As a part of a productivity group I’m in, we read Hal Elrod’s miracle morning this month.
A great morning routine is key to peak productivity
There are some similarities to other morning routines that I’ve come across, including Robin Sharma’s 5am club. The difference is Sharmas’ morning method has 3 activities for 20 minutes each, whereas Elrod’s has 6 activities for 10. Elrod’s is also more customizable, which may or may not be a good thing. some of Elrod’s can be combined as well- ie affirmations and visualization, exercise and meditation (some forms of yoga).
My experience so far
I have difficulty sticking to any one routine. I’m experimenting with not setting a particular order for my miracle mornings and just going with whatever moves me that day. There are major downsides to this. Routines once established become automatic and you don’t have to think about them. Whereas if I don’t make it a routine then it takes more willpower every day to make it happen. On the other hand, I don’t seem to do well with forming routines, and I actually seem to actively resist the concept.
According to Christine Hassler’s habit types, I’m a rebel. This means I’m not accountable to myself or others, and it’s particularly hard to form habits. So I’m experimenting instead with trying to make having a miracle morning somewhat of a regular thing, but not forcing the order of the components. To this end, I’ve designed stickers for my happy planner to track my mornings, and to make it more likely that I’ll hit all six components.
The Miracle Morning
The miracle morning consists of what Elrod calls the life SAVERS- silence, affirmations, visualization, exercise, reading, scribing. Silence can be meditation, scribing is journaling or writing of any kind, reading is suggested to be on a self improvement topic of some kind.
Silence and Exercise
Again I see a lot of themes here. I’m interpreting silence to generally mean meditation in this context. Meditation and exercise have been scientifically proven to be even more effective against depression than anti-depressants. Even if you’re not depressed, these two things are the biggest impact activities on health and happiness that there are. It’s worth 20 minutes a day of your time when the payoff is health and happiness. And it seems that exercise shortly after waking up is particularly beneficial for your brain.
Affirmations and Visualization
Affirmations and visualization are very popular in a lot of fields right now. It seems that these activities get you in the right head-space. What they do is help you to clarify your goals and generate a clearer path towards those goals. Many people talk about affirmations as if they are some magical wish for it and you’ll get it thing. Now don’t get me wrong- I believe in magic. but I feel that affirmations are working for more scientific reasons.
To give you an example of something similar- finding something to be grateful every day leads to greater happiness, and often times more things to be grateful for. You’ve trained your brain to perceive more of the good things in life, and to see the good in the not so fun parts of life. I feel that affirmations are the same. 1- you’re setting clearer goals, and once you actually know what you want then your brain becomes trained to look for it and find ways to give it to you. 2 because you have a clearer idea of what you want your life to look like, it’s easier to focus your efforts in that direction.
Reading and Scribing
Finally, reading and journaling are also common themes among wellness and productivity methods. Reading and learning are essential to personal growth, it’s one of the best ways to improve your life. After all, why go through years of trial and error to learn things for yourself from scratch when you can read about someone else’s trials and discoveries, and then work from where they left off. As my mother is so fond of reminding me “you don’t have to reinvent the wheel”. Journaling is important because you can see your progress and growth over time, and also because many people don’t fully process information by reading alone, but journaling about it can help you to understand the material and also better implement the material.
So far having a rough outline of what I need to do to start my mornings off right has been having a huge positive impact on my productivity. I have a bad tendency to skip the exercise part, which makes me feel that I probably need to do it first. I’m finding the life SAVERS anagram and my stickers to be very helpful, as it’s amazing how often I wake up in the morning and say “what am I supposed to be doing?” Overall I’ve found this experience has really added value to my days.