From the moment I read about morning routines in Hal Elrod’s book, The Miracle Morning*, I knew they were for me. I loved the way morning routines helped to anchor the day in a positive way and also gave structure for incorporating things like meditation, reading, and journaling.
Problem was, I had a newborn whose sleep was erratic at best and a creaky old house that wasn’t conducive to moving around without waking everyone (dog, baby, husband) up at first step.
My husband and I did everything we could to make it work — taking turns with who got to go first and who would be on “baby duty” — so that we could both get our Miracle Mornings in. We lasted about a month before going back to the old routine of waiting for our daughter to wake up before starting our days.
I couldn’t understand why WE struggled so much with carving out the time for something that we both enjoyed doing until I remembered something: the people who are cited most when talking about the power of morning routines are a.) men, b.) single or childless, and c.) have partners who are responsible for the care of the children.
So where did that leave me — someone who saw the benefits of a morning routine but didn’t have the bandwidth to devote the time in the morning to fit it all in?
For a while, it left me squeezing it into my daughter’s morning nap. Not the first thing I did when I woke up, but still in the morning. I considered that a win. And it worked until the nap went away. Then I tried to fit it in while she was watching a show, but that left me a very small window to try and cram it all into and made me more stressed out than anything else.
Now that my daughter goes to school in the morning, I have a bigger chunk of time to work with. But I still find myself struggling to take on all of the components of The Miracle Morning* at once because that’s also my only time to work, write, shower, eat, and run errands.
What I’ve found is this: fitting in each of the Life S.A.V.E.R.S. at some point during the day has the same impact for me as it would trying to fit it all into an hour (give or take). In fact, I think I truly savor (ha!) each piece of the routine more because it’s all I’m thinking about. I’m not worried about what comes next or whether I’ll have time to fit it all in. I just do the component I’m focusing on and then I move on with my day.
The components of The Miracle Morning
The Miracle Morning* consists of 6 habits, or, as Hal Elrod likes to call it Life S.A.V.E.R.S.
The S.A.V.E.R.S. are Silence, Affirmations, Visualization, Exercise, Reading, and Scribing, which are all outlined in more detail below. While Hal suggests practicing all habits for about 10 minutes each, anything between 1 and 20+ minutes per task is fair game.
This is hands down my favorite of the S.A.V.E.R.S. (and also the one I crave the most). Silence can take on many forms in this process — meditation, mindfulness, breathing exercises, being in and observing nature, sitting in silence, etc. I’ve even seen friends use that time to do things like color or knit. I don’t know about you, but being the mother of a boisterous and energetic 4-year-old, silence (and time to myself) is something that I need in order to function at my best. Otherwise, I turn into a cranky, mean, and irritable mama bear. And no one — myself included — wants that.
Some of my favorite ways to carve out time for silence: meditation, a warm bath with essential oils, an Epsom salt foot soak, painting or drawing, and deep breathing techniques like boxed breathing or alternate nostril breathing (AKA Nadi Shodhan pranayama).
Affirmations are words or phrases that you repeat to yourself as a way to shift how you’re thinking or feeling in any given moment. I’ll admit, this one can be tricky for me. I like affirmations in theory, but don’t always feel connected to them when I try them on for size. What seems to resonate more, however, is setting an intention for how I want my day (week, month, year) to unfold. According to Deepak Chopra, an intention is the starting point for a dream and “is a directed impulse of consciousness that contains the seed form of that which you aim to create.” (Source)
I got a taste for setting intentions daily when I got the 5-Minute Journal. The morning section of the journal asks you to list three things you’re grateful for, three things that would make today great, and a daily affirmation or intention. I really liked how those three things kept me on track and gave me something to work towards each day. I also will occasionally pull an oracle or tarot card as a way to focus my attention and intention in a powerful way. I often find affirmations and mantras within the cards that really help to anchor my day in a beautiful way.
For as visual of a person as I am, I totally struggle to picture things in my mind’s eye. But this step, according to devout followers of The Miracle Morning* is all about visualizing your affirmations and goals so that you can bring them into reality. By visualizing how your day will unfold — getting things done, feeling the way you want to feel, reacting to stressful situations with ease — you are a thousand percent more likely to behave in a way that makes it true.
For me, visualization can take on a slightly different tone. I call in feelings and imagine myself being filled up with love. I imagine all of the negative or stuck emotions, thoughts, and beliefs bubbling up from under the surface and being released (or even washed away in the shower). I imagine my heart is being filled with a light and loving energy so that I can step into my day (or the thing I’m doing next) with a full cup. Those things really help me expand into the person that I want to be(come).
One of the things that I love about The Miracle Morning is how it is a routine for mind, BODY, and soul. Even though exercise means different things to different people, the simple truth is that moving your body is important for your overall health and wellbeing. For me, exercise is less about sweating it out in the gym and more about taking my dog for a walk around the neighborhood, stretching my body, kitchen dance parties, a 7-minute workout, or doing a 20-minute at-home yoga routine.
The key here isn’t to kill yourself or to make it an intense sweat fest daily. It’s to get your body moving. So whatever way that makes sense to you, do it.
Reading is a powerful way to expand our horizons, learn from other people’s experiences and mistakes, and gives us new words (and ideas) for understanding our own human experience. It also allows us to step outside of ourselves and imagine new realities. Being an avid reader, this component of The Miracle Morning* is admittedly another favorite of mine. And since I have yet to read a book on personal development that I haven’t taken at least one new nugget from, it continues to be an important part of my personal evolution.
If you’re not an avid reader or feel like you would do better with something that wasn’t a book, that’s okay too. You can read a blog post, a book summary, a news article, an inspiring Facebook post, or something else along those lines. The key is to take in new information (that has nothing to do with social media).
Scribing, AKA journaling or writing, are powerful tools for insight and growth. Even though I don’t always take the time to do it, journaling and list-making have long been favorite past-times of mine. There is something so transformative about putting pen to paper and really getting deep into your own inner world. I have made so many connections and uncovered so many unhealthy stories through writing, that I would consider this a non-negotiable tool for growth.
Now for the fun part: fitting it all in!
Now that you know WHAT the components of The Miracle Morning* are, we can talk about the fun stuff: fitting it all in! While Hal Elrod recommends getting up an hour earlier than normal so that you can do it first thing in the morning, that’s not always feasible. Particularly for the mamas (and primary caregivers) out there.
So instead, I’ve been playing around with fitting each component into my day in some way. Sometimes I even stack them together (like doing a guided meditation AND visualization in one fell swoop).
How this typically works in my life:
- Wake up and write in my 5-Minute Journal* (scribing, affirmation, silence)
- Get my daughter dressed, feed her, and help her get off to school
- Shower while visualizing the muck or stuck energy being washed away in the shower (silence, visualization)
- Draw an oracle card (affirmation, scribing, visualizing) or journaling / automatic writing (scribing)
- Take a break from work to read some pages in a book or a blog post (reading)
- Pick up my daughter from school and go do something (exercise)
- Chase my daughter around the house, go to a playground, go for a walk around the neighborhood (exercise)
- Quiet time in the afternoon (silence)
- Painting or drawing with my daughter (silence, scribing)
- Deep breathing or boxed breathing when using the bathroom (silence)
- Snuggling with my daughter before bed and talking about what made us smile (silence, scribing)
- Getting ready for bed and filling out the evening section of my 5-Minute Journal* (scribing, visualizing)
- Meditation and/or deep breathing before bed (silence)
Here’s what I know for sure: the more intentional I am with my time and the more present I am to the things I fill my time with, the more centered and happy I become.
While I would 100% rather do The Miracle Morning* in the way it was written, it just isn’t feasible in this season of my life. Which is why I love finding ways to add the components of The Miracle Morning into my days. And until my daughter is old enough, or we find a house that is more conducive to me getting up early without waking up everyone in the process, this is how I choose to carve out the time to do it.
What about you?
Are you a fan of The Miracle Morning*? Is it something you carve out time in your life to do on a daily basis?