I first stumbled upon the Miracle Morning in April this year, but it took me until July before I decided to try it. What took me so long, you ask? I keep telling myself “I’m not a morning person.” I have, however, actively been working on changing that view of myself for almost a year now.
The second reason it took some time to try it was: “Do I want to try and have a morning routine? No thanks; I’ve had long morning routines in the past, and I’ve always reverted to either starting my work day directly after a quick shower, quick snack, or both.”
Why did I change my mind and try the Miracle Morning?
At the beginning of July, I decided to get the audiobook (The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod) because I wanted to change my life and have a daily energizing habit. After getting the book on Audible and listening to it for an hour or two, I got so inspired by the book that I decided I had to try it out for myself. But I didn’t want to set the alarm at 5:00 am as Hal did, so I went with my regular 6:30 am alarm time. And the customization options are just one of the many strengths of the Miracle Morning.
Fun, relaxing, and energizing
What surprised me the most was how fun it was to do the Miracle Morning. Even though the standard Miracle Morning is one hour, the time flew by so fast that it felt more like 10 minutes than an hour. My guess is that it’s because there are six habits/exercises in the Miracle Morning. Thus, you spend just about enough time on every habit. As you’re about to get bored, it’s time to continue to the next habit. Thus, you don’t spend enough time to get bored on a habit and make it feel like a chore.
The hard part (for me) is to get up on time and do the Miracle Morning; once I’ve started, it takes no energy at all (no exceptions) to continue with the exercises. Even on days when I feel the most reluctant and don’t want to do the Miracle Morning at all; within a minute from starting all frustration disappears and is replaced by positive energy. I’m in awe how well and consistently this works, even when I’m most skeptical.
The Miracle Morning
The core of the Miracle Morning is a morning routine which includes the following six habits:
- Silence (or meditation)
- Scribing (or journaling)
Most of the habits, are self-explanatory but also open to interpretation. And you can interpret them to fit your needs. I’ll cover each of them more thoroughly and give an example of how my morning routine looks like a bit further down. The default Miracle Morning is an hour long, making each of the habits for ten minutes. But you can, and should, customize it to your own needs, making it easy and fun to do 🙂
To remember the six habits, Hal, who created the morning routine, made up a simple acronym that’s super easy to remember; Life SAVERS. Super easy to remember, and the acronym helps me when I want to list the Miracle Morning habits 🙂
As I mentioned, the Miracle Morning is highly customizable to the individual, which is one of its fortes. In his book, Hal recommends that you customize it to your current needs, and don’t stick to the default or even one schedule. What you can change are these five factors.
- The total length of your Miracle Morning — Set your time from six minutes(!) to an hour.
- The duration of each habit— Set any time you want for your exercises. I’ve allocated more time for the exercises I like. No need to push yourself to do lots of what you don’t like doing.
- Skip some of the habits — If you’re starting out, Hal points out that it’s better to start and do one of the exercises than none at all; maybe reading and finishing the Miracle Morning book. You don’t have to make it all or nothing.
- Do them in your order — Reorder the habits to your wants or needs. For example, you might like or need to exercise the first thing you do after you wake up. I, on the other hand, like to end with a workout and stretching session because I feel so weak immediately after waking and it’s the one thing I like the least. If I were to start with a workout, I would have a tough time starting with the Miracle Morning.
- When to do it — The Miracle Morning is preferably done in the morning (at 5:00 am). But that doesn’t work for everyone and doing them is better than not doing them. That’s why I went with my regular waking time at 6:30 am and not getting up any earlier.
Further more, you decide for yourself how you interpret silence, affirmation, visualization, exercise, reading, and scribing. You choose the format. For example, Hal used the Scribing part of his miracle morning to write the Miracle Morning book and not only for journaling, at that time he bumped up the amount of time he spent on journaling (to fit his needs).
Treat the Miracle Morning as something organic, changing to your own needs.
My Miracle Morning
Just before going to bed, I prepare by setting the alarm at 6:30 and placing my phone out of reach. I then continue with opening the affirmation page in my journal—the bookmark remains at the next empty page so I can quickly navigate to it when I’m scribing. And then I put a glass of water just beside my phone.
When I’m in my bed and ready to fall asleep, I try to do as Hal told in his book; to visualize and prime myself how I will feel when I wake up. When I remember to do this (half the time), I visualize myself waking up fully refreshed and eager to start my day with full energy. I then continue with visualizing my wake-up routine which I do before my Miracle Morning routine.
If I remember, I try to smile, stretch out my arms in the air, and think how beautiful the day will be, all before getting up. I then get up, turn off the alarm and drink the glass of water I (hopefully) had prepared. One of the challenges I have here is that I sometimes set another alarm and go back to bed—I’ll go into this more in-depth in My challenges with the Miracle morning further down below.
Once that’s done I go to the bathroom. In here, I splash my face with cold water—or tepid water as it takes to long to get it cold—I then continue to brush my teeth while simultaneously peeing. I don’t like standing up and brushing my teeth in one small place, so I rather sit down and think about the day or anything else that comes to my mind.
1. Silence or meditation (10 min)
I begin my Miracle Morning with 10 minutes of meditation. I’ve yet to find how I want to be meditation in the morning. Some days I try Vipassana—focusing on my senses and breathing—other days I try to fill myself with gratefulness, just focus on breathing, or just pure silence for days my mind acts like it’s on speed.
I begin with meditation because it’s one of the easiest habits for me to start with. I just sit down cross-legged and put on my BetterBack to help me sit straight with zero effort.
2. Reading (19 min)
I love reading, and it’s effortless for me to get into. So it makes sense that I continue my Miracle Morning with reading. Meaning 29 minutes of the first hour are doing things I find easy doing and enjoy, that makes it a lot easier for me to start the Miracle Morning.
When I read, I highlight passages (digitally) and don’t stress about my reading speed. I could read about two or three times faster than I do, without sacrificing information retainment. But I find it relaxing to read slowly and not try to be as efficient as possible all the time.
Oh, and I just have to mention. Before I started with the Miracle Morning, I hadn’t read any book for about a year because I often find it more entertaining and valuable to listen to audiobooks. So when I had to pick, I always chose an audiobook to listen to, but not all books are available as audiobooks.
Hal mentions that listen to audiobooks counts as reading too. But I enjoy reading; I just hadn’t found a perfect time to read. Thanks to the Miracle Morning I’m now reading daily again and loving it 😀
3. Affirmations (4 min)
I wanted to have my affirmations before Scribing as reading my affirmations would remind myself of my higher goals and values in life. Thus, in the next step (scribing) I would have these things in mind when deciding on my most important task for the day.
I and others have found affirmations to be the hardest habit to prepare because you both need to figure the format of the affirmations and then what you truly want.
As I was totally lost on what format I should use, I began searching for affirmation examples but found it a lot more helpful to search for miracle morning affirmation examples as the first search result was some examples Hal had published.
My personal favorite of these examples is Hal’s personal affirmations. I liked the structure and the subject of the affirmations. I reworded everything into my language (and into Swedish), removed some paragraphs I didn’t like and added some I thought were missing; such as gratitude and feelings towards my girlfriend and how I want to support her; and how committed I am to care about and ask friends how they’re doing.
4. Scribing or journaling (10 min)
As I mentioned, I wanted to scribe after my affirmations since that brings greater focus what task will bring me closer to my mission in life.
But as with affirmations, I found it hard to know what kind of structure I wanted or if I would write freely, not following any structure. After googling for a few examples, I didn’t find anything useful actually. But while I was searching Google for a structure, my subconscious was looking for answers within. And when I gave up searching on Google, I found myself with a handful of answers from what I had heard various people say about their journaling routines.
Three things I’m grateful for. I’ve seen this in many places, and there’s been a lot of research that gratitude exercises make you happier. So this was a no-brainer for me, and something I’ve done in the past. I just had trouble sticking with the exercise.
My most important thing. What’s my most important task (MIT) to do today? After the miracle morning, I focus on completing that as the first thing I do (if applicable). Often the MIT has to do with work; sometimes I have two most important things, one for work, one for personal tasks. And on rare occasions, I have one MIT and then 2–4 smaller tasks I call ‘extras’ or ‘optionals’ that I want to complete during the day.
If I only achieve my most important thing during the day and nothing else, the day is a success. I would say that this piece is the single most important thing during the whole Miracle Morning if I want to get stuff done. Having an MIT helps me start and continue to focus on just that until it is completed.
Lessons learned. What did I learn yesterday? How can I use it in the future? These questions help me reflect on yesterday’s findings, so I (hopefully) can do better or remember an insight till the next time.
What would make today awesome? What single thing would make today awesome? Often it’s just completing my most important thing. Other things I’ve written include; To find a cozy coffee shop for the personal development meetings, to relax and be present during the Sjöbo fair, get lots of free time for myself after I’ve been out running.
Problems and challenges. What difficulties can I anticipate in regards to the MIT? How can I solve them? I usually write as many problems and challenges as I can come up with before the timer runs out.
What can I acknowledge? Sometimes when I can’t find any(more) problems and challenges I try to find big or small things I’ve accomplished that I haven’t acknowledged to myself.
5. Visualization (8 min)
After scribing, I’m now ready to visualize my entire day. I often visualize the same thing multiple times in the following order
- After exercising and stretching. I take a shower and in a minute refreshing cold shower.
- I (sometimes) make tea and some breakfast.
- After finishing my breakfast, I turn on my computer and start doing the most important thing. I try to visualize in great detail how I’m working, what steps I’m taking, challenges I’m overcoming. For example, my one thing today is completing this article so I can publish it tomorrow. I visualized sitting in front of the computer writing this article in WordPress (just as I’m doing), facing challenges (and overcoming them) such as not knowing where to start and what to include, and running out of time.
- If I remember, visualize my mission and higher goal in life, and the actions I take towards making them a reality.
I often find it hard to visualize continuously for 8 minutes, but whenever I catch my mind doing something else I bring it back to visualizing.
6. Exercise (7 min) and stretching (2 min)
I don’t like to exercise in the morning, so I only put 7 minutes of workout with full-body exercises I like doing. I’d recommend that you find some exercises you like doing and doing a few of them over a few minutes. I repeat all the five 30-second exercises after a 30-second break in between. Thus I don’t need to do anything fancy.
If you want to do push-ups I’d recommend watching this video; it explains how to do proper push-ups in straightforward steps. Honestly, I thought I knew how to do proper push-ups, but I was doing them wrong. But finally, I’m starting to notice benefits and not being stuck once I started doing proper push-ups 🙂
I end with stretching my neck and breast muscles as these often are tense, making my neck and shoulders stiff. I plan to do more stretching in the future.
Post Miracle Morning routine
After I’ve completed my Miracle Morning, I go directly into the shower if it’s a workday or I’m sleeping alone. In there I take a regular shower for as long as I want (which usually is only 2–4 minutes), I end with a 1–2-minute cold shower 🙂 The cold shower helps me jumpstart my energy and enthusiasm for the day. I’ve called the cold shower the most exciting time of the day, not that I have a dull time otherwise, but I prime myself to get excited when I see the shower nozzle and feel the cold air before going into the coldness. It’s a morning routine that has stuck and will probably stick with me for the rest of my life.
The only reason I came to love cold showers were thanks to the Wim Hof Method, even though I only completed two weeks of it.
After the shower, I often eat breakfast and maybe take a cup (mug) of tea. On and off I’m an avid tea drinker, but in work mornings it should be Earl Grey with a lemon slice; and not any Earl Grey, it has to be from Kobbs.
My challenges with the Miracle Morning
Going back to bed after turning off the alarm. While I’d love to feel eager and jump out of bed every morning, that’s rarely the case. About half the time, or even more (at this moment), I go back to sleep for 2–4 more hours. What I probably need to do is more visualization and priming before going to bed, practicing waking up, and reading my pain vs. pleasure; everything is covered in the Early Riser section of Raise Your Standards.
Affirm my beliefs with strong conviction. When I’m reading out my affirmations out loud, I often don’t have strong feelings about the causes I’m reading. I don’t have 100% conviction of what I’m reading, something that helps a great deal. So, for now, it’s more of a mental reminder what I think is important and what I want to do with my life.
Finding a workout routine that’s more fun to do. While I don’t hate the individual exercises, the only one I like is doing push-ups. And it’s getting a bit boring having the same exercises every single day. Finding other exercises or another workout routine would help make the Miracle Morning even better and easier to do. I’ve always wanted to try yoga, but I’d probably want to go to a class first so the instructor can help and correct me 🙂
What do you like about the Miracle Morning?
Whether you’ve yet to try the Miracle Morning or have been practicing it for a while, I’d like to know your opinion, what do you like with the Miracle Morning? 🙂 Please comment the answer below 🙂
The Art of Charm. Where I first heard Hal Elrod and his Miracle Morning. Hal hardly mentions the Miracle Morning, but the podcast got me intrigued, especially on trying the habits of highly successful people (nope, not the book, and totally different habits).
The Miracle Morning website. Official Miracle Morning Website.
An inspirational keynote from Hal Elrod. When I introduce people to the Miracle Morning, it’s usually through this video. I found it highly inspirational, and although he doesn’t talk extensively about the Miracle Morning, his story and storytelling capabilities are amazing. And it’s just enough information for the person to either get intrigued by the Miracle Morning (or not if they’re on another path in life.)
BetterBack. Helps you keep your back straight and relieves back pain. Works wonders and I often end up using it multiple times daily.
Miracle Morning affirmations examples. Including other bonuses such as a journal sample and bedtime affirmations 🙂
Proper push-ups video. How you do real push-ups, so you get the most out of the exercise and don’t hurt yourself 🙂
If you need help with a situation or someone to talk through your problems, feel free to contact me and we can probably work something out ?