For the last 70 days I have been starting my mornings in a new and special way—completely different from anything I’ve ever done—and the results have been life-changing. But, before I get into all of that, let me start at the beginning. It all began with a quote:
Know that wherever you are in your life right now is both temporary, and exactly where you are supposed to be. You have arrived at this moment to learn what you must learn, so you can become the person you need to be to create the life you truly want. Even when life is difficult or challenging—especially when life is difficult and challenging—the present is always an opportunity for us to learn, grow, and become better than we’ve ever been before.Hal Elrod
In what felt like fate, these words appeared in front of me (on Instagram, of all places) at a moment I truly needed them. Eager to find the original source, I was soon redirected to a book titled Miracle Morning. Within a couple of days, I’d read the book cover to cover and, just like that, I had a whole new outlook on life. The words resonated so deeply that they actually created change in me, something I have never really experienced from a ‘self-help’ book.
The book’s author, Hal Elrod, has a way of really making you reflect on whether or not you are living up to your full potential. He writes:
Every day you and I wake up, we face the same universal challenge: to overcome mediocrity and live to our full potential. Unfortunately, most people never even come close. Approximately 95% of our society settles for less than they want in life, wishing they had more, living with regret and never understanding that they could be, do, and have all that they want. Arguably the single most signifiant cause of mediocrity and unfulfilled potential is that most people have no sense of urgency to improve themselves so they can improve their lives. Human nature is to live with a ‘someday’ mindset and think life will work itself out. This someday mindset is perpetual, and it leads to a life of procrastination, unfulfilled potential and regret.
Now, it’s not like I wasn’t doing anything with my life. In fact, I had lived a pretty extraordinary life up to this point, and yet I still knew I was capable of achieving so much more. I had done everything you’re ‘supposed to do’. I went to University (and regretfully quit blogging mid-way to focus on finishing my degree), landed a great corporate job, and was working on major projects with some of the world’s biggest brands and celebrities. I thought hitting these milestones would have me feeling 100% content with my success, but once I achieved them, my aspirations for success went further. I still felt like I wanted more. I wanted a business to call my own. I wanted to start writing creatively again. I wanted the freedom to do what I wanted, when I wanted to do it. But the “someday” mindset always took over, and, year after year, I was on the same track, building my life, though an incredible one I was so grateful for, still within the confines of what was safe and comfortable. Hal made me realize that someday needs to be today. He explains,
Remember this truth: now matters more than any other time in your life, because it’s what you are doing today that is determining who you’re becoming, and who you’re becoming will always determine the quality and direction of your life.
In order to achieve your full potential, Hal states you must prioritize dedicating time each day to your personal development. He created the acronym SAVERS, which are a set of six life-changing daily practices, each of which develops the physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual aspects of your life: Silence, Affirmations, Visualization, Exercise, Reading, and Scribing. These elements are the tools to get you from the life you have now to the life you want, and here’s the kicker, they must ALL be done the moment you wake up in the morning. Sounds crazy, right? Well, it’s no secret that the most successful people in the world are early risers, so I figured Hal might be on to something here and decided to give it a shot.
Now, I have never been a ‘morning person’ and perpetually hate being awoken by an alarm, but I’ve learned to love it the last 70 days and even set an alarm on weekends. Why? Because I am genuinely excited for the opportunity at another day to take steps towards my goals. Hal compares the feeling of Christmas morning as a kid to the feeling you’ll get each morning once you start doing the Miracle Morning routine, and, most days, I actually experience it!
Gone are the days of hitting snooze and torturing myself with having to wake up to five alarms instead of one. Gone are the frantic mornings running around because I decided to get out of bed at the last possible moment. Now, mornings are like a mini wellness retreat I get to enjoy each and every day. Here’s what a typical (miracle) morning looks like for me now:
1. S – Silence
Silence can be any form of meditation. I choose to do Wim Hof breathing as my ‘silence’ practice while still laying in bed. I had used this technique on and off before starting Miracle Morning, but never consistently. Now, it’s the first thing I do when I wake up every single morning. Benefits of this technique include: stress reduction, faster recovery, better sleep, improved performance, enhanced creativity, increased mental clarity, and so much more (these results are amplified when combined with cold showers). If you aren’t familiar with the Wim Hof Method, there’s a great mini documentary by Vice on YouTube about Wim ‘Iceman’ Hof and his methods, which is well worth watching.
2. A – Affirmations
Affirmation are statements you recite that are in alignment with what you want to accomplish and who you need to be to accomplish it. Hal suggests repeating your affirmations daily, ideally out loud, and explains that “they immediately make an impression on your subconscious mind and transform how you think and feel so you can overcome your limiting beliefs and behaviours and replace them with those you need to succeed.” I recite mine during my SAVERS and often another couple of times randomly in the day when they pop into my head. It’s sort of like a little mini boost of motivation to get myself back on track. If you need some extra guidance in creating your affirmations, there’s also a great app, I Am, which sends you a daily notification containing a new positive affirmation.
3. V – Visualization
Visualization is the practice of seeking positive results in your outer world by using your imagination to create mental images of specific outcomes in your life. Through visualization you train your brain to see things as you would like them to be instead of as they are. I remember watching the movie The Secret many years ago and making my first vision board then. I am a firm believer in the law of attraction and this is a great tool to put out into the world what you hope to get back. For my Miracle Morning I made a digital vision board using PowerPoint and keep it on my desktop so that every morning it’s easy to access. I like the digital option because it’s simple to create, change, and update with a few clicks.
4. E – Exercise
As we all know, exercising regularly has positive effects on your health, stress levels, energy, and metabolism. If you ready my article, I DID YOGA EVERY MORNING FOR 30 DAYS, HERE’S WHAT HAPPENED, you’ll remember, I had always wanted to be the type of person who exercised in the morning but could never get the motivation actually do it. For this reason, I’d always been an evening and weekend exerciser, but in doing so I was missing the benefits of exercise throughout my workdays. So, for the sake of my SAVERS, a morning exerciser I became! I do a daily 10 minute yoga class from an incredible 30 Day Yoga Challenge I found on YouTube, which you can register to receive daily links to, starting from Day 1, here. It is the perfect way to get your blood flowing first thing in the morning.
5. R – Reading
Reading was one I was particularly excited about. I had always really enjoyed reading before bed as a kid, but, as an adult, technology has replaced this habit as I much prefer watching an episode (or two) of whatever series I’m loving at that moment. Reading in the morning was never something I’d even considered! Hal recommends a minimum of 10 pages per day to help you acquire new thoughts and ideas, and what better time for those than in the morning? I opt for personal development books to inspire me, help me improve different areas of my life, and to keep me motivated.
6. S – Scribing
Scribing is just a fancy word for writing, but a “W” would have ruined the acronym. This could mean journaling, jotting down ideas, or making a gratitude list. I do a combination of all 3 within 1 page every morning, which helps me to clear my mind, boost my mood, and feel ready for the day.
Doing my morning SAVERS essentially forced me to take a step back and assess my life, values, and passions, and take the steps necessary to start building the extraordinary future I’d always idealized for myself. So, 70 days later, you might be wondering what changed? Well, The Monday Edit was actually born from my Miracle Mornings. So was my new freelance digital marketing agency that I’ve recently launched and am currently building up. I feel happier, more fulfilled, and excited about the future. And for the first time, I am finally feeling like I spend my days doing things I genuinely want to be doing because they are things which will directly help me to achieve my long term goals. That, to me, is the ultimate dream.
And don’t get me wrong, have I missed a SAVER or two from time to time? Yes. But each new day is another opportunity to prove to myself that I can stick with what I’ve committed to and make self-improvement a priority. I fully intend to continue my Miracle Mornings for the foreseeable future and am excited to see where I’ll be another 70 days from now.
If you feel like you are in need of some changes in your life or that you may not be living up to your full potential, I highly encourage you to get yourself a copy of Miracle Morning (€10.99 // $20.20). Read it, start implementing its teachings, then read it again. Give yourself the gift of the life you’ve always wanted.
What do you think about starting your day with the Miracle Morning SAVERS? Is this something you’re already doing or are open to trying? Or do you believe every extra minute of sleep is far too valuable? Leave a comment and let me know!