A Morning Routine
If you want a more fulfilling and happy life then your morning routine is the place to start.
I know this is true (despite falling off the wagon from time to time!), and it is what Hal Elrod, author of Miracle Mornings believes.
Many successful people; multimillionaires, top managers and TV stars are early birds. They probably get more done before you first hit that snooze button, let alone having even brewed your first cuppa.
Is the Miracle Morning approach for you?
Would you like to be more focused and dedicated throughout your day? Do you wish it was easier to wake up and get going in the mornings? Could you lead a more fulfilling and successful life than you currently do?
If you answered yes to any of my 3 opening questions, then developing a positive set of morning habits is definitely worth your effort.
When you invest a little time in your morning routine the benefits are much greater than your time invested. The good news is, it can take as little as 6 minutes.
Six Morning Habits
You are about to discover which techniques you can employ to build morning habits and improve your way of thinking in order to achieve your dreams and goals.
Here's just a little disclaimer : the Miracle Morning author writes the book in a motivational change your life, exist on four hours sleep and conquer the world tone. If that's what you want to do, then fantastic! But for those of us who are looking for something more realistic, ambitious without being a complete fanatic, then adapting the principles to something you can sustain and acheive is better than not having a morning routine.
I did the full Miracle Morning 30 day trial, the first 14 days were hard going but amazing, the remaining 16 I found my own groove and it worked wonders. Be warned tho - don't skip a few days or weeks - it's harder to restart. Human motivation is weird like that! Even tho it's by far the best way I've discovered to boost my motivation and productivity - if I slack off, I turn back into that bed monster in the mornings, and my days (and me) aren't all that they can be.
Ok, that was a bigger disclaimer than I thought. As you were. Continue.
Start with the Six Minute Miracle Morning
You will experience extraordinary results. This 6 minute investment of your time first thing in the morning will positively impact your day, week, month, in fact, your whole life.
Hal Elrod, author of Miracle Morning, developed 6 SAVERS, a sequence that combines the six most effective personal development practices known.
I'm certain you will want to invest more than a minute on these practices, but, if you are a bit like me, you can start things with great gusto for them to fizzle into the 'yeah done that before' bit of your psyche.
My advice? Leave yourself wanting more. Successfuly adopting good sustainable habits requires solid building blocks. Try to do ONLY the 6 minute Miracle Morning for 30 days (not a moment more!) - by the time your 30 days are up you will have started a sustainable and useful habit you can build upon.
S is for Silence
As soon as that alarm sounds, sit up.
Either sit up in bed, or choose somewhere you like to sit undisturbed . Sit quietly, with a smile, calm and peaceful and breathe deeply for one minute.
Sitting in silence also means quietening your mind. This gets easier with practice I promise.
Appreciate the moment. Relax your body slowly imagining it relaxing from the top of your head to the tips of your toes, it's a moment to simply melt away. Within a few days you will begin to feel improvement in your clarity of purpose, and direction.
A is for Affirmations
Affirmations refer primarily to the practice of positive thinking and self-empowerment.
Physiological studies have proven that a positive mental attitude supported by affirmations will improve your well being, and increase your motivation to acheive success.
Affirmations are proven methods of self-improvement because of their ability to rewire our brains. Much like exercise, they raise the level of feel-good hormones and push our brains to form new clusters of “positive thought” neurons.
Before starting your 6 minute Miracle Morning, you'll need to prepare ahead. A quick google search for affirmations will give you plenty of ready written affirmations for you to adopt or adapt. I have prepared a ready list to get you started if want to get cracking. They are random (but good) ones from a huge list, but are about a minutes worth.
So, minute 2 is to simply read your page of affirmations, your written statements that remind you of your unlimited potential, your most important goals and the actions you must take today to achieve them. I actually write mine out whilst reading them, I find it very therapeutic.
Through the sequence of thought to speech to action, affirmations play an integral role by breaking patterns of negative thoughts, negative speech, and, in turn, negative actions.
Reminders of how capable you are motivates you. Reading actions you must take re-energizes focus on doing what’s necessary.
V is for visualization.
Close your eyes and visualise what it will look like and feel like when you reach your goals in rich, glorious colourful detail.
Sometimes I choose to visual my day, most times I visualise on my over arching life goal.
Occasionally I'll visualise something going well when things are at risk of going wrong. One of my favourite sayings is 'a bend in the road is not the end of the road, unless you forget to make the turn'. Visualisation helps me make the turn.
Seeing your ideal vision increases your belief that it’s possible and your desire to make it a reality. I also find this helps me identify and overcome possible blocks and barriers.
E is for exercise
Exercise? For only 60 seconds? What can that do?
The goal here is to get very out of breath very quickly. 60 seconds is long enough to increase the flow of blood and oxygen to your brain.
You could easily do a minute of skipping, jumping jacks, push-ups, planks or sit-ups, right?
The point is that you when you raise your heart rate you generate energy and increase your ability to be alert and focused. In fact, some studies have found that 60 seconds of intense exercise daily has dramatic and positive health benefits over time!
Here's a fun, fast and surprisingly challenging 60 second workout to try.
If you have mobility restrictions or are challenged by poor health or illness, choose something that works for you, even if it's only a bit of gentle stretching or standing up and sitting down for a minute. You know your body best.
R is for reading.
Grab a business or self-help book, or a saved blog article - anything to read that means you are learning something.
Not only does regular reading help make you smarter, but it can actually increase your brain power. Just like going for a jog exercises your cardiovascular system, reading regularly improves memory function by giving your brain a good work out. With age comes a decline in memory and brain function, but regular reading can help slow the process, keeping minds sharper longer, according to research.
Read a few pages. Don't make notes. Just read with your full concentration and appreciation.
Use this reading time to learn a new idea or something you can incorporate into your day. Or maybe something which will improve your results at work or in your relationships. You are sure to discover something new that you can use to think, feel and live better.
S is for Scribing
I have a notebook for this part of my Miracle Morning. I love flicking through and reflecting (sometimes I do it for my one minute reading). So choose yourself a nice notebook, one you'll want to write in and thumb through at a later date.
Pull out your notebook and take one minute to write down anything you want to make a note of from your one minute of reading, something you’re grateful for, something you’re proud of and the top three things you’re committed to doing that day. In doing so, you create the clarity and motivation that you need to take action.