This article originally appeared on LearnVest.com.
Mornings don’t have to revolve around blaring alarms, tantrum-throwing toddlers, forgotten backpacks, picky (or non-) eaters and mad dashes to the car.
We believe that time is money, and streamlining your life and clearing your mind is key to being the most successful version of you. And we all know mornings can be one of the most difficult times of day when you have a family. (Second only, maybe, to bedtime.)
So let’s start with the basics: The three ground rules of an incredibly successful morning routine include:
1. It exists. Morning routines make sure the really important things get done. Even if you can’t control the phone calls or assignments you’ll receive throughout the rest of your day, you usually can control your mornings and evenings.
2. It reflects what’s important. If you don’t have a specific time set aside for things that matter—whether that’s getting your kids to brush their teeth or finding some time to write your personal memoir—the best way to make sure they don’t fall through the cracks is to turn them into habits.
3. It’s firm. If you allow yourself to press the snooze button, or skip a step (like breakfast) to save time, your routine loses its oomph. Especially when kids are involved, you have to stand your ground: These routines should be nonnegotiable.
Click on the next slide for our step-by-step rundown of the perfect morning routine.