About a month and a half ago, I discovered something called the Miracle Morning. The roundabout way I discovered it is kind of a quirky story, and actually might be something of a miracle in and of itself.
I started this summer with a lot of lofty ambitions, but as the days went by nothing seemed to be happening. I started to look around and realized that I was not doing a lot of the things that I wished I was doing. Getting up later than I wanted to every morning, spending at least an hour staring at my phone wasting my time, and then talking myself out of going to the gym every single day became my regular routine. I would set a goal that I would scrapbook, or start my spring cleaning, or do any one of a thousand things I needed to get done, but by the time I went to bed at night I couldn’t even check off a single thing that I had accomplished.
It wasn’t laziness—I think it was a mixture of depression and stress. There’s nothing like having all your kids leave to slap you in the face, ask you what you’ve done with your life and make you feel like you’re needing some kind of a goal or you might as well start digging your grave. I was eating my body weight in junk food, wasting a lot of time on Facebook, and watching my days pass before my eyes while I did nothing about it except make excuses. I knew I needed to change but I didn’t know how.
Leave it to Pinterest to show me the way…
One day as I was sitting, wasting away on the internet as usual, pinning things I would probably never do, I found the answer. A friend of mine had pinned something about a bullet journal. Intrigued, I clicked on it and followed the link. This led to another link, and another, and another. I spent a whole afternoon reading about bullet journals and knew that this was something I would love. I’ll save the bullet journal for another time, because it truly does deserve it’s own post, but I did have to mention it because it led me to The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod.
I need to point out here that I am not a person that reads self-help books. Patrick has a plethora of them lining our bookshelves but I have never had any interest in them whatsoever. So for me to even be curious about this was it’s own miracle.
A few days passed and I kept thinking maybe I needed to read it. I finally mentioned it to Patrick and (surprise!) he told me he already owns the book and pulled it out of a drawer. Things were starting to get weird. I sat down that day and read the entire book cover to cover (before you get too wowed by my feat, I should mention it isn’t a very big book.)
So what is the miracle morning?
It’s actually amazingly simple. Here’s the plan in a nutshell:
- You commit to getting up an hour earlier than you normally do.
- The day begins with five minutes of silence. This can be either meditation or prayer, or a bit of both, which is what I choose to do.
- Daily affirmations are next. (Anyone in my age range is going to instantly think about Stuart Smalley staring in the mirror saying “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggonit, people like me!” I think about this on a daily basis. It’s sad that a hokey Saturday Night Live skit has tainted the idea of daily affirmations for so many of us because it honestly works.)
- Five minutes visualizing yourself accomplishing whatever it is you set as your goal. If you don’t have a goal, you make something up until you find one. It doesn’t have to be all that serious, just something you’d like to accomplish.
- Spend at least 20 minutes exercising. It can be yoga or going for a walk—it doesn’t have to be intense.
- Read something…anything. I am choosing to use this time for my scripture study first and then another 10-15 minutes reading a personal development book of some kind.
- The last step is writing in a journal. This doesn’t have to be a long process–it can be a quick listing in your gratitude journal or a short paragraph in your regular journal.
The idea is to commit to doing these things for at least 30 days, so I made the commitment. It has been six weeks for me now and I have only missed one day.
Three reasons we all settle for a mediocre life
Hal Elrod describes several reasons on the book why 95% of us tend to settle for mediocre instead of pushing ourselves for something better:
- Rearview Mirror Syndrome. Continuing to relive and recreate our past and believing that who we were is who we are and limiting our potential. We want to do better but we don’t know how to see things other than how they’ve always been. When faced with adversity we go back to our rearview mirror for guidance on how to respond.
- Lack of Purpose. We take one day at a time, focusing on just getting through the day with the path of least resistance.
- Isolating Incidents. Mistakenly believing that each and every choice we make or action we take only affects that particular moment and has no effect on the larger picture of our lives.
We must realize that the real impact and consequence of each of our choices and actions –and even our thoughts–is monumental, because every single thought, choice, and action is determining who we are becoming, which will ultimately determine the quality of our lives. —Hal Elrod
How the Miracle Morning changed my life
Yes, I am fully aware that this statement sounds really preachy and self-helpish, so I apologize for that, but it’s actually true…and it wasn’t even hard! I actually rearranged the order in which I do the suggested activities (and end with exercise) but I am amazed at the difference it has made. Following Hal’s suggestions, I tell myself before I go to bed each night that I will be able to get out of bed without hesitation and it has totally worked. I find myself focusing on what I need to get done for the day and actually following through and doing it. Motivation and energy that I haven’t felt in years has returned. It truly is…a miracle!
Accountability is key
We all know it’s easier to do something when someone else is counting on you. It’s why we choose to exercise with a partner or start a diet with a friend. The same goes if you want to start your own Miracle Morning. I’d love to hear from anyone that would like to start (or from anyone else that has already discovered the Miracle Morning). There is strength in numbers! Feel free to comment or use the Contact Me form to send an email.
Here is my shameless plug (and affiliate link) for The Miracle Morning. Please know that I may receive compensation if you click on it, but I would never recommend it if I didn’t believe it was worth your time!