This weekend I listened to a podcast with Hal Elrod, author of The Miracle Morning. His formula for how to jump-start each day is encapsulated in the title of his book. He includes six practices that have established for him (and for thousands of his readers/followers) a method for changing how his days unfold.
His book was born of a frightening life-passage in which he was working his way through “chemo brain” and trying to regain some sense of control, order, and self-care in his life after a long battle with cancer. He’s used a consistent set of six actions each to be in charge of his life, a life that felt largely out of control.
He’s built a huge community of folks who swear by this morning ritual. They claim it has been essential for elevating their consciousness, helping them focus on what they can control in their lives (their inner self-talk) rather than all the terror in our world, and bringing them focus and peace.
Briefly, here are his six morning practices. They form the acronym SAVER. . .
- S = Silence – Spend the first minutes of your morning with a period of silence. Rather than relying on an alarm clock that blasts music or immediately turning on the television, he recommends we enjoy a blissful period of silence that will grant to focus to the day ahead.
- A = Affirmations – This requires you to vocally identify your important goals and recite affirmations about how and why you will achieve them. He recommends we identify these affirmations before bed so that they are documented and available to speak out loud the next morning.
- V = Visualization – We can use this practice to visualize the completion of a challenging task, the accomplishment of a goal or the appreciation of a productive and stress-free day. By visualizing ourselves engaged in the endeavors that lie ahead, we can also build motivation to continue even when things get tough.
- E = Exercise – Here, he emphasizes the importance of exercise. We already know that regular exercise is a critical part of personal health and happiness. But even when we don’t have time to hit the gym, we can still perform a simple exercise routine – it might be aerobic, or strength-building or maybe just focus on flexibility. The physicality of this practice will get your blood flowing and keep you in your body, not just hiding in your head!
- R = Reading – If we spend some time reading in the morning, maybe after we’ve fixed our morning beverage or light breakfast, we can then engage the brain with some reading. He recommends about 10 pages at a time. If you do the math, that’s 3650 pages in a year or over 18 books that are 200 pages in length! What a mind-opener!
- S = Scribing/Journaling – The final step in the routine emphasizes writing. Here, I’d recommend a hand-written journal (for the neuro-science-proven benefits that come from the action path of thinking-writing-remembering). This not only improves a skill that we use in other areas of our daily life, but it also helps us express ourselves in more eloquent, mature, and thoughtful ways.
I haven’t figured out all the details yet, but I’m working on my own plan to adopt Elrod’s Miracle Morning practices in my own life. I already do the silence and affirmations, but the other pieces of his method will be new territory for me. If you find value in this formula, I encourage you to join me on this journey.
There’s always good to be gained from strategies that help us conquer the inner noise that is all too often driven by external voices (the media, social media, influencers, even well-meaning friends & family). And, learning to direct our day with tools like this, rather that caving in to our inner critic who is almost always present to tell us what we’ve done wrong, or will fail to do well, is a bonus gift!
Wishing you well each morning to come. And as always, I’m eager to help you on your journey as I manage my way along my own, ever-changing path.