We’ve all used the phrase “got out of bed on the wrong side” as a way of acknowledging our low mood or general grumpiness. No matter how you fill your days, our morning routines can have a direct and powerful impact on setting the tone for the rest of the day – from stressful mornings spent running around to lethargic mornings without any plans, it’s likely to have an unwanted knock-on effect.
A good night’s sleep the evening before will work wonders, but stressful mornings spent rushing out the door or being sucked into an email/to-do list vortex before you’ve had your morning coffee will inevitably work against you, whether you’ve had a restful night’s sleep or not. Additionally, our cortisol levels (the hormone responsible for our stress levels) begin to rise when we wake up, so structuring in some joyful activities when you first get up is crucial to setting us up for a productive and stress-free day.
With this in mind, we set about implementing Hal Elrod’s The Miracle Morning, which is a 6-step personal development routine. The activities undertaken are called Life S.A.V.E.R.S, which stand for; Silence, Affirmations, Visualisation, Exercise, Reading and Scribing (aka journaling). These self-development habits create a deliberate morning ritual, allowing you to intentionally welcome the day and guarantee’s you’ll have a calm, peaceful and rejuvenating morning. The steps are a practical and sustainable way to prioritise and take care of yourself before going about your other duties.
We all know that self-care is paramount to our personal happiness and ability to serve and help others, so taking time for yourself can have far-reaching benefits when it comes to both your personal and work life. Committing yourself to this routine first thing means you’ve already taken care of yourself before your day has even begun! Like many people, we’re guilty morning phone users – Instagram, emails or any app that has notifications is usually checked upon awakening, an activity that won’t be helping with our cortisol levels and isn’t a particularly fulfilling activity, so we were excited to drop this activity in favour of some healthier morning habits.
We think it’s important to be in-tune with your personal needs and only select the rituals that are relevant and enjoyable for you, so we tailored our routine to match our interests and mixed up how long our Miracle Morning lasted for each day – meaning we scheduled in around 20 – 60 minutes a day.
Here are some suggested steps to help you prepare for your Miracle Morning:
Step 1 – Where possible, remove your phone from the bedroom so you won’t be tempted to check it. This allows you to focus on your morning without any interruptions.
Step 2 – Before going to bed, set your intentions for the following morning – if you’re planning on exercising first thing, put your exercise gear next to the bed. If your intention is to read/journal, place these on your bedside table. A key tip to successfully implementing your Miracle Morning is accepting the amount of sleep you’ll get and trusting it will leave you feeling refreshed. Elrod explains that the more we worry we’re not getting enough sleep the more it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Step 3 – Stop snoozing your alarm. Any sleep you’re getting post your initial alarm won’t be particularly good quality and may start your sleep cycle off again, leaving you feeling more tired when you eventually get up. We have an alarm clock that simulates a sunrise by slowly lighting up over the course of 30 minutes, which we swear by for helping us wake up during the darker months.
Step 4 – Hydrate immediately upon waking. Place a large glass of water next to the bed and gulp it the moment your alarm goes off, it’ll help you wake up!
Step 5 – Follow through with your morning routine without distractions – we chose to do a mixture of silence, exercise, reading, and journaling throughout the week. We suggest you select what feels right for you and tweak it as you go so as to create a bespoke personal routine.
After seven days the power of these morning rituals has already made a tangible difference to our days. Our mornings have become a peaceful, calm and intentional part of the day, opposed to something that can be walked through in a sleepy daze. As our purpose can change from day-to-day, having an intentional morning routine to wake up to has been refreshing and provided some much-needed structure. It’s become apparent that our sneaky morning phone checks were draining our energy and should be a thing of the past. Replacing unfulfilling activities with fulfilling actions has meant that when we sit down to work, it’s with a clear and focused mind and has resulted in us being more productive throughout the day.
Finding a Miracle Morning routine that works for you could be as simple as incorporating stretching the moment you get out of bed, enjoying a quiet moment over a lemon and ginger tea or zoning out and listening to upbeat music in the shower – any activity that brings you joy can be used in your Miracle Morning and we certainly recommend giving it go.