Red Sand

No, not my 30 days of blogging goal, but the streak that has been 60+ “Miracle Mornings” in a row. Today I woke from a deep sleep at 5:30 a.m. and got up at 5:35 a.m. For the past 65 days I’ve been up no later than 5:05 a.m., and on a majority of those days, earlier and without an alarm.

In August 2014, I attended Podcast Movement in Dallas, Texas, because I wanted to deepen my knowledge of podcasting and meet more people in the space. One of the great outcomes of being there was learning about what has become one of my most favorite podcasts and it’s called Unstuckable.

In Episode #100 Stephen Warley interviews Hal Elrod, author of the book The Miracle Morning. The interview with Elrod shifted my thinking on some important things. I briefly considered reading the book, but given all the others currently in flight set the idea aside.  Then in Episode #123 Honoree Corder mentioned how important the Miracle Morning routine is to her each day.  Finding both episodes inspiring I bought the kindle version of the book and read it in a couple of days. And then I figured there was no better time to start than “right away” so the next morning I did.

Morning Routine

This process is the “morning routine” I’ve been trying to find for a long time. I like how Erik Fisher asks each interviewee what their morning routine is. It gave me some good ideas, but nothing that really stuck or made sense to me in a way I thought would work consistently for me.

Needing to get more time into my day and already in the process of focusing my time and where I’m going next with my life I knew I needed a better structure.  Figuring I had nothing to loose I decided to try the Miracle Morning routine for 30 days.  The first seven days were really tough… as were the days around the 21 day mark–just as Elrod predicted.  Since the 30 day mark I’ve just kept cruising ahead.

I wouldn’t say every day is perfect. Elrod over-sells the notion that you will bolt out of bed with amazing energy and excitement to start your day. I can say that getting up each day has been easier as a result of the commitment to myself and the planning I do the night before–largely through reading a personal affirmation I’ve written that reminds me when I’m getting up and why.

Elrod summarizes his suggested routine with the mnemonic: SAVERS.

  • Silence (meditation)
  • Affirmations
  • Visualization
  • Exercise
  • Reading
  • Scribing (journaling)

The combination of the different activities have been incredibly re-enforcing and helpful.  I try to do them all on a given day.  I strongly recommend grabbing a copy of Elrod’s sample evening and morning affirmations and using them as a starting place to write your own.  These affirmations are subtlety powerful in a way I didn’t expect. They are not cheesy sayings to yourself and about how good you are, etc.

Here’s a detailed look at my morning routine.

New Evening Routine

One outcome of everything I was accomplishing each morning was the desire to capture what I was learning and acomplishing while also learning from things that failed.  So I added an end of day routine where I try to spend 10 to 15 minutes journaling and recapping my day… I have a series of questions in a template I copy into my journal (a text document I edit with Vim!).  This makes it easier to do in that I start by answering the questions and then adding anything else on my mind.

My “30 day goal” for last month was to do this evening process for 30 days. Around the 15 or 16 day mark I missed a few days so I reset the counter and doubled down on my attempt to do 30 days in a row of evening recaps with a new rule that if I missed a single day I had to start over. That was the incentive I needed. Now it’s part of my daily routine and I’m up to 35 days with out a miss.

Here’s a detailed look at my evening routine.

Success Criteria

With the Miracle Morning my criteria for success was simply getting out of bed at 5 a.m. It got easier with time, however some key practices and triggers I implemented re-enforced the chances of succeeding.  This included an alarm clock, setting out clothes the night before, having a space heater already pointed at my chair, books and my journal (computer) ready to go, etc.

Do you have a special morning routine that you practice consistently? I’d be curious to know what it is and how you successfully implemented it.