I have always been a morning person. Since I was young, I love waking up at the crack of dawn before everyone where the world seems silent, new and peaceful. However, as I grew older, I would wake up a little later than usual around 7:30am the earliest and 9:30pm the very latest. When I started living in Singapore, I even struggled a bit more with waking up early because I get really tired from daily commute so I would love longer hours to sleep to rest and sunrise comes later than in the Philippines. We all need a good night sleep. Sleepedia recommends a good mattress for a good night sleep. In Singapore, sun rises around 7am. So waking up at 5:30am is still super dark that you would be tempted to crawl back into your bed & cover your head with a comforter. In the Philippines, sun rises at 5:45am or 6am. I usually enjoy watching the dim horizon slowly brightens with orange-yellowish tone as the sun rises.
I have always heard the benefits of waking up early and have learned that most successful people wake up at around 5am like Tony Robbins, Oprah Winfrey, Robin Sharma, First Lady Michelle Obama, Richard Branson and most CEO like the PepsiCo CEO, Apple CEO, Twitter CEO & Starbucks CEO. I always wanted to start again that early morning waking habit this year. I was hoping it would improve my productivity and lessen my stress level. Juggling work and family can be overwhelming so I wanted to try to practice this habit to see if it can help. My interest in waking up early was ignited again when I chance to browse upon a book in Changi Airport on my way to Manila about waking up early increases productivity and improves the mood. I didn’t buy the book and I even forgot the title of the book & author.
But my desire to learn more about the benefits of waking up early and how to go about it is still pushing me to search for a book to reference to. In one of my unplanned visit to a bookstore, I serendipitously found a book that would convert me into being a member of the Early Risers Club.
I found The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. It promises to transform your life before 8AM by practicing the 6 habits that was enumerated in the book. The book is a not so thick book. It is an easy read but definitely delivers and packs a punch. Hal Elrod, a survivor of a fatal accident & enormous debt has turned his life around by applying the 6 morning habits he mentioned in the book.
So let me share with you, his simple 6 morning habits which he used the acronym, S.A.V.E.R.S. Each letter represent an activity you will be doing for 10 minutes for every activity in the morning.
This is 10 minutes of silence. You can use this time for meditation or prayer. Sit in a comfortable chair or on the floor with a warm wool. You can put a soft soothing music or diffuse some essential oils. But remember never do this lying down or else you will fall as sleep. Focus on your breathing. Dont let your mind talk or wander. Just be silent. Silence your mind. Be at peace with the quiet world. Allow inspirations to flow in you unintentionally. You can do all this using meditation techniques or concentrating in a higher power. If you have a strong religious inclination, you can spend this time, concentrating in God’s goodness and love emanating within you.
Affirmations are series of sentences or mantra that you repeatedly say to yourself. You can create your own or get some ideas from Pinterest.
You can create affirmations tailor-made to what you want. Here are some The past has no power over me anymore
I embrace the rhythm and the flowing of my own heart.
All that I need comes to me at the right time and place in this life.
I am deeply fulfilled with who I am.
I let go of worries that drain my energy.
I make smart, calculated plans for my future.
I am a money magnet and attract wealth and abundance.
I am in complete charge of planning for my future.
I trust in my own ability to provide well for my family.
I am a unique child of this world.
I have as much brightness to offer the world as the next person.
I matter and what I have to offer this world also matters.
I may be one in 7 billion but I am also one in 7 billion.
*adapted in www.prolificliving.com
It is important you say these affirmations and you truly believe in it.
Use this time to visualised your longterm and short time plans coming true. It must be vividly real in your imagination. You can see, hear and feel it coming true. You can visualised how your day is going to go. You see yourself going about the day, you get to watch yourself, see your facial expression, feel your emotions. You can also use this time to look at your vision board. Here is a video of how to create a vision board.
This is time to make your heart go pumping. This would allow you to put in some exercise regimen into your day even just for 10 minutes. You can do HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), a 10 min jog, 10 min squatting, 10 min jumping jacks, yoga flow, etc. What I do is Mon, Wed, Fri, I used the app 7 Minute Wellness for Expecting and New Moms by Johnsons & Johnsons. I do the Workout Session, usually for 18 min or sometimes I cut short to 10 min. Tues and Thursday, I choose some cardio dance routine in my Active by PopSugar. Currently, I am loving the Bollywood Cardio Dance. On weekends, I do my usual yoga routine.
Choose a book of your choice. You can read for 10 mins. For me, I usually what I do is I put on a YouTube to some wellness or educational video which I put on my makeup for work. Some can use this time to listen to a podcast or subscribe to audible.com listen to an audiobook for 10 min. If I do not have any work, I would read one chapter of a book. My current book which I am loving now is by Esther Perel, Mating in Captivity. Or I would finish my miracle morning routine on my way to work. (My place is 1 hour and a half away from work) So I can do my 1 chapter of book in the MRT.
This last activity is about jotting down your thoughts. It could be a form of journaling or making a list. I am a list-maker and a writer so I enjoy this. You can write in your thoughts for the day or create a gratitude list. You can write it in a good old notebook or you can go digital. For me, even if I would prefer to write in a notebook, for convenience, I type it in my Iphone using the Day One app. I do not time this activity and I would often do this in the MRT on my way to work.
This is my formula for this activity is using the acronym: G.A.I.N. I would often reference to the day before this. It is like my review of yesterday.
So G stands for Gratefulness, what I was grateful for yesterday and what blessings I received even the teeniest ones. A stands for Accomplishments, what I have achieved or completed yesterday. I stands for Improvement, what needs to improve in myself, what were my mistakes that I can correct next time I encounter it again. N is short for another acronym NPL (I remember it as No Pay Leave, haha). It means Notes, Plan, Learning. Here I placed what does not belong in GAI. I put what I observed, what I have learned, and my musings for the day before. The great thing about the Day One app you can also put in photos of the day (before).
Tips in Embarking the Miracle Morning
Waking up early is the toughest challenge in starting and continuing this. Dont touch that snooze button! You can put that alarm clock or your phone (if you’re using this as your alarm) on a desk unreachable from your bed so you will be forced to stand up from the bed. You can take a quick shower to wake up your senses or at least wash your face with cold water. I also drink cold lemon water first thing in the morning to jot myself away. It is also very refreshing and perfect for detoxing too. I advised you not to eat yet until you are done with your Miracle Morning routine. One thing I also realised that is my mistake why I wasnt able to achieve the early morning waking up before is didn’t go out of my bedroom so I would end up sleeping in again. After my shower, I would change to my exercise clothes. Then I would turn on the lights in the living room. Before I tried doing meditation in the living room but I never turn on the lights and my body still feels like it wants to sleep again because the world is still so dark. Now, I turn the living room lights and the ceiling fan on. And please do not do all this especially the Silence part, lying down.
Now you would say I cannot commit to 60 mins every day. You can modify it to your lifestyle. You can do 5 min Silence, 2 min Affirmations, 5 min Visualisation, 10 min Exercise, 20 min Reading, 10 min Scribing or 15 min Silence, 5 min Affirmations, 5 Visualisation, 20 Exercise, 5 min Reading, 5 Scribing. You can even 1 min each activity. Yes you can! Combine the Silence, Affirmations, Visualisation for 3 min. Exercise can be 1 min of jumping jacks. Reading can be 1-2 lines in book and Scribing can be one line of what you are grateful for.
You can also interchange the sequence of the habit. You can exercise first then do silence, affirmations, visualisation, reading and scribing. Or you can do SSVARE sequence. There is no hard and fast rules. It is all up to you. But do it in the morning, not night.
Benefits of Miracle Morning
A few days of me doing the Miracle Morning Routine, I noticed how my mood changed tremendously. Nothing can get me down. I was really happy throughout the day. Even if work is piling and I would mess up or little bad circumstances, I was still in a positive high. Plus my productivity increased a lot. I got more things done. I interacted with people better and my relationships improves & deepens. It was like a magic pill.
Though I have to admit, there are times when I didn’t get to do whole routine. And there were a time when I wasnt able to do for 3 straight days. Gosh, my days were so horrible and I was so depressed, stressed and anxious. And my negativity attracted bad circumstances too which made it worst.
I have to warn you though, because of waking up earl, there will be some times when you get so sleepy during the day, usually after lunch or after work. Just hang on, your body will soon get used to it.
So do you want to give this a shot? Let me know if you tried it, yea!