Have you ever had one of those lazy mornings when you wake up at 9 am, checked your social media platforms, commented and reshared some posts, checked and responded to emails, answered missed calls from family members, and clicked a few web pages only to realize it is 1 pm, and nothing tangible has been accomplished yet?
If this is you, you need to introspect and make the necessary changes. One of the best changes you can adopt is creating a morning routine. In his book titled “The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life,” Hal Elrod offers a simple and proven guide to perfecting your morning routine using 6 life SAVERS (silence, affirmations, visualization, exercise, reading and scribing).
Are you creating the levels of success you desire in various areas of your life? In chapter 1, Hal notes that when measuring success in various areas, always strive for the best life (Level 10 of Life on a scale of 0-10). Gaining success in these areas requires a morning routine. The author mentions that the book is set on three imperative arguments which guide everyone who wants to succeed. They include;
- You are as worthy, deserving and capable of creating and enjoying wealth, health, happiness, and love as any other person on the earth.
- For you to stop settling for less and to create the levels of professional, personal and financial success you desire, dictate time each day for personal development.
- How you wake up daily, and your morning routine, affects your success levels in various areas of your life.
Chapter 2 details the book’s origin. Hal notes that the book was born out of desperation. Examining the author’s life, he hit rock bottom twice. At the age of 20, Hal was hit by a speeding car and declared dead at the scene before slipping into a coma for six days. Upon waking, the doctors informed him that he had suffered permanent brain damage and would never walk. Against all odds, he miraculously healed within a few weeks. Secondly, Hal went into bankruptcy during the post-global financial crisis and developed depression. One morning, as he was listening to a podcast, the podcaster argued, Your level of success will rarely exceed your level of personal development, because success is something you attract by the person you become. The words provoked him to commit time to his new personal development initiative, where he dedicated his mornings to the SAVERS earlier mentioned. Within a few days, he started enjoying his morning routine, recovered financially, and overcame depression.
Chapter 3, “The 95% Reality Check,” notes that we all face similar challenges. However, 95% settle for less, and 5% are financially successful and live in freedom. If you don’t want to end up struggling like the 95%, you should;
1. Acknowledge the 95% reality check–many people are comfortable living a mediocre life.
2. To avoid mediocrity, understand its causes, including;
- The rearview mirror syndrome (continuously reliving and recreating the past, which may limit the present and the future)
- Lack of purpose
- Isolating incidents
- Lack of accountability
- Lack of personal development
- Lack of urgency
3. Draw your line in the sand–resist mediocrity and commit to living intentionally, not tomorrow, not next month, not next year, but now. Decide to make the necessary changes today
Why did you wake up this morning? Hal notes that many have never asked themselves this question. Given a chance, many would snooze the alarm and continue sleeping till late. When you snooze an alarm, however, you send a message to the universe that you would rather lie in bed (unconsciously) instead of living actively (consciously) and creating a great life. You snooze; you lose.
Chapter 5 presents the 5-step snooze-proof wake-up strategy to avoid snoozing our alarms. For people with the “low wake-up motivation levels,” the below five steps can largely assist.
- Set wake-up intentions before going to bed–create a genuine enthusiasm for the next day.
- Keep the alarm across the room–forcing yourself out of bed to turn off the alarm increases the Wake-Up Motivation Level.
- Brush your teeth–go straight to the bathroom, brush your teeth and splash cold water on the face immediately after waking up.
- Drink a glass of water–it rehydrates the body and reduces tiredness
- Shower or get dressed.
Chapter six explores the six powerful practices known as life SAVERS. They include;
Having a great and fruitful day requires you to start your morning with a purposeful silence. Deliberately silencing the mind has other benefits, including health, stress reduction and performance benefits that result in better concentration during the day. Silence will also improve your clarity and self-awareness.
When practicing silence, you can combine it with other components, including;
- Deep breathing
An affirmation refers to a positive and constructive statement that an individual repeats as a tool to assist negative mind reprogramming. Affirmations help you design and develop the beliefs and thoughts required to take you to your next level. Some of the successful people in our society use affirmations, including Oprah Winfrey, Will Smith, and Jim Carrey. When creating affirmations, take these five steps;
- What do you really want?–clarify in writing the specific area in life you want to improve
- Why do you want it?–why is the goal meaningful in your life?
- Who are you committed to being in order to attain the goal?–identify who you need to become and commit
- What are you committed to doing in order to attain the goal?–clarify the actions to take in terms of frequency and time frame
- Add additional quotes for motivation–For example, “I can do it.”
Visualization refers to imagining what you want to attain, and mentally rehearsing what you must do to attain it. How do we visualize?
- Get ready–sit up tall in a comfortable position, breathe deeply, close your eyes, clear your mind and get ready to visualize
- Visualize what you want–major goals and desires
- Visualize what you need to do and who you need to be
- Create a vision board that represents your purpose and ideal future.
Morning exercise boosts energy, enhances health, and improves self-confidence and emotional wellbeing. It also assists in better concentration. Hal suggests that one should exercise for at least 10-20 minutes every day.
Every day, pick an improvement book and read for at least 10 pages. When choosing the book, always ask yourself what you want to gain. Consistent reading will improve your knowledge, skills and confidence.
Hal argues that journaling has many benefits, including;
- Gaining clarity
- Clearing the mind
- Reviewing learned lessons
- Capturing ideas
- Acknowledging progress
- Expressing gratitude
In chapter 7, Hal offers a six-minute miracle morning routine for busy individuals. The next chapter offers ways to customize a miracle morning routine to fit your lifestyle.
In chapter 9, “From unbearable to unstoppable,” Hal teaches the readers how they can change a habit every month with the right strategy. He offers 30 days or 3 10-day phases that you can use in establishing new positive habits while breaking the negative ones.
- Phase 1 (day 1-10)- Unbearable– Right after a new habit implementation, it can be exciting. However, such quickly wears off, and the habit becomes unbearable. Understanding that pain is temporal assists in sticking to the habit.
- Phase 2 (days 11-20)–Uncomfortable–the mind builds confidence with the new habit, but the habit remains uncomfortable. Discipline and commitment are required to stick to it.
- Phase 3 (Days 21-30)–Unstoppable– the new habit becomes a part of your identity.
In the last chapter, the author challenges readers to undertake a 30-day transformation challenge. The challenge is aimed at overcoming limiting beliefs and establishing a good mindset.
- Take responsibility for your life
- Your morning becomes your day, and your days becomes your life
- Develop a pre-morning routine to assist you in getting out of bed faster
- Every morning you hit the snooze button; you are resisting your day
- You can trick yourself into feeling energized every morning
- Silence calms the mind and creates an optimum frame of mind essential for day challenges
- Gratitude enhances happiness
- Sticking to a morning routine sometimes requires an accountability partner
- Instead of scrolling the phone once up and checking whatever is happening worldwide, learn to check within yourself by starting the day with a period of silence/mindfulness.
- If you learn to start your morning seated in meditation, you can establish a calm reference point that acts as a day’s remainder.
- View the morning silence as lighting a candle to find peace of mind during a noisy, chaotic day.
- Start your morning with the least enjoyable tasks to kill procrastination
- Your alarm should never be within reach
- Journal to gain clarity, review learned lessons, express gratitude, acknowledge progress and capture ideas.
- Your level of success will never exceed your personal development.