Some people dread mornings. They fear and hate the sound of an alarm clock. You may be one of those people. You hit the snooze button over and over as if you get paid for every time you hit it. If we hate waking up so much, why do we do it over and over again? What you may not realize is, that by hitting the snooze button and dragging yourself through your first hour of being awake, you may be setting yourself up for a bad day.
I have always been a morning person. I used to annoy my friends and coworkers when I would see them on early mornings with a big smile on my face and ready to talk. I’ve never fully understood the posts on social media with phrases like, “You may not speak until I get my first cup of coffee.” Or, “Coffee is life.” Honestly, I’m not much of a coffee person, I am more of a tea person. Besides that, I rarely need any form of caffeine in the morning and I start most mornings at 5am.
Now, I may be a morning person, but until recently, I’ve never really taken advantage of the extra time I have in the mornings. I just finished reading The Miracle Morning – The not-so obvious secret guaranteed to transform your life before 8 am, and it has reinvented the way that I start my day. It has helped me create a ritual that gives me a jump start to a great day.
Many successful people we know have morning rituals. One of my favorite routines is by Tony Robbins which only takes ten minutes. There are many other leaders including great CEOs that have morning rituals. I figure if they are all successful and use morning rituals, they must be doing something right.
Your first hour of your day can really be a deciding factor for how the rest of your day goes. I am sure you have heard the phrase “Waking up on the wrong side of the bed”. In other words, you started off with a bad morning, and it has continued throughout the day.
Think about your current morning now. If you have to be at work at a decent hour, you probably give yourself just enough time to wake up, get ready, and get to work just in time to clock in. That means your entire morning is rushed from getting ready, getting the kids together, breakfast, making lunches and rushing out the door. That is stressful. You have only been awake for a little over an hour and you have already experienced some form of stress.
Now think about your weekends. Hopefully you get to sleep in a little bit, there is nothing wrong with that. After you wake up, it is typically a nice relaxing start, you walk slowly to the kitchen, put on a nice pot of coffee (or boil water for tea), turn on the morning news, maybe read a newspaper. You can move at a more comfortable pace, and then you can slowly get ready for the day. From there, the rest of the day seems great. Yes, you may have some bad days over the weekend, but it seems bad days happen more during the week.
Now, I encourage you to read The Miracle Morning, but here is a short summary of the 6 activities Hal Elrod explains in his book, that have completely changed the way I spend my mornings.
The easy to remember acronym he uses is S.A.V.E.R.S.
S – Silence
This is typically done by some form of meditation. If you are not familiar with meditation, there are plenty of resources online for different forms of meditation. In summary, this is a practice of deep breathing, while keeping your focus on your breaths. By doing this, you stop thinking about all other things happening in your life, and can just focus on the present. Meditation is really starting to become more popular. It is not just something hippies do all day, but think about how calm they are, probably because they use meditation.
A – Affirmations
This is reading, or saying statements that make you think in a positive mindset. Typically, you should use phrases that are true, or you want to be true in present tense. Phrases like ,“I am going to have an amazing day”, or “I am going to have the best day possible”, are a great way to start off your day. Starting your day with these positive thoughts, sets your mindset for the day.
V – Visualizations
If you have goals in your life (which you most definitely should), you should take this time to visualize yourself achieving these goals. Think about how great you feel having achieved these goals. You should be smiling from ear-to-ear thinking about the idea of knocking off all your goals. If accomplishing your goals does not make you smile, then your goals are not big enough, and you will not put in the work to achieve them.
E – Exercise
I know, exercise early in the morning sounds horrible. I admittedly do not always do this activity in the morning, but it is quite important. I’m not saying you have to go run a mile, or do an hour lifting session at the gym. You just need to try to get your heart rate up. Raising your heart rate activates every part of your body, and is a great way to wake up in the morning.
R – Reading
This is my favorite of the S.A.V.E.R.S. It does not take much brain power and I typically get to learn something new every morning. This is only ten minutes a day, which if you read about a page a minute is obviously ten pages a day. Over a year that is about twelve 300 page books. I try to read personal development books or books that provide some form of education. These will typically provide at least one learning point throughout the ten pages you’ll read in the morning. This gets the brain working and out of the groggy sleep state.
S – Scribing.
Scribing, also known as writing, (Hal had to find a synonym for writing that began with an “s”), is a great way to get all of your thoughts down onto paper (or computer). This writing does not have to be professional, spelled correctly, or grammatically correct. This also flexes the creative brain muscles and helps you dump some of your early morning ideas somewhere that you may, or may not come back to reflect on later.
Now, this may seem like a lot of activities to do in the morning, especially if you are not a morning person, but Hal makes it a point that you DO NOT need to do all of these every morning, especially when you first start out. The idea is to spend more of your morning focusing on yourself and the rest of the day, not running around frantically trying to get everyone piled into the car before racing off to school or work.
Hal recommends working your way up to an hour miracle morning every day. Waking up an extra hour early straight out of the gate might not be the best idea. You may want to slowly work your way to an extra hour by setting back the alarm clock in fifteen minute increments for three days at a time. After three days, set it back another fifteen minutes, and in about two weeks you will have a full extra hour to use for your miracle morning.
I would highly recommend Hal’s book. He has helped me reinvent my mornings which has in turn, helped me grow. If you always feel rushed in the morning, or as if the first half of your day is drags along, a miracle morning might be the perfect cure. It may be a little difficult in the beginning, but after a couple weeks, it may turn into the best part of your day.
Question: How do you currently spend your mornings? Do you think your morning routine could be better? You can leave a comment by clicking here.