On 30th December I listened to an Underground Wellness podcast with Hal Elrod as the guest. The podcast described how Hal had changed his morning routine to include activities that successful people do, and it had a profound effect on his life. Both his wellbeing, and his success in business.
At the time I had been pondering the wording of a new year’s resolution that would strengthen my meditation habit, which had almost completely disappeared over the Christmas period. On hearing the podcast I decided that I would try the Miracle Morning instead and see how it went.
The six activities that make up the Miracle Morning are:
- Journalling – Hal recommends the five minute journal
When Hal originally set out his miracle morning he decided to devote an hour a day to his self improvement, and initially spent 10 minutes on each activity. He subsequently amended this, so that some activities got more time and some got less.
My first problem was the idea of getting up an hour earlier to do all these activities before the rest of the family got up. That didn’t make sense to me. I’ve spent a long time regaining my health, and sleep is an important part of maintaining it. Instead I decided to interweave the activities into my existing routine, only aiming to fit in meditation when the house is quiet. So here’s what my morning routine has been for the last few weeks.
- 6.50 Alarm – get up straight away
- 6.55 Start Meditation
- 7.10 Have breakfast, make packed lunches, do laundry, clean up kitchen and all the usual stuff that goes on with 3 kids getting ready for school)
- 8.00 Affirmations and visualisation
- 8.10 Shower and Dress
- 8.25 The five minute journal
- 8.30 school run
- 9.10 – return from school run and exercise
- 9.30 – get on with my day
What I’ve learned from this
- I can adapt Hal’s ideas to fit my own circumstances.
- My morning routine doesn’t have to be completed before the school run. I have the luxury of not working at the moment. This means I can get the sleep I want and push some of the routine later.
- With 3 kids morning are a bit chaotic – it’s inevitable. I can’t change that, but trying to fit in 5 minute chunks of affirmations, visualizations and journalling is achievable most days, and 1 or 2 minutes is still better than nothing if I get interrupted.
- If I don’t manage to fit any of the above in due to the chaos, it’s not a disaster. I can add it on to the end of my routine after the exercise.
- As long as I commit to this and prioritise it over other activities it’s very achievable.
- I am finding it surprisingly enjoyable. It sets me up in a good way for the day, and I am motivated to get up the next day and do it again.
- What you do the night before is an important part of getting up the next day, particularly going to bed on time.
I had no clue what affirmations to use, so I took one for self confidence from the free resources section of the Miracle Morning website. I’ve also been using some bedtime affirmations from the same webpage. After trialling them for a couple of weeks I am beginning to see ways I would like to personalise them, so I will probably alter them over the next few days – I will simply use my 5 minutes a day for affirmations to make the changes.
I had no idea how to go about the visualisation section at first, because you’re supposed to visaulise what you want to achieve. For a long time my goal has been regaining my health, and now I’ve achieved that I wasn’t sure I knew what I wanted, but I spent 5 minutes on my first morning trying to think of things and came up with a pretty good list, which I added to over the next few days. I then used a visualisation board app on my phone to make a visual representation of my list, and I simply look at this for the 5 minutes each morning. It’s really great to spend a few minutes reminding yourself what you think is important each morning.
You might have noticed that I didn’t include reading in my list. I don’t think reading novels counts here The idea, I think, is to read something that’s going to educate, inform or inspire you. However because I already do plenty of reading throughout my day, mainly blog posts, I decided I had that covered and it seemed like a step too far to try to add it in to my morning. For me it’s better to do 5 activities consistently, than struggle with 6 and give up the whole thing.
If you’re in the throes of ME/CFS then you won’t want a morning routine like this. Instead, why not incorporate some, or all, of these elements into your day? Affirmations about regaining health and visualising walking or doing an activity you love can really help recovery, and don’t have to be done in the morning. I’ve blogged previously about how I used to use guided meditation throughout my day – 4 sessions per day, to keep myself in a relaxed, healing state. Reading recovery stories (and hopefully this blog) can also help build confidence in your own ability to recover. I’ve also mentioned journalling before. If that’s not your thing then try the Five Minute Journal. It’s quick and easy. Exercise is probably best avoided, expecially in the early stages, although some simple yoga, Tai Chi or Qi Gong may be appropriate depending on your stamina.
I’m interested to hear whether any of you have tried the miracle morning or incorporate any of these elements into your days. For me, I now need to see if it’s something that sticks long term. At the moment it feels good, so I’m optimistic it won’t be a January resolution thats forgotten by February.