‘It’s been said that the first hour is the rudder of the day. I’ve found this to be very true in my own life. If I’m lazy or haphazard in my actions during the first hour after I wake up, I tend to have a fairly lazy and unfocused day.’ – Steve Pavlina
I had never really given my morning routine a thought before I read the book The Miracle Morning: The 6 Habits That Will Transform Your Life Before 8AM by Hal Elrod. This book completely changed my perspective on mornings and how important it is that we seize them first thing to be happier, healthier and more successful.
Each morning the dreaded alarm goes off and we hit the snooze button for those extra precious minutes, not realising how important it is to make the most of mornings and spend some time checking in with ourselves.
So here are Hal Elrod’s6 habits that are transforming people’s lives across the world, giving them more motivation, energy and focus. Are you ready?
First things first; brush those teeth (and scrape the tongue of course!)
Wash your face.
With a glass of water in hand, you’re ready to go.
Sit in silence and feel at peace for 5 minutes. Try soft-belly breathing as a meditation. Relax your shoulders and inhale from the belly. Focus on gently pushing the belly out on the exhale. This is how we should all be breathing, but we tend to take short sharp breaths from the top of the chest. Breathing this way does wonders for the mind and the skin and it actually massages the heart.
Read for 10 minutes. It’s rare that we take time to curl up, read and escape on a week day. I’m talking a great novel or an inspiring self-help book that you can truly sink into. You may learn something new that you can use during your day.
Time for positive affirmations. Take 5 minutes to write them down and read them aloud. Feel them. They will let you design and develop your thoughts, beliefs, focus and self-confidence. Jot down what you want and who you commit to being. Feel the empowerment. Here are some great affirmations to get you started: I am strong. I am grateful. I deserve the best. I forgive myself.
Visualisations are equally as important as affirmations. Set a Sunday afternoon aside with a friend to create a vision board that can be displayed somewhere in your home. Each morning after your affirmations, take 5 minutes to focus on your chosen images, pausing on each one, feeling what it would be like to manifest each into your life. The images of where you want to travel, people you love, the kinds of work you enjoy and the things you want to achieve will keep you inspired for the rest of the day!
Journaling comes next. Spend 5 minutes writing down what you’re grateful for in life. This simple act will lift your spirits for the rest of the day. We English folk love to focus on what’s going wrong in life. Focus on what’s going right instead – and notice how much better it makes you feel.
Move – Motion creates emotion. Dedicate the last 15 minutes of the routine to something that makes you sweat. Every morning we should be getting our heart rate up and filling our lungs with oxygen. Find something you love so it’s not another chore to be ticked off the list. Go back to your childhood. What did you find fun? Whether it’s shadow boxing with some light weights in your garden or doing quick circuits, get moving.
Getting up just 45 minutes earlier each day will work wonders for you. Not only will you be prepared and focused for the day ahead but there’ll be no flapping or rushing. I know it is not always realistic if you have an early morning meeting or have to work to a tight deadline. But I find it easy to adapt to my own miracle morning routine to suit my schedule. That’s the art of this routine – you can change what you like when you like. But, I encourage you to explore each habit and see which of the practices resonates with you.
When you delay waking up until you have to – meaning you wait until the last possible moment to get out of bed and start your day – consider what you’re actually doing is resisting life. Every time you hit the snooze button, you’re in a state of resistance to your day, to your life, and to waking up and creating the life you say you want. – Hal Elrod
A mixture of images from myself and Pinterest.