One of my favorite podcasts, Do It Scared, recently featured the motivational writer and speaker Hal Elrod. In it, he describes the obstacles he’s overcome: near death, a diagnosis that he would never walk again, and financial ruin. One of the major practices that he credits with his success is what he calls The Miracle Morning. I love this practice because it is so simple. Basically, the guy just gets up early! Elrod claims that it has been life changing.
He shaped his ritual based on his research into the practices of some of the most successful people in history. Many of these people also got up early, and they did a few things that helped set them apart. Elrod came up with the acronym life S.A.V.E.R.S to remember these six practices: Silence (meditation/ prayer/reflection), Affirmations, Visualization, Exercise, Reading, Scribing.
I’m usually inspired by this podcast, but this particular episode not only inspired me, I also felt the satisfaction of having already discovered the secret he spoke about. Sometimes when you do something so simple it doesn’t seem like it is special, but lately I’ve been realizing that maybe it is. A friend recently invited me to speak at an event. When I asked her what organizing and productivity topic interested her the most, she said without hesitation that it is my morning ritual.
The theory is when you get up early you get to compose how your day unfolds. Before the requests start coming in from your kids, your spouse, or your colleagues, you get to choose exactly how to start your day, which causes you to lean in to your life overall. As Elrod says in his book, “Every time you hit that snooze button you’re in a state of resistance to your day, your life, and to waking up and creating the life you want.” I have found this to be true in my own life, too. Waking up early allows me to do the self development work that I would put off if I saved it until the evening. My morning ritual makes me feel so good that I am motivated to get up early even when I’m tired.
Here’s my current practice:
- Make coffee. (This step will never change!)
- Read the daily passage from Melody Beattie’s Journey to the Heart
- Read the daily devotional from Eugene Peterson’s Solo, write about it, and pray. It guides my day, and I’m so glad I discovered it.
- Plan may day using this planning sheet. It helps me to make sure to prioritize my to do list by A, B, and C priority.
- Write or read. I spend the rest of the time writing a blog, or reading nonfiction. I work out a little later in the morning once my kids are off to school. Exercise is also a big part of what keeps me feeling good.
If you are craving more self development time, but aren’t sure morning is the best time for you, I suggest you set your alarm just a half an hour earlier and give it a try. I think you’ll find that it is worth it.
If you also have a morning ritual, I’d love to hear about it. Post a comment or hit reply.