One of my goals in 2018 is to get my life together and become a more productive and successful person. So I’m always looking for ways I can ‘level up’, so when I found Hal Elrod’s book The Miracle Morning I was intrigued, he claimed that this morning routine could change your life.
Before this experiment, my snooze button and I would have an epic battle every day, I would lurch out of bed at the last possible second, already pretty grumpy, and go on a zombie search for coffee i.e the love of my life. This is not a great start to the morning, so I’m hoping this miracle morning helps me to make mornings less of a nightmare and me less of a zombie person.
(Me with my best friend- Coffee)
However, lots of self-development books claim they can change your life, but if the advice isn’t implemented into your life, you essentially just spent money on a lecture. So during the month of February, I decided to conduct an experiment. Every weekday I would do the Miracle morning and see how it ‘improved’ my life.
The Miracle Morning Routine:
Hal Elrod says there are six important steps to any miracle morning routine, which seemed like a lot. So I challenged myself to start waking up at 5am, doing the miracle morning routine in time to go to work at 8:30 (Until this experiment I was under the impression that 5am was a myth).
The miracle morning goes like this…
S- Silence This could be any kind of mindful silence like prayer, but I choose to try mediation, alternating between using the smiling kind app on my phone and just timing my mediation for 5-10 minutes.
A- Affirmation Hal Elrod suggests affirming yourself out loud to change the way you see yourself and your self-talk. However, I felt like a monumental wanker doing that so any positive effect was lost on me. However, writing at least three sentences of affirmation in my journal was a habit I was able to keep up.
V-Visualisation This is where you visualize who you are and what you want to achieve, I made myself a vision board as a visual aid of my goals for 2018 and what I wanted to achieve and would spend at least five minutes focusing on that.
E-Exercise This could be anything according to your fitness level and preference, but I choose to attend the 6am fitness classes at my gym.
R-Reading This time should be dedicated to a book that improves your life, it could be a religious text, a self-help book or blog, the news or anything else that helps you to grow as a person.
S-Scribing This is journalling (which I combined with the affirmation section) and I wanted this section to include gratitude list of at least three things, affirmations, and journaling. Journalling is a habit I have been trying to develop for years so I was looking forward to this time to develop that.
It all sounds amazing- and I kept track over the four weeks to see if it was as great as Hal Elrod made it sound.
The first day of the miracle morning was easy, I got everything completed by 8:30, including an hour body pump class so I went into the day already feeling pretty accomplished. I found the mediation difficult, so I decided to try mindfulness mediation to see if that worked better for me. I noticed that I did not have mid-afternoon slump and I had energy all day. It did feel amazing to have half my daily to-do list done before I had even walked to work.
This week I definitely noticed that I was not able to get up at 5am and be productive if I had not had at least seven hours sleep the night before. Nights where my sleep was disrupted, or I had stayed out late were followed by mornings full of lethargy and disappointment. However, I did notice that the days I did commit to the miracle morning, I was in a great mood all day, I was more productive, and I had more energy.
After a pretty heavy weekend, the miracle morning felt fantastic, I am getting better at meditating, I have moved from three minutes to ten minutes and I am still surprised when the timer goes off. I have also noticed that when I work out in the morning, I work out more consistently because there is nothing to get in the way of going to the gym. I definitely start the day in a much better headspace. I have also noticed that my recovery time from the gym is shorter when I work out in the morning, which is a great bonus.
At the beginning of the week, I noticed that I was having a really hard time getting up at five, and I would get up for an hour, have a headache and then have to go to bed for another hour before work. Not surprisingly, on those days, I was lethargic, didn’t get much done and was pretty grumpy.
Turns out I really do need seven hours sleep a night to be a functioning adult, and when I started going to bed at 9:30 I was able to naturally start waking up at 5 am. It was amazing, and it was a nicer introduction to the day instead of being dragged out of sleep by an alarm and then feeling terrible all day.
I have finally gotten into the groove of the miracle morning routine, it’s much easier to get up in the morning, I have time to get my life together before it actually starts, this week felt like a ‘routine’ instead of something I faked. Each thing flowed naturally into each other, and I think I would miss it. Mornings actually became something I looked foward too and my favourite part of the day, which I have to admit, was life changing.
I went into this experiment somewhat skeptical, and I don’t know if it was the consistent fitness, the focus on getting enough sleep, the mediation or a combination of all three, but this miracle morning did make me a more productive person.
I felt less grumpy in the mornings, the meditation is so much nicer to wake up to than 15 snooze alarms. I managed to read 11 books this month, and I think the consistent dedication to reading in the mornings really helped with that.
Surprisingly, working out in the morning was easier than in the evening, because I don’t have time to get tired before I work out, and there no commitments that I can prioritize over working out, so my fitness definitely benefited.
I also loved the focus on visualization and affirmations, I notice negative self-talk is a bad habit of mine, but I didn’t realize how insidious it was until I had to make a conscious effort to combat it.
I think taking the time to set yourself up is a fantastic way to start the day, but I think the ‘miracle’ bit of the miracle morning is the commitment to self-care before you do anything else. Starting your day on your own terms really makes a difference to how you view yourself and your life.
- Make it easier to go to sleep, so start winding down earlier. I found the best thing for this was to turn off my devices, using lush’s Sleepy lotion and reading a book.
- As soon as you get up, put on your workout gear and drink a big glass of water- the water wakes you up and you already have your gym gear on so it tricks your sleepy lizard brain into going to the gym. I strongly recommend tricking your sleepy lizard brain.
- If I had followed this like a rigid formula, I don’t think it would have stuck. By making it an organic, individual thing I found it to be really beneficial.
Have you tried the miracle morning? Did it stick? Comment below telling me your morning routine, and any suggestions you have!