I woke up at 3.50am this morning. I didn’t mean to. For some reason, my body decided it was time to wake up and there was no telling it any different. I know some of you will also have been awake at this time. Someone at some point has told you about the amazing book or approach that is the Miracle Morning.
They probably started with the words “I never used to be a morning person” and ended with “all successful people do it”.
Are you now feeling the pressure to give it a go?
As someone who enjoys trying new things and creating more time in the day for what I enjoy, surely if successful people do it, I should too?
What is the Miracle Morning?
The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod makes a bold statement – “Changing the world, one morning at a time”. The subtitle of the book states that the Miracle Morning is “The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed To Transform Your Life… (Before 8 AM)”. Nothing quite like a transformational statement to catch your attention.
It’s based around starting each and every day by using the S.A.V.E.R.S approach.
S – Silence. You are encouraged to sit peacefully and calmly, breathing deeply and say a prayer of gratitude. Or you can pray for guidance on your journey. This is to develop a deeper sense of peace and purpose.
A – Affirmations. Having previously written down your affirmations, you would now read them out loud. It’s said the reading this daily should remind you of how capable you are and increase your confidence.
V – Visualisation. Having also created a vision board. You then spend some time with your eyes closed, visualising your day going perfectly, enjoying your work and achieving those goals for the day.
E – Exercise. You are encouraged to end your miracle morning with 60 seconds of exercise. This is to energise you and help you start the day by being alert and focused.
R – Reading. Exactly what it says on the tin. You’ve to grab a self-help book and read one/two pages to discover something new that will help your day.
S – Scribing. In just one minute, you are encouraged to write down what you’re grateful for, what you are proud of and the results you are committed to creating for that day. This is with the aim of empowering yourself.
As you delve into the book more, it’s suggested that this could all be done in six minutes. Six minutes that will change your life (and don’t forget changing the world).
Why Miracle Mornings Are Not For Me
I often get asked how I fit so much into my life and work, so you may be surprised that I’m not Miracle Morning person. Yep, you read it right, I’m NOT. It just doesn’t quite work for me.
I can hear the gasps already from those who are converts, so I may as well throw in that I can’t cope with all the associated ‘Woo Woo’ talk either (a subject for later perhaps)!
But behind that slightly controversial statement, I’m not quite as extreme as others who I hear dismissing the theory and practice. There definitely tends to be an opposite school of thought known as the “You are Bonkers” response. I don’t believe people who follow the Miracle Morning approach are wrong, I just don’t believe that EVERONE needs to do it, to be successful.
I personally do love an early morning start and 2016 was really the year that I started to utilise those early hours more. It started in the summer as I love leaving the curtains open a little and naturally waking up with the light. If I had a choice, I’d prefer getting most of my work done in the early hours or evening so that I can enjoy the sunshine throughout the rest of the day outdoors. Oh come on, I own beach huts, you knew I’d be a sun worshipper too!
If you ask my previous colleagues and even university lecturers they’d never put me down as a natural morning person. I had 9 am Maths lectures every day and suspect it’s part of the reasons I transferred to a pure Accountancy degree! In my previous jobs, I’d also be the one sitting up to 11 pm/midnight completing the sales reporting for the following day or working on some detailed pricing. Historically, it’s where I did my best work (or so it seemed!).
Running the beach huts separately to my day job, forced me to think about my day differently. Previously I’d be up around 6 to 7 am and in work somewhere between 7 and 8 am to get a headstart on the day. I found that extra hour or so, helped me achieve my own personal projects or tasks before the rest of my team would arrive. I’ve also worked for some ‘early start’ bosses over the last few years so knew that if we were working on something together, this would be the time we could catch up. So I wasn’t entirely unfamiliar with early starts compared to my previous mornings. Nor the thinking around being more productive at the start of your day.
With a little prompting from two serial early morning peeps, I started setting the alarm from 4.45am. It felt a bit crazy doing it the first time but it really did have a huge impact!
Now here is the bit of Miracle Morning that didn’t work for me.
If I’m up at 4.45am, according to the Miracle Mornings, I should be meditating, exercising, drinking a glass of water, reading etc. Everything that is in the S.A.V.E.R.S approach could be covered all in six minutes so no real impact my day in terms of time.
Now I don’t know about you but this feels hectic. Rushing between 1-2 pages of a book to desperately scribbling thoughts down in a minute stresses me out. There is no way that I could justice to any of those tasks in one minute each. It would take me a minute to put down the book and pick up a pen and paper and switch my mindset between the two.
In reality, most people spend at least an hour working through these six steps if not more. So I think the promotion of the fact it could be done in six minutes is misleading. My first big issue with the Miracle Morning.
While I recognise each and every step of the Miracle Morning has its benefits I do the unthinkable. I switch on the laptop.
Why? Surely I want to be successful too?
One of the most important tasks for me each day, outside of my day-job was to create ‘content’, just like this blog. I know that this is a big no-no in terms of a Miracle Morning, though it could be very very loosely linked to ‘Scribing’. But for me, I had to personally think through the tasks that I ‘had’ to complete each morning before heading off to the day job. I always accepted that with my day job, things could happen that may result in a longer day or that I’d naturally lose some energy into the evening. This meant that this time in the morning was my only ‘guaranteed’ space to get things done.
That included housework, all things beach hut and of course Millie time! So that’s what I choose to prioritise. My life doesn’t quite fit into the idealisms of the book.
Just like the philosophy behind Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy, I also find that by getting one very large time-consuming task out of the way, it frees up my brain to focus on all of the other aspects of my day instead of crating new tasks to an already to-do list. I feel just as productive throughout my day as those days were I attempted Miracle Mornings. Dare I say it, but I’m more productive!
No morning was entirely the same but I found myself following a loose routine of:
5 am to 6 am: Blogging/Writing or working on the website
6 am – 6.30 am: Breakfast and household type tasks, respond to any urgent beach hut emails/queries
6.30 am to 7.30 am: Dog Walk or Canicross session with Millie
7.30 am: Time to hit the shower, walk to the train station and off to work to be in by 9 am.
Without taking this approach, I know I wouldn’t be sat here today publishing my 96th blog this year.
But What About Winter?
I have to admit the last few weeks have been tough. I’ve found myself working later in the evenings and getting up much later. Partly due to moving back into the family home now I’ve moved back to Scotland but also due to the much shorter days.
Whether I’ve achieved less or not on those days, I’ve definitely FELT like I’ve achieved less.
I debated whether I should give in to it and naturally switch my working hours around the change in light but I really did feel like I was achieving less. So I’ve given myself a little kick up the bum and asked some others too as well.
Early mornings started again last week and as you can tell from my first sentence, already, just a few days later, I don’t always need an alarm to get me up.
I have, however, thanks to several recommendations, just purchased a Lumie Alarm Clock. This simulates a natural sunrise so I’ll be sure to pop back and let you know thoughts!
So however you start your mornings, don’t be too pressured to give into what is seen to being successful. I would say not to rule anything out until you’ve tried it, but there is only one of you. Only you know will know after trying different techniques what works best for you.Be Bold, Be Brave, Be You Click To Tweet
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