and I set it next to my coffee machine. I put a fresh coffee pod in there as well. All I have to do is push the button in the morning. I lay out my workout clothes. I have the house picked up. The bathrooms are clean. Things are put away and picked up. The kitchen sink is empty. The kitchen is sparkling white, clean and ready for a fresh day.
There have definitely been times where I have skipped it and for some reason or another it didn't get done. Maybe people were sick or I was just too exhausted and I chose to go to bed and neglect that. Life happened. It really sucks and I totally, totally feel the difference in my entire day. It’s not just like, “Oh, what a bummer. I woke up to a dirty house.”
It's that my morning didn't get off to the right start and that affects my mood, my mentality and what I do in my morning time. It affects the whole day. It's like a domino effect.
This really matters. I'm telling you, it's not about being Type A because I am for sure Type B. It's about setting yourself up for success, for joy. It’s about giving yourself the gift of a good solid start to the day, so you can handle what the rest of the day throws at you.
If your kid throws up on the way to your doctor appointment. If a kid is playing baseball in the front yard and they break your window. If you get a call that changes everything. If you just end up having a crappy day and nothing really bad happens, at least you had a great morning.
At least you gave yourself that “center time.” And the evening is that catalyst for that great morning.
So, go to the show notes for this episode. It's alliecasazza.com/shownotes/42 and get yourself that free download.
Sit, knowing all of this, having listened to this episode and just work through that free download. Get your own simplified evening routine because it really does matter.
This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.
Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.
I am always rooting for you, friend!
See ya next time!
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