I wrote recently about how to use rituals to nourish your soul, and this reminded me of the book I’d read a couple of years ago, that really helped to shape my current morning ritual.
It began when I listened to an episode of Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income podcast, in which Pat interviewed Hal Elrod, author of the The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM).
Hal spoke about his inspirational story and shared the structure of a morning ritual he created to set himself up for an awesome day. Every day! Here’s an overview of the book and how you can energise your morning ritual.
Elrod’s story really struck a chord with me, because his routine, though quite simple, pulled together many activities that I know are beneficial for me (and for your you!). He also goes into some detail about how you can ‘program’ yourself to embed these new, life-enriching habits.
The book steps through Elrod’s Life SAVERS process:
S – Silence
A – Affirmations
V – Visualisation
E – Exercise
R – Reading
S – Scribe
Start your morning routine in silence
As I mentioned in my recent post about meditation and my free 3-Minute Meditation Challenge, starting the day in silence as soon as you wake up, is most likely the best chance you’ll have all day of making it happen.
Whether you choose to meditate in this time or simply sit in silence, it has an incredibly settling effect that helps to improve your clarity and focus for the day.
Fuel your day (and life) with affirmations
Affirmations have long been cited as a way of attracting desired opportunities, people and things our lives.
Elrod amps up the practice of affirmations by really getting you to think about what your goals in life are, and creating powerful affirmations around those goals. He provides some of the affirmations he has used in the past as examples, and discusses the outcomes of using them over a period of time.
While we’re on the subject of creating affirmations, check out the work of Florence Scovel Shinn, whose writing is compelling and affirmations legendary. Or you could try one of the Abraham Hicks Morning “Rampages” which I’m really enjoying at the moment.
Visualise your affirmations
If affirmations are repeating the same phrase throughout the day, visualising your desired outcome adds even more power to them – and makes them more likely to happen.
Elrod recommends spending a couple of minutes imagining how it would look and feel if your affirmations became your reality.
One of the secrets of successful elite athletes is their ability to truly visualise winning their event, whether it be shooting a winning goal, streaking past their competitor in the pool to finish first, or acing a match point in a game of tennis.
Visualising your affirmations and desired outcomes can be inspiring and is almost like a practice run for your brain to make the affirmation a reality.
Build exercise into your morning routine
The E in Elrod’s Life SAVERS structure stands for exercise, and he recommends doing this in the morning, more so than any other time of the day, to both ensure it gets done and to get the mind and body pumped for the rest of the day.
Personal development guru Anthony Robbins is also a huge advocate for starting the day with exercise – even if just a few minutes of high intensity cardio.
Reading is next on Elrod’s agenda, and even if it’s only 5-10 minutes of reading a day, think how much that accrues over a year.
What you read of course, is a personal choice, but the guideline is that it should be inspiring and/or educational – we’re not talking about reading your Facebook feed!
And scribe (write)
The last step in Elrod’s morning routine is scribing (it would have been writing, but he needed a word that ended in “S” to make the SAVERS acronym work.
Elrod uses this time for journalling, while other people who use the system dedicate this time to writing blog posts or books.
I personally find this a great way of getting my thoughts out of my mind and in a format I can look at with more clarity.
How the Miracle Morning looks for me
I’ve been trialling the Miracle Morning process pretty much for the last two years, and while I’ve tweaked my morning ritual (and it definitely does not always go to plan), here’s how it is panning out for me.
I’ve typically gone through phases of being a morning person able to leap out of bed at 5.30am, to being a night owl and getting to bed past midnight – which makes an early morning start pretty torturous.
Since reading the book, I have (more regularly than not), woken up every day between 5.00am and 5.45am. I spend about two hours on my morning ritual.
I’ve changed the order of the routine, which now looks like:
- Get up and get dressed, have a glass of warm water with lemon juice, then do a 45 minute walk (or run) along the Brisbane river, during which time I usually see the sunrise – in Brisbane’s winter months at least. It’s a beautiful, peaceful time of the day (Exercise).
- When I’m not running with my running buddy, I listen to an audiobook or podcast, which allows me to consume about 45 minutes of inspiring and educational content at least three times a week. I also listen to podcasts or audio books when I’m driving anywhere. (Reading).
- At the end of my exercise session, while I’m still outside (and cooling down from the exercise), I find a seat along the river and sit in silence for 10 minutes (Silence). Sometimes this can be the only part of the day I get outside in the sunshine, which is why I moved my Silence session from indoors to outdoors.
- I then spend two minutes listening to the affirmations I have recorded in Evernote – an App on my phone, which syncs with the same App on my computer (Affirmations) – and spend another few minutes visualising them (Visualisation). This is a powerful process for manifesting your dreams into reality!
- I head back inside and write for about 10-15 minutes, including at least 8-10 things I’m grateful for, what my intentions are for the day, and anything else that’s on my mind.
- I then have healthy breakfast and get on with my day. I find that if I skip breakfast, I have a horror day and find my energy lagging some time mid morning. I now can’t remember the last time I skipped breakfast!
The awesome part about starting my day with this ritual, is that I am effectively priming my mind, body and spirit for a successful day. By the time I would have typically woken up, I feel like I have already accomplished heaps!
Spending the first part of the day, “sharpening the saw”, as Stephen Covey wrote about in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, sets me up for a more focused, productive day where I can better serve others around me.
I don’t follow the ritual strictly every day – sometimes if I get up a bit later, I cut the exercise or writing sessions short. But, I love having a view of what my ideal morning ritual looks like, and a structure that builds all these life-enriching habits into my day.
The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod is a great read, and has the power to dramatically change your life for the better. Check it out!