Looking Back on 30 Days of Building a Morning Routine
My alarm goes off at 5:30am, and I cringe at the sound. I know from one of my favorite books, the Little Book of Life Skills, that all I need to do is swing my legs onto the floor and plant my feet on the ground. But, the bed is so cozy and the ground is so cold. Thinking about Shanna’s alarm going off at the same time several miles away, I muster up the energy and pull up out of bed. This is day 10 of a 30 day challenge to create a consistent morning routine that is supposed to give me more energy and productivity to achieve what I want in life. At 5:30 in the morning, that sounds like a very lofty goal that couldn’t possibly occur because of waking up before the sun rises. It wouldn't be until closer to Day 25 that I start to feel those benefits come to fruition.
Why Even Start a Morning Routine?
I didn’t understand why a morning routine was so important until I read Hal Elrod’s book The Miracle Morning. In it, he details a shocking statistic that made me give this daily routine a second look - According to the Social Security Administration, if you take any 100 people at the start of their working careers and follow them for the next 40 years until they reach retirement age, there are five different scenarios - one will be wealthy, four will be financially secure; five will continue working, not because they want to but because they have to; 36 will be dead, and 54 will be broke and dependent on friends, family, relatives, and the government to take care of them. Especially because my parents fall into the 36 & 54 groups, I did not want to be on that end of the statistics. Not that a morning routine can guarantee this outcome, but if you take a look at some of the most successful people in the world, it is almost a guarantee that they will have created some sort of daily habits that have made them and kept them successful. This was proof enough for me to set that alarm a little earlier than I normally would. In fact, despite my misgivings about rolling out of bed so early each morning, both Shanna and I have found immense benefits from creating a routine that works for each of us. Here is each of our perspectives on The Miracle Morning 30-Day Life Transformation Challenge, and our tips for building something that works for you.
30 Days of a Morning Routine from Two Perspectives
In the Miracle Morning, Hal Elrod details six practices to do each morning as part of the miracle morning routine, SAVERS - silence, affirmation, visualization, exercise, reading, and scribing (writing/journaling). I set out to follow these six practices religiously every day for the 30 days, and about halfway through felt very defeated. I was struggling to hit all six, as my small children would often wake up before I could get through a full hour's worth of activities. Once I let go of the need to complete the challenge as perfectly as possible, the practices began to work much better and I felt a sense of calm as I started my day. I began to alter the steps for what felt best to me - exercising first to wake me up and get me ready to sit, then silence (meditation), affirmations, visualizations, and ending with journaling. I cut out the reading all together, as that became the struggle point for me either because I didn’t feel like I had enough time or I felt forced to prep something that I could read in the amount of time I had. By day 25 I noticed an energy that I had throughout the day that hadn’t existed before starting the daily practice. By day 30, I was starting work a little earlier and checking off more things on my to do list. Overall, by the end each day I did the routine, I felt a sense of calm and presence that I hadn’t felt for a while prior to creating this daily habit.
In The Miracle Morning, Elrod details out a practice for mentally preparing yourself to get up earlier than you have in the past and to get up feeling refreshed. He takes the approach of “mind over matter” in that you tell yourself before going to bed that you are getting all the sleep that you need to be rested and energized the next day. (I’m just paraphrasing so definitely reference the activity that he outlines in the book for doing this practice.) While I can appreciate the advice and that it works for him and others, that practice never worked for me, and getting up early was a struggle for the first 10 days of practicing the SAVERS of The Miracle Morning. But, with each day of doing the new routine, I found new purpose and calm in my day. Instead of waking up and feeling as though I was constantly chasing the day, I was able to approach my day with focus and clarity. And feeling that shift was what really made me stop fighting with my alarm and welcome the early wake-up calls. Fortunately I had Nicole and the podcast to push me through those first days of struggle!
As for the six practices that Elrod outlines (SAVERS), I still complete all six each day, but they’ve expanded into a morning and evening routine. I do Affirmations, Visualizations, Scribing (or Journaling), and Exercise in the AM. And I end my days with Reading and Silence. My first 30 days I did stick to all SAVERS in the morning, but decided to make this switch when I realized that I kept shortening the other practices in order to read more and, perhaps more importantly, when I realized that I wanted an evening routine that felt as good as my morning routine.
Our Tips for Establishing The Miracle Morning Routine
Download the resources that Hal Elrod provides for starting to create your morning routine at www.MiracleMorning.com/resources. This kit comes with exercises, affirmation prompts, daily checklists, and tracking sheets to help you get started. If you’re a check something off the list kind of person like we are, it can be very satisfying to complete the paperwork as proof of accomplishment.
Get an accountability partner. ( but don’t let this stop you if you don’t have one.) If you can wrangle a friend, partner, or family member into doing the challenge with you, it can help pull you through on those days that you really don’t feel like getting out of bed.
Alter the routine to whatever works for you - don’t feel like you have to stick to the SAVERS approach, or any specific routine that others prescribe to. Do what feels right to you; the important thing is to build this into something that you will want to do consistently.
We can say from personal experience that creating a morning routine is worth the effort. While the effects may be subtle at first, over time you begin to notice how much more productive and present you feel throughout your day.
Want to learn more about creating morning routines and other wellness hacks? Check out Episode 47 for 10 simple ways to add some well-being into your everyday.