I love to read. And I especially appreciate it when a friend can recommend a book to me which they believe holds value. So…when my boyfriend told me about The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod, I was intrigued. Apparently it has wound up on the must-read list of many of our notorious high achievers such as Tony Robins and Peter Diamonds.
The basic premise behind the book is this: if you make a point to get up early and carve out an hour to work, productively, on yourself…you can foster self-growth quickly and catalyze your success in other areas of life.
To give an idea of what this means in specific terms… the idea is to get up early (an hour earlier than you usually do) and do the “savers”
- Silence (meditation)
- Affirmations (commitments and intentions)
- Visualization (visuals of what you want to achieve)
- Scribe (journaling)
Seems simple enough…right?
Perhaps…but the author makes some pretty big claims about the effectiveness of using this routine (such as helping to increase one’s financial success, lose weight, be more focused…and so on).
So…I decided to read the book and begin my Miracle Morning ritual to report my experience and write a review.
Day 1 (Wednesday):
Okay – first off…it’s important to let you know that I was reading the book and starting this routine before having finished it. In hindsight…it might have been better to finish the thing first.
I didn’t set an alarm. I’m a recovering insomniac, so I make a point to avoid setting alarm clocks if at all possible. And I am a naturally early-riser, so I wasn’t really worried. I decided I wouldn’t make a point to wake up earlier, but instead, just be more deliberate about the time I spent when I woke up first thing in the morning.
Interestingly, though, I did wake up earlier than usual. 4:50am to be exact (when I usually wake up somewhere between 6am and 7am). I chuckled a little. One of the claims that Hal Elrod makes in his book is that when we set our intentions the night before, it has an impact on how we wake up the next day. I’m not a huge “Secret” fan…and I am always a little reluctant to buy into the whole “I am going to manifest my own reality” but…hey. Maybe Elrod is onto something?
At any rate, since I had SIGNIFICANTLY more time than usual, I took full advantage.
First – I did my usual meditation practice. I integrate a yoga therapy practice alongside my meditation…and that usually takes me 20 minutes. So I kept that as-is. I didn’t see any reason to shorten it to 10 minutes.
Second, I picked up the book I have been meaning to finish: “The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k.” (which I also highly recommend reading, by the way).
Third, I spent some time doing a “visualization” of sorts. I just mapped out what I thought my day would look like and wrote it down.
Fourth, I wrote down my affirmations. That felt odd. I’m not especially good at writing good affirmations.
Finally…exercise. I have an exercise schedule that I already keep to that alternates between rigorous and relaxed….short and long. Today happened to fall on a “rigorous” and “long” day. So I ended up doing about a five mile run/hike that included some interval training. The picture that is featured in this blog was taken on my hike, actually.
Overall – terrific strategies. My only problem is with the tone of the author’s writing. There are several occasions when the author seems to need to justify the awesomeness of his routine by talking about how awesome he is and how great his life is. That’s not something that generally warms me to someone. It makes me suspicious. If you feel great about yourself, you should have to tell me that you’re great.
Having said that….his story is absolutely inspiring. He overcame some extraordinarily difficult situations. THAT part made me believe he was great. He didn’t have to say it. He showed it.
But to be fair…I see a lot of this kind of tone in self-help books. You have to assert your value in this world. So I get it.
Day 2 (Thursday)
Today – 6:30am.
It’s odd. I woke up several times in the night thinking it was time to get up…and then rolled back over when I realized it was 3am. 4am. When it reached 5:30am…I almost got up – but because I hadn’t gotten to sleep until about 12 – 1am the night before (I’m not sure why. My body just didn’t seem to want to sleep) – I allowed myself one extra hour. And I was glad for it.
It’s interesting. Elrod insists that a big part of why we are “tired” in the morning is because of the self talk we have the night before. We imagine that we need a certain amount…and then that self-talk leads us to believe that. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about that. I get it. And to some extent I agree with it. But in my experience, it’s more of a relationship between my thoughts and my body rather than a one-way street.
I rarely make assumptions about how I am going to feel the next day. Instead, I just stay curious about it. If I wake up tired, I allow that. I move slower. I am more deliberate about what I commit myself to. I say “no” more often to events and rest. When I wake up feeling refreshed, I go to town and take full advantage of the energy.
Elrod asks us to think about those times we were really excited about doing something. He invites us to consider that we were never tired on THOSE days even if we didn’t sleep a wink. But here’s the thing. I have had those days when I was REALLY excited to do something. And sometimes I have still been tired. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it. I did. But I enjoyed it at a slower pace than perhaps I might have on a day that my body had more energy to spend.
At any rate…I will say this: I started to make peace with Elrod’s proclamations of greatness. The more I read into the book, the more I realized that he’s jut excited. He’s found a strategy that worked really well for him, and he wants to provide his success story as a kind of case study for how our lives might look if we took some time out for personal development and self care.
So my routine this morning looked like this:
Yoga Therapy: 20 minutes (I’m not giving this up – it comes first)
10 minutes of silence in the form of a headspace segment
10 minutes of affirmations (which I wrote down the night before and thus had a much more positive experience with this morning)
10 minutes of visualization – which I also wrote down
10 minutes of exercise in the form of the 7 minute workout combined with a little stretching
10 minutes of reading – The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck
10 minutes of Scribing – in the form of this blog entry.
I can see how this is helpful in unraveling some limitations that we might have unknowingly and unwittingly subscribed to. And because I spent a bit of time thinking about what I want to see changing…I did manage to apply to a few gigs yesterday in the hopes of making more money. I’ll let you know what (if anything) transpires.
Day 3: (Friday)
I was pleasantly surprised to find I was able to wake up, naturally, at 5:30am. And I felt great!
I did my yoga therapy, first. Then went for a 30 minute run. I followed that up with a shower and then got back to read for a few minutes, write for ten, and only skipped out on visualizations and affirmations.
By this time, I was almost finished with the book, and I had a richer understanding of the value of affirmations and visualizations. I’m still not a big “secret” fan. But I will say that I can understand why being deliberate about my intentions can be helpful in building a better future and help me on my way toward success.
I’m realizing that I’m not entirely sure what it is that I want to visualize for myself…and as a result, I am having a little trouble with my affirmations. If you don’t know who you want to become…how do you craft affirmations to get you there? Hmmm.
I had a training I needed to go to as well – which lasted about 6 hours. When I got home, I was exhausted. So I took a nap and decided to gift myself with some more time to visualize and create more honed-in affirmations.
I’m not entirely sure which direction I want to go in. One moment I’m thinking big (maybe I do want to have a lovely home in the woods somewhere and my own office and financial freedom). The next I think…no. I just want simplicity (which would also come
Day 4 (Saturday)
I was exceptionally tired. My body simply did NOT want to get up. It had taken a while for me to fall asleep and I was cranky.
I did manage to get up and go to a yoga class. And that certainly helped. By the time I got home and got situated, it was late in the afternoon. I decided to do the “miracle morning” even though I had missed the morning window.
And I’ll say this…it still helped. I was exhausted and my body felt like it was moving in a giant bowl of jello. But that was okay. I felt more at ease after I was done with the whole routine. And I took more time for each one, since it was a Saturday and I had the time to spend.
Afterward, I had a session scheduled with a coaching client. I had a GREAT session. I was attuned. Connected. And I was delighted by the conversation. I realized that having done the routine earlier that afternoon, it had allowed me to be really present even though I was exceptionally tired.
I realize that it really does seem to be better when you do it in the morning. But getting it done AT SOME POINT is better than not doing it at all.
Day 5: (Sunday)
I woke up at 5am and did the sequence. I enjoyed it. It felt more “right” and it lasted throughout the day. Having felt a bit more rested to begin with (getting sleep will do that…I don’t care WHAT Hal Elrod says. I definitely feel the difference between 4 hours of sleep and 7 hours of sleep no matter what I told myself about what my experience would be the night before.
Anyway, though…I did the series and found myself spending the day doing chores. It was an uneventful day…but a pleasant one.
Visualizations are the thing I struggle most with. I am not necessarily sure what changes I am looking to see come to fruition in my life. It feels like being ungrateful for what I have…which I know isn’t necessarily true. But for some reason, spending time visualizing a different life just seems…weird.
Day 6: (Monday)
I did the series today. It’s definitely becoming more of a habit. And I appreciate having the structure in place. It feels like granting myself permission to be kind to myself. The structure of it puts my inner critic to rest. But the nature of the routine fluffs up my “self-care” voice as well.
But dem visualizations doe….
I definitely have an issue with those. I wonder if it’s not, somehow, connected with my initial distaste for the author’s tone. I’m aggravated by a man who talks about how awesome his life is AND I have trouble imagining a better life for myself? I almost wonder if there isn’t a bit of self-confidence issues lurking about there. Maybe the reason I am turned off by people who are comfortable saying great things about themselves is that I am especially uncomfortable doing that. And perhaps the reason I struggle with visualizing a different life is because I don’t know that I need or deserve better. I mean….my life is already amazing! What do I need more of? What needs to change?
Just a thought.
This practice definitely provides some space to gleam insights about our inner world.
Day 7: (Tuesday)
I was able to get a good night’s sleep, the night before. I went to sleep a little sad, but basically feeling calm. When I woke, I was still sad…but it was a conscious kind of sadness. It was the sadness of someone who knows what she needs to do about it. But that’s for a different kind of blog…
At any rate, I got up, I did my yoga therapy practice. I sat in meditation for 10 minutes. Then I journaled about it (about 10 minutes or so). I read from the Heart of the Buddha (I had finished “The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k” and had moved onto a different book. I wrote an affirmation. I still didn’t do any visualization. Primarily because I still don’t know what to visualize (hmmmm).
Having finished a week’s worth of experimenting with Hal Elrod’s recommended miracle morning ritual, I can say that it’s absolutely worth trying. I don’t know that I’ll do it forever, but I am more than happy to continue doing it for his 30-day challenge.
If you start your day off with a nutritious meal, you’re less likely to crave junk food throughout the day. You’ll feel better. You set the stage.
In the same way, if you digest a nourishing experience such as meditation, journaling, visualizations, etc…you set yourself up for being grounded and focused during the day. You reach for “junk” experiences less (less time spent on social media. Less time zoning out). And you spend more time getting things done.
So on the whole – definitely worth reading and absolutely worth implementing into a practice. Well done, Hal Elrod!