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Do you press snooze on your alarm clock hoping to get an extra 10 minutes of sleep? Are you unenthusiastic to get up? Can you not imagine exposing your skin to the cold air when you’re cozily wrapped in blankets? Then as a result, do you rush around in the morning? The daily routine can be monotonous and uninspiring. You get up. Then you jump right in and get ready for work or school. You hurry and you are frustrated.
In comes Hal Elrod’s Miracle Morning.
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I'll never forget that unseasonably warm day in December when I went for my first outdoor run in my new neighborhood. I cruised along the river trail and listened to Pat Flynn's newest podcast. It featured this guy who talked about his personal struggles and then talked about his morning routine. They talked about how the most successful and productive people in this world have something in common, and it's their morning routine. They swear by it.
I was intrigued. I was already sort of a morning person.
But I was hesitant to start a new routine, because in just a couple of weeks I was starting a new full time job. I would be in a real office environment for the first time in a year and a half. And as much as I hate to admit it, I tend to buy into new ideas quickly. Especially when they promise higher energy levels and productivity.
Could I pull myself out of bed an hour earlier in the morning to check the steps off of my to do list? Was it a sustainable habit? Maybe. All things considered, the Miracle Morning seemed like it was worth a shot.
Pat Flynn’s podcast featuring Hal Elrod came out in December. Notice this post was published in July. It took some fine-tuning over the course of several months.
I've settled on a reasonable, attainable Miracle Morning plan, and I wanted to share that with you. But first, here is the main structure of the Miracle Morning.
The Basics of The Miracle Morning
Before I get into this, I want to stress that this is a severely edited and digested version of each of Hal Elrod's points. I just want to share enough so I can tell you how I accomplish my Miracle Morning every day. If you want more info, I recommend reading the book.
There are six crucial points, which fit under the acronym S.A.V.E.R.S.
These six things can fit into a a six minute span, or be stretched out into a one-hour session. (Hal talks about the Six-Minute Miracle Morning in his book, so it's real.)
Meditate. Close your eyes, and do it. Get out of bed so you don’t fall asleep.
Write down your affirmations, say them out loud, and believe every word you say.
Think about what your goals look like. Think about what you look like while you're working to achieve those goals. Make a collage with things you want to have, where you want to live, etc.
Get moving and get your heart pumping.
Read. A little bit a day can make a big difference. This is your chance to get through any self-improvement book you've been meaning to read but can't find the time to get through.
This is writing. Write stuff down in a journal. Just get it out there and don't censor yourself.
My own Miracle Morning
If you've made it this far, you're either really amped up about the concept of The Miracle Morning, or you're so skeptical that you're scrolling towards the comments to say "Yeah right Jenn, I'm not waking up an hour early to do these New Age-y bullshit time wasters." I hear you.
Seven months in, I’m not on board with meditation, affirmations or visualization. I tried the full prescribed routine for several weeks in a row, and I did feel good while doing it. Meditation, affirmations and visualization affected my mood and my motivation in an amazing way, but I still don’t fully buy it.
I also don’t include reading anymore. I find morning reading slows my momentum. I’m still trying to find ways to include it in my routine. But because I struggle with it, I’m going to leave it out of this run-down.
The beauty of the Miracle Morning is that it’s yours. If you’re getting up one hour earlier than you have to, make it work for you.
I wake up at 5:30 when my partner wakes up for work. When I was determined to completing each step of the Miracle Morning, I went downstairs and meditated for five minutes. Then visualized my ideal lifestyle. Or, if I was feeling unmotivated that day, I imagined myself working on a project, which created a surge of motivation to get up and do it.
But that was then. Back in late December and January, I was enthralled with the process and delighted in checking off my activities on a makeshift accountability sheet.
Now, I wake up to my partner's 5:30 alarm and lay in a stupor for 10 to 20 minutes while he gets ready for work. This is where I intend on spending time reading, but I’m not there yet.
We then go to the kitchen, and I delight in spending time with him over breakfast sandwiches before he leaves for work at 6:30.
This is when my Miracle Morning starts.
Prior to hearing about Elrod’s Miracle Morning, I started a 500-word minimum, 30-day journaling challenge. 500 words is easier than it sounds: just get started, write fast, and let it be a stream of consciousness. Don’t edit yourself. Being able to get your words down has a cleansing effect in and of itself, leaving you with issues sorted and a clearer mind.
I use Day One to journal nearly every day. I average 700 to 1,000 words journaled per morning. While I still have a few days missed here and there for various reasons, I am loosely on my 160th day of writing.
The only other MM activity I participate in regularly is exercise. Because I already run two to three times per week after work, I am focusing on weight training. My enthusiasm for morning exercise comes and goes, but for the past two weeks I’ve been popping in a video and training for about 20 minutes each morning right after journaling. I’m thrilled by the results so far.
After exercise, I hop in the shower and get ready for work and am out the door by 7:45.
The biggest takeaway from my morning routine
RI’ve been told it all starts with writing. It always seemed like a nice idea in theory, but I was skeptical.
Getting into the habit of journaling every day reignited a part of me that has been missing for a while. Now whenever I sit down to write a blog post or start to work on a project, hesitation is gone and the words pour out easily.
Even more proof: Now that I’ve written 21,000 words for my first book in a matter of four days, I believe it. Consistent journaling is hands-down my most important takeaway from the Miracle Morning.
If you have a morning routine, or if you already follow your own Miracle Morning, please share it. Or, if you've wanted to start a morning routine, tell me what has been holding you back.
Cover photo by Annie Spratt