What is The Miracle Morning?
The Miracle Morning refers both to the book by Hal Elrod and a morning routine that he suggests to start off the day in the best way possible. Now, if you’re anything like me, you might hear the word ‘morning’ and think this isn’t for you. It will be worth your time to keep reading. I never thought of myself as a morning person, but The Miracle Morning changed that for me. If you’re already a morning person, you will find some ideas here to make your morning even better.
The Miracle Morning suggests waking-up 30-60 minutes earlier than normal and spending that time working on personal development. There are six specific activities recommended although other things could be added in. I’ve been practicing The Miracle Morning for the last two months and it has really sparked many positive changes in my life. More on that below, but first, some cute pictures of Hoppy who has also been doing The Miracle Morning.
Hoppy does The Miracle Morning
(Click on a thumbnail to see the larger version of the picture.)
The Miracle Morning book is the best place to get started with this. It provides tips on waking up earlier, has details about each recommended activity and reasons behind doing these things. There are also motivational parts about why doing all of this matters as well as parts on modifying the program to fit individual needs or situations. You can download two chapters of the book for free on Hal Elrod’s Website.
The Miracle Morning on Amazon (Note:I participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. I only link to the few products that I would recommend anyway. I am very selective since I hate ads, thus the lack of any other form of ads on here.)
One thing that I found on his website that I really love is Hal’s Achieve Your Goals podcast. I have listened to many of the episodes and they are amazing. I think I love Hal’s podcast even more than I love his book! Episode 25 is on the S.A.V.E.R.S components of the Miracle Morning and includes some great tips that aren’t in the book. Also, at TMMbook.com you can download a few things that are suggested in the book including a 30-day guide to getting started.
Tips On Waking Up Earlier
Probably one of the most important parts of The Miracle Morning for me were the tips on waking up earlier. If it weren’t for these, I probably never would have gotten off the ground with this practice.
- Set your intentions before bed. Imagine yourself waking up well-rested and excited for the day. Don’t set yourself up to feel bad with thoughts like “I’m going to feel so tired tomorrow morning. I only have 6 hours until my alarm goes off!”
- Place your alarm clock across the room. This way, you have to get out of bed and can’t just hit snooze and fall back asleep.
- Brush your teeth. The simple act of doing this helps to get you in motion. Plus it’s simple enough you can do it while still half asleep.
- Drink a full glass of water. This helps you to re-hydrate after not drinking anything for several hours while sleeping.
- Take a shower or get dressed. This way, you’re ready for the day. Dressing in workout clothes is recommended since exercise is part of the next part.
S.A.V.E.R.S is the acronym used for the six key activities that are recommended. These include:
- Silence. Spending time meditating, praying, reviewing things your grateful for or other similar activities.
- Affirmations. Time spent practicing positive affirmations about how you want your life to be.
- Visualization. Spending time picturing your day going smoothly, meeting your goals or similar things.
- Exercise. Yep, we all know what this is. Benefits of doing it in the morning include increased energy through-out the day.
- Reading. Reading self-help books, motivational books, spiritual books or other books to help meet goals or further personal growth.
- Scribing (Writing). Reflecting on accomplishments, listing things your grateful for, setting goals or writing down your thoughts.
My experience with The Miracle Morning
Here are some of my thoughts from along the way.
Day 1- Getting started
Recently, I started reading The Miracle Morning. I thought I would give it a shot for 30 days. I may modify things to fit my life a little after that, but I wanted to try it pretty much as outlined in the book to start with. After all, I may find things that work that I never would have tried otherwise. The whole point is to try something new rather than to keep doing things like I’ve always been.
When people post about these great new things that they are doing, I always wonder how long they are going to stick to them. Is it really a permanent life-changing thing? Or is it just a fad that they will soon abandon? So, I want to commit to re-visiting this topic in a year and evaluate how it actually changed things for me.
I’m not a “morning person.” I’ve never been a “morning person” or aspired to be one. Until now. I started reading “The Miracle Morning” by Hal Elrod yesterday. I’m only about half way through the book, but I was motivated enough to start the routine this morning.
Waking up has always been a struggle for me. I hit the snooze button a few times. I drag myself out of bed. For that matter, I’m self-employed and it’s only been the last few months that I’ve started setting my alarm and trying to start the day at a decent hour. It was part of my continual effort at being the person I want to be. Even though I have been adjusting to getting out of bed by 7 rather than 8 or 9, I can’t say I liked it.
Last night, I followed one of the pieces of advice from “The Miracle Morning” and left my phone across the room so that when my alarm went off I would have to get up to turn it off rather than hitting the snooze button and just falling back asleep. Initially, upon waking this morning when my alarm went of at 6 am, I thought, “This is crazy. I just want to go back to bed and re-set my alarm for another hour of sleep.” I’m proud to say that I pushed through. I made my bed. (Another habit I have been diligent about for a few years now. Habits are SO important to life.) Then I brushed my teeth, which happens to be the next piece of advice from “The Miracle Morning” about waking up and was already the next thing I always do after making the bed anyway. The next piece of advice was to drink a full glass of water, so I did that too.
Then I went through all six activities. So, how was it? It was actually pretty great. After over-coming the initial desire to go back to sleep, it felt really good to be up early. I feel excited and motivated for the day.
Day 2- Up at 5 am!
I set my alarm an hour earlier for this morning, so I was up at 5 am. First off, I feel a small amount of disbelief at this. I have never gotten up at 5 am unless I had some incredibly compelling reason. Then again, I do have an incredibly compelling reason for doing this: to make the most of this amazing life I’m blessed enough to be living. I keep thinking about Hal talking about how when you hit the snooze button, you’re basically telling the universe and yourself that you’d rather lie there unconscious than get up and live your life.
Things went well this morning. I spent a little quiet time doing some gentle stretching. Then I spent a little time reviewing the last few days, writing down what I want to do today in my planner, and making a gratitude list. After that, I changed into my workout clothes, and did an exercise video from YouTube. From there, I was on into the shower and went on to make breakfast and even washed the dishes immediately afterward.
After all that, I really did feel amazing and ready for a great day!
Day 3- Thoughts on exercise
One thing I am really liking is working out as part of this routine. It does take just a little discipline to make myself start that part, but once I’m going, it feels good.
Working out is one of those things that I have attempted to put into my life time and time again. Sometimes, I do OK for a couple weeks or so, and then somehow I always seem to quit. Writing that, it feels like a strong word: quit. It’s not like I ever consciously decided that I going to stop working out. One way or another though, it has never made it as a lasting change in my life. The reality is that I did always quit.
I really want to find a place in my day where working out will really stick. I’ve never really tried putting it first thing in the morning and maybe doing so will help. My health really is important to me, so it makes sense to make it something that I actually work to maintain and improve first thing every day.
On a side note, I’ve been thinking about what things in my life that are my priorities in theory verses what I actually spend my time on. My health is definitely one of those things that is ‘a priority’, but that I really don’t prioritize. I’m going to change that!
Day 6- Seeing changes
The Miracle Morning book starts out with these testimonials about the amazing changes people experienced from the program: losing 25 pounds, having more energy, being more motivated, accomplishing more at work, etc. The sorts of things that make you just want to stop reading because you’re sure the whole thing must just be another scam with false promises. So, are these things true?
Well, I don’t have 25 pounds to lose and at day 6 I wouldn’t expect much progress on the little I would like to shed. Plus, I donated my scale to the thrift store, so we’ll never know if I lose weight doing this. I do feel good after working out each morning and I care a lot more about feeling good than about any number anyway.
I do have more energy. I expected to be dragging a bit waking up so early and getting a little less sleep. I’ve tried to move my bedtime a little earlier, but it still doesn’t compensate for waking up two hours earlier. I really don’t feel tired, and in fact have been less likely to take a nap later during the day than before starting this. Perhaps I was actually getting too much sleep before. While we hear a lot about the detrimental effects not getting enough sleep, a quick Google search on ‘too much sleep’ brings up a ton of results on how maybe that’s not good either. Or maybe I’m feeling better because of working out in the mornings. Either way, I’m happy to feel more energetic and awake throughout the day.
I do feel more motivated as well. It’s probably a combination of the time spent visualizing what an amazing day I’m going to have and how good it feels knowing I am waking up early and doing these things to start my day off in the most amazing way possible.
I have also been more productive at work. I start working earlier since I’m up and going earlier and feel like I accomplish a lot even before lunch time! The extra energy and motivation discussed above help a lot too.
For just being on day 6, I really am impressed at the results of doing this. To be clear, it’s not like some miracle pill that will just make your problems go away. It takes dedication and commitment. The person that lost 25 pounds doing this didn’t just snap their fingers and wake up thinner. They got out of bed earlier than normal every day and made exercise part of their routine. Waking up at 5 am is a little challenging, although the first 3 minutes out of bed are the worst for me. Pushing myself to start working out before the sun is up is a little hard too. The increased energy, motivation and excitement about my life and goals provides more than enough fuel to make me really want to keep doing this. I am working hard at making the most of this Miracle Morning challenge and I am loving the results that I am seeing!
Day 9- Settling in
I have to admit that the last couple of days, I haven’t had quite the same level of excitement for this as at the beginning. This is a common occurrence with things that we start: the first few days are grand and amazing and then the excitement wears off. This is where commitment comes in. Trying this out and seeing how it works for me is worth it to me so I’ll keep it up.
Something else can happen when we start to settle in to changes that we’ve made and that is that we start taking for granted the improvements. We become used to things being better and forget how they were worse before. This can make us forget what motivated us to make the changes to start with. This can result in losing our motivation a little bit even though things have improved. It helps to look back and intentionally reflect on the improvements.
I accept all of this as part of the process of settling into this new routine. If I think about it a little, I am still seeing benefits. I have exercised every day for the last nine days and I haven’t had a streak like that in quite some time. This helps me to feel accomplished and positive about myself. Honestly, if the only thing that changed for me with all of this was to start exercising daily, that would be more than enough.
Hal mentions in The Miracle Morning that the activities he recommends aren’t like anything new that he came up with. They are the six activities that are most recommended for personal development. None of these activities was a new concept for me. It’s just a matter of carving out time in my life to make these things a priority and do them. Exercise was always something I intended to be doing. Now, I am just actually doing it.
Day 10- Routine
Today something revolutionary happened: I woke up at 4:45 and not because my alarm went off. It was actually 15 minutes before my scheduled alarm time. I don’t know if this was a fluke or if it will happen again, but it was the first time this has ever happened.
I have really settled nicely into my Miracle Morning routine. I’ve tweaked it a little to fit my preferences and with the goal of being all ready for the day once my morning is complete. I haven’t taken out any of the suggested things, only added some that I find beneficial. My routine looks like this (more or less depending on the day):
- 5:00- Wake up, make bed, turn on lights around the house, brush my teeth, drink a glass of water, make a cup of coffee.
- 5:20- Gentle stretching, meditation
- 5:35- Write down goals for the day in my planner, affirmations, visualizations, and a gratitude list
- 6:05- Change into workout clothes, workout
- 6:45- Step out on the back porch for a moment and just breath in some fresh air
- 6:50- Shower, and get dressed
- 7:25- Cook breakfast, eat breakfast while reading something that will benefit me
- 8:00- Brush teeth, wash dishes while listening to music or podcasts, make another cup of coffee
- 8:20- Spend time writing, editing photos, etc. for this site
- 9:15- Work
The couple of things I’ve added to what the book suggests are all habits that I think are really important for me. Making the bed and washing the dishes are just simple things that keep my space more tidy and doing them daily is the only way to go. It’s also important to me to take time to cook a real meal- normally some combination of eggs and tons of vegetables to start my day off right nutritionally.
Another important thing is to shower early in the day and try to dress with at least a little bit of effort. I work at home, so I could really just wear my pajamas all day if I wanted to. It sounds like a nice thing, but at the end of the day if I’m still in my pajamas, it doesn’t matter how much I’ve gotten done, I feel like a loser. Starting the day showered and dressed sounds simple, but is so important.
Day 12- Variations
The last part was on setting a routine. I think routines and habits are super important, but variety is equally important.
Let’s take exercise as an example. Making a routine out of exercising every morning is a great thing. But if you do the same workout video every single morning, you will likely soon grow bored and and lost interest in this exercise routine. This is why it’s important to make sure and include variety in these things.
It is possible to include different options for all of the habits that make up The Miracle Morning.
Silence- Change up the type of meditation that you’re doing. Try searching online for different types of trying a meditation app. Or if the weather is good, try moving this portion outside and enjoying some fresh air.
Affirmations- Part of the power of affirmations comes with repeating the same positive statements over and over. This doesn’t mean that you can’t add to your list or change them as your goals change.
Visualization- You can try visualizing success in different areas of your life. Or have fun with it and draw pictures of how you see the future- even if they’re just stick figures. One day, I used Google Photos to make a little collage of nine different pictures that shows what is important to me in my life.
Exercise- There are tons of different options for this. You might try looking for a YouTube video with a new routine or buying a workout DVD at the store. Or go outside and go for a walk, run or bike ride.
Reading- This is an easy place to mix things up since you can always pick a new book to read. I love to read books on all sorts of different topics from entrepreneurship, to relationship skills, to stress-reduction, to habits and motivation, etc. You could even read a book on a new hobby you want to pick up or a new skill you want to learn.
Writing- This is another easy place to include variety. Writing topics could include anything from what you’re grateful for to what your goals are to what happened yesterday. I like to make a gratitude list, write my to-do list and schedule in my planner and then spend some time writing for this site or journaling.
Day 13- Push through
I woke up this morning and I didn’t feel like doing this whole Miracle Morning routine at all. I felt tired and my head hurt a little and I just didn’t want to do all the stuff. I told myself that I was committed to it and that I wasn’t going to slack. There may be days that I don’t feel like doing this sort of thing, but it is precisely those days when it is the most important to do it.
Committing to a new habit or routine doesn’t mean that we do it just when we feel like it. It means that we do it no matter what. Being the sort of person that pushes through when things get difficult rather than quitting is what makes somebody successful.
I had to keep reminding myself of these things all the way through my routine this morning. First, I just wanted to go back to bed. Then I wanted to just work on my website rather than doing my workout. Then I didn’t want to go and have a shower and after that, I most definitely did not feel like washing the dishes.
Now I get the rewards. I feel better, I am ready for the day and I have a nice clean kitchen. It’s important to find things that make us feel motivated and incorporate variety to keep ourselves interested. Life shouldn’t be just pushing ourselves through and hating it all the time. But there will be times when we don’t feel motivated. Sometimes, the answer is just to push through and do the thing we don’t want to.
Day 16- Recognizing progress
I am more than half way done with my 30 day trial of this. It’s always important to recognize our progress on our way towards meeting our goals. Really, waking up at 5 am for 16 days in a row is an amazing accomplishment for me! I don’t think I’ve ever gotten up at 5 am two days in a row before in my whole life.
A couple of days recently, I have gone out on walks for the exercise portion. It’s really enjoyable to be outside while the sun is rising, breathing the fresh air, watching the sky brighten and seeing the few other people that are out walking or jogging. When I see other people out then, I feel a certain sense of camaraderie and think, “We are the people really living life!” I bring my headphones along and listen to some good songs and that perks me up as well.
Two months in
I am now about two months in to practicing The Miracle Morning. I did struggle some with adjusting my sleep schedule for the first few weeks, but now I am used to it. I still don’t like it when the alarm first goes off in the morning, but once I get going, I am glad I am up.
I’ll even admit that I fell off of the routine for about a week in there. Life was a little chaotic, but the excuse doesn’t really matter. The important part is that I corrected my path and got right back at it. Waking up early and doing my new morning routine really does get the day off to a positive start. I find that I am more productive at work. I feel more positive about my life and about myself.
I found that really doing a good workout for 30-60 minutes and focusing on crushing it makes a big difference for me. I know that I am unlikely to workout later in the day so making it a priority to do a solid workout in the morning has really been helping me. After two months of doing this, I am in better shape. I also feel more like I am living in alignment with my most important goals because my health is very important to me. That said, I haven’t always actually made exercise a priority. It feels really good to start the day off with a workout.
I have also been listening to Hal’s podcast A LOT. His positive message and tips on achieving goals has really impacted my life. I’ve always been fairly competent at achieving goals, but his tips take it to the next level. One of the most important shifts in how I think has been regarding looking at the value I create for others. For example, at my job I am really thinking more in terms of providing value for my customers rather than making money for me. This is probably one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned from Hal.
I also started writing a book after listening to his podcast on why everybody should write a book. It was kind of interesting because when I was listening to the podcast, I really wasn’t thinking about writing a book, but it must have sunk into my subconscious because a few days later I decided to really go for it.
The bottom line is that I like the results I am seeing enough that I plan to continue doing The Miracle Morning pretty much indefinitely. I am really glad that I gave it a shot and that I pushed through when it was kind of tough.
The Miracle Morning
My alarm goes off at five
I wake up happy to be alive
(OK, the first few minutes I dread
It’s like pain in my head
And I just want to go back to bed)
I put the alarm across the room before sleep
So I have to get up to stop the beep
I make the bed, straighten blankets and sheets
Then shamble on and brush my teeth
I head to the kitchen and start the coffee
Then drink a glass of water to re-hydrate me
Now I’m starting to feel more awake
And I’m thinking about The Miracle Morning that I’ll make
It’s interesting because now that I have become more aware of this idea of waking up early, I am finding that I see where tons of successful people tout their early morning routines. I’ve heard it said that success leaves clues and all we have to do to become successful is to identify successful people, look at what they do and then do the same things.
Here was a good article I found on StevePavlina.com (a great website that I coincidentally found because it was mentioned in The Miracle Morning). At the bottom of the article there are more links to some of his related posts on early rising.