Last year I had the chance to read ‘The Miracle Morning’ by Hal Elrond (www.miraclemorning.com) and I loved it! In the book, Hal presents an easily digestible framework for success, a self-development hour that he dubs the ‘Miracle Morning’. Every morning you complete the life ’S.A.V.E.R.S’ and therefore you get an hour a day of learning in before you do anything else. That way you have completed ‘6 daily habits that transform your life before 8am’.
Inspired by the book I’ve been experimenting with the concept of the ‘Miracle Morning’ and refining it for my own goals this year. Here I am going to share my thoughts on the idea, how I use it to get ahead of my day and remain productive throughout, hopefully helping you to create your own ‘Miracle Morning’.
The Importance of a Morning Routine
If you take the time to study other ‘successful’ people, you notice one thing in common. Most, if not all of them have a morning routine. Tony Robbins likes to take a super cold plunge, Oprah starts by meditating, and Richard Branson jumps straight into keeping fit.
They use the morning to ground their day ahead, starting strong, energetic, and focused, opposed to being unproductive, stressed, and ultimately rushing to get started. This gives them time to reflect, make the right start and then carry on with the same intentions.
The morning routine also has another important benefit — Self-development. It gives you a structured time to work on yourself, your skills, your knowledge, your ideas, and ultimately your potential. It allows you to continue learning, and elevate yourself to a higher level.
The Life S.A.V.E.R.S
Seeing how these sorts of routines push and propel people to other levels, I’ve always wanted to do something similar for myself, but it wasn’t until I discovered Hal’s framework that I understood how to put my own routine together. That’s where the ‘Life S.A.V.E.R.S’ come in, they present a simple structure that you can adapt to make sure you too have a ‘miracle morning’:
Silence — The first ’S’ stands for Silence. This can take the shape of meditation, prayer, or simply just deep focus. The idea behind this is to take the first few minutes (or however long you want to do it for) to sit quietly and be alone with your thoughts rather than do what most people do which is jump straight into action. It gives you time to get ahead of your day, reflect and centre yourself before you kick into a higher gear.
Affirmations — The ‘A’ is for your affirmations, where you read your affirmations back to yourself in order to engage your subconscious brain into actively working on believing what you have written. This helps to build your confidence and self-belief in whatever you are trying to achieve.
Vision — The ‘V’ is for vision. This is where you take time to reflect on your vision as a whole, what are you trying to achieve, and what it will look like when you achieve it. This helps you to understand where you want to go and have a clearly defined goal to aim towards. A great way to do this is to create your very own vision board and then look at it daily.
Exercise — The ‘E’ is of course for exercise. Well, this one is pretty obvious, I don’t think I need to explain the proven benefits of exercise, but most people struggle to find the time. This way you have a marked time in your calendar with a structure that no-one can take away from you making sure you keep at it. The health benefits of exercising every day are obvious, especially if a large majority of your day is spent sitting in front of a computer like mine.
Reading — The ‘R’ stands for reading but might as well be titled learning. This is the time you book in for yourself to spend reading (or watching, researching, etc) about new strategies, skills and develop new ideas that will help you get ahead and do things more productively. This allows you to continually develop yourself and push forward constantly learning new ways to adapt and refine.
Scribing — The second ’S’ and final letter is for scribing (well, using ‘W’ doesn’t really fit does it). This is the time you set for journaling, keeping a diary, or any other writing activity. The idea is you use this time to reflect and plan, however as the framework is so adaptable you could use it for anything from blogging to writing your own book.
My Current Morning Routine
After adopting the S.A.V.E.R.S framework for a while I started to experiment with mixing it up and finding what worked best for me and was more in keeping with my own goals. You see the framework is a great starting point, but there are some elements I personally value more than others, and some tasks I wanted to add in. Over time my morning routine has evolved and now looks more like this:
Silence — 5mins
I start with a 5 minute meditation, usually one from the ‘Balance’ app (you should download it, it’s free this year! (https://www.balanceapp.com). Personally, I find that meditation straight out of bed gives me a little time to relax before I get started, and time alone with just my thoughts so I can focus and start the day great. I sometimes start with a guided meditation if I feel I need a little more structure, but recently I have been really enjoying Balance’s immersive sounds meditations as the sounds of the beach, streams and other ambience is superrrr relaxing!
Spanish — 15 mins
I’ve always wanted to learn another language, but I really struggle and I am not one of those than can just pick it up quickly. This made it difficult for me to actually do as I didn’t particularly enjoy it and therefore didn’t stick with it for that long. That’s why this year one of my goals is to learn Spanish, so I practice fifteen minutes every morning giving me a calendar marked routine that means I can stick with it. This way I can build up my vocabulary with different lessons each day and revisit them as I please (I use Duolingo for this, again it’s free! (https://www.duolingo.com). So far it’s going well, and I think by the end of the year I should at least be at a confident stage.
Writing — 15 mins
One of my personal goals this year is to improve my handwriting. I am a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to things like that and I actually find great enjoyment in learning the art of penmanship. I am in no way a master yet, but time will tell. The great part is I can keep a journal and practice my handwriting by entering a log each day whilst also giving me time to reflect on the day before and start to plan my day ahead — that’s two birds with one stone. Currently, I mark out a morning or so a week to write these blog posts but as I improve and get quicker this is also a great opportunity to spend time on creating my posts/articles and improving my writing.
Reading — 20mins
I really like reading and it’s the most important in my opinion (if I could choose only one exercise, this would be it), but I’m not very good at it. My girlfriend somehow manages to read a whole book in a matter of hours but for me, I seem to take ten minutes on a single page. I never used to find the time and I would maybe read two to three books in a year. The problem was I was going at them the wrong way, I was trying to read too much of them in one sitting and there was no way I could keep it up. Now, just 20 mins goes a long way and I can get through an average 200 page book in around two weeks, which means around 24 books in a year. This gives me an endless supply of knowledge and ideas that I can apply to my life and my businesses, helping me to continue to learn and improve.
Exercise — 30/60mins
We are in a lockdown at the moment so the gym isn’t really possible like before, and I don’t have a lot of space where I live so I abandoned the idea of lifting for now (but boy do I miss it!). Right now I have signed up to Freeletics (www.freeletics.com) which gives me a dedicated workout plan using the equipment I have and adapts it as I go to match my abilities. I’ve only just started using this app but so far I am enjoying its structure and exercises. I just like being active in the morning and of course keeping fit is important.
This routine has worked well for me for a good few months now, and it’s now just a habit. I chose these timings after experimenting with doing my morning routine for different periods. I found out pretty quickly I needed to make it as short as possible, yet effective, to make sure I can stick with it. A three hour session isn’t always possible, but 55mins (plus exercise) is pretty easy to maintain consistently. Some days it may need to be a little shorter, but the important thing to remember is that it’s a marathon, not a sprint, and a little bit every day goes a long way when you add it up over the space of a year or so.
I personally decided to leave out the vision and affirmations exercises recommended by Hal, as it just didn’t really work with how I work. I set monthly and weekly goals and that’s when I look at the bigger picture stuff so therefore these daily exercises didn’t feel quite right for me. That’s the great thing, the framework is fully adaptable to your needs.
My morning routine makes sure that every day I have at least got an hour of personal development in before I do anything. This means I go on to start work knowing I have spent an hour honing my skills and being at least a little better each day. While it might not seem like much it quickly adds up — 5 hours a week — 30 hours a month, etc. That means I am continually pushing forward and developing, learning new things from books, coming up with and formulating ideas, and practicing skills (in this case languages, writing, etc). It keeps you healthy and happy as you start the day right, and therefore whatever happens throughout at least you have got a good hour in working on yourself. When you finish, it feels like you have achieved so much, and like a to-do list, once you have ticked off the first few items the momentum builds and you seem to find a fire inside to get the rest done.
Also, as I have earmarked a set time to complete certain tasks it, makes it a lot easier to stick with doing stuff I wouldn’t usually do or find excuses for. I’m sure you have experienced those times when that email is more important than spending time to learn Spanish, or you have had a super tough day, and going to the gym that night just isn’t going to happen. We’ve all been there, but this way you can actually stick with the habits that give you joy and purpose, as well as helping you along towards the bigger picture.
Some Tips For Adapting Your Own Miracle Morning
So, if by reading about my routine you’ve been inspired to create or adapt your own, here’s a few tips I have put together to make sure you get the best out of it…
- Remember it’s not a sprint, but a marathon — Do a little bit each day and in time you will soon be doing more than most do in a year.
- Maybe save some activities for your commute — How can you adapt your routine to work for you? How about reading on the train or bus, listening to podcasts in the car, etc. Just make sure it’s an activity you can stick with no matter what happens.
- Make sure you get enough sleep! — Inspired by the Rocks 3/4hr sleep pattern, I’ve experimented with waking up at different times over the years to get more done. While it can be great for a short time, it quickly catches up with you, and burn out is not fun! (Believe me!) We all have different bodies and needs, and comparing yourself to others is never beneficial. Do what makes you happy and make sure you get enough sleep to be productive throughout. For me, this is around 6/7 hours every night.
- Keep it strict — Turn off distractions, put your mobile phone on silent, and don’t even look at your emails or anything that may pull you away from your routine. This is your time for yourself and everything else can wait.
- Mark out a short routine for those days you just don’t have the time — I know how it is, sometimes life can just get in the way. Make a condensed version of your routine for those days when you are super short on time. I also have a condensed routine where I spend 5mins on each task and 15 mins on exercising, which means I can be ready to go in 35mins if need be, but Hal even lays out a 6minute routine if you are super unavailable. Surely you can find 6mins at the start of your day?
The most important thing I have found when creating your morning routine is to experiment and see what works best for you. Think about what makes you happy? What makes you feel productive? How would spending 10–20mins every morning on a single task change your life?
Are you inspired? What does your current morning routine look like? Let me know in the comments below!
Thanks For Reading! Here’s some links.
Luke Brookes is an entreprenuer sharing his experience with the world. He’s founded two businesses, Tribism, a brand consultancy, and Lunag Ltd, a private label retailer specialising in the sale of premium consumer and B2B products internationally. Here he writes about everything to do with entrepreneurship, branding, and marketing. This year he is openly documenting his jouney towards his goal 1Yr to 1Mil — find out about the mission here.
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