Today I woke up at 5:30am. I stayed up late (10:30pm) watching a movie with Matt, so getting up at 5:30 was slightly uncomfortable. But 13 days into my new morning routine, uncomfortable is much better than the first 10 days of unbearable.
*Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
I used to say “I am not a morning person”. It was my excuse for why I couldn’t get out of bed before 8am. Then I read “The Miracle Morning” by Hal Elrod. In the past 13 days it has literally changed my life.
I used to wake up at 8am, rush around the house like a tornado to get ready and get to work at 9am. I always felt like I never had any time for me. I made excuses as to why I didn’t have time to exercise or to make breakfast. Yeah, I’d love to go on that early morning skin up the basin, but I need to sleep.
I’m not saying you should sleep less because sleep is super important in so many different ways, I’m saying you should go to bed early and get up earlier to give yourself more time in your day for you.
In Hal’s book he outlines six activities that you should do every morning. For the last 13 mornings I have done all of these things first thing in the morning usually around 5:30 – 6am. But before those six things he has some tips to make getting up in the dark, early morning hours easier.
It starts the night before. Tell yourself, before you go to bed, that you will wake up rested and ready for your day. This is a key step, and if you’re going to skip any of the next steps, I suggest that you do not skip this one. It sounds kind of silly, but I’ve tested doing it and not doing it, and doing it always leads to a much better and easier morning. If you tell yourself at night that you will be tired because you’re waking up so early then you will be. If you do the opposite you will feel the opposite. Sometimes you have to tell your brain what is happening not the other way around.
Another tip for the night before: set your clothes out so you don’t have to fumble around in the morning. You want everything to be ready so you don’t have to think. If anything about your morning is a struggle YOU WILL go back to bed because it is easier.
- The next step is to set your alarm clock on the other side of the room so you have to get up and shut it off. I only had to do this for the first few days until I was capable of just getting up when it went off. Now to be clear, I do not jump out of bed and yell “I’m so excited” when I wake up at 5:30am. Sometimes I wake up before the alarm goes off and other times I hit snooze for 10 minutes. No one is perfect and sometimes all you need is 10 more minutes and then you are ready.
- Upon waking up, immediately brush your teeth. The minty freshness and easy autopilot routine will start to wake your brain up without much physical movement.
- Drink at least 8oz of water. Again, I set this up before I go to bed so I don’t have to walk down to the kitchen to get it.
Once you have done all of these things you will be at least marginally awake. Where’s the coffee part? you might be asking yourself at this point. Stay with me if you are a coffee drinker, I promise it is part of the routine.
Next is where you start what Hal calls the SAVERS. It’s an acronym and I don’t always do it in this order, sometimes I switch it up, so here is what it stands for and the order that I do it in, feel free to make this your own as to what works for you.
The first thing I do upon waking up is sit in silence. Depending on the day and how much time I have sometimes I only sit for 3 minutes and other times I sit for 10 or 15 minutes. I try to meditate or sometimes I just sit and watch the sunrise, or watch the flame from a candle. If you are a coffee person I suggest doing this before drinking a cup of coffee as your mind will be a lot quieter without the caffeine. Once you are done with silence, feel free to make that cup of java!
The next thing I do is to visualize my successes. Whether it’s career related, relationships, dream life, family, etc. Just sit down and visualize what you want in your life. At first I thought this was a silly exercise and now it’s my favorite part of my morning because it is so inspiring. If you don’t like to visualize in your head, you can use Pinterest to make a vision board, or print out images, whatever works for you to visualize what you want from life.
I think of affirmations as “I” statements. “I am successful”, “I am smart and capable”. At first it seems kind of uncomfortable to say things like this to yourself but it is powerful. If you say these things to yourself enough times you start to make it reality. I write any affirmations that pop into my head down in my notebook and read them in the morning to remind myself to keep working at my goals.
4. Scribing (or journaling)
I have a little journal that prompts me to write down 3 things I’m grateful for, my exercise goal for the day, one thing I appreciate about my body, and what inspires me. It also has a section to just write general notes, what I ate for the day and what my energy level was. I fill out half in the morning and half in the evening. I just write whatever comes to mind, I don’t think about it too much. If you want a similar planner, check out The Miracle Morning Journal, made specifically to go with this challenge.
I read for at least 15 minutes most days, sometimes more and I always try to read something inspirational. It gets me in a good mood and feeling inspired walking into my day. I’m also working on a challenge to read 52 books this year, so this is important for that goal as well.
The last thing I do is exercise. Depending on the day sometimes this happens later in my morning but I make sure to do something active everyday. Some days it’s just a walk with my dog, other days I go skiing or hiking. If I’m short on time I will just do a 7 minute Fitbit Coach work out.
This routine is what get’s me up and moving every morning. They say it takes at least 21 days to make something a habit. I’m doing a 30 day challenge and I’m on day 13, and feeling pretty good about it. As Hal says in the book, the first 10 days is the toughest, the unbearable. The next 10 days is just uncomfortable, and the last 10 days is unstoppable.
Since starting this “Miracle Morning”, I have had a feeling of accomplishment before 8am everyday. I’m able to get so much more done by getting up early. I no longer have excuses for not exercising. I feel great and have started to love getting out of bed every morning because I get to start my day and get more done.
I highly recommend clicking the link below to check out “The Miracle Morning” by Hal Elrod. *