For many years I was not a morning person. I was the traditional morning troll. The don’t talk to me until I have had 2 cups of coffee, morning cigarette, if you are lucky I might grunt and acknowledge your presence in the world at breakfast. Mornings were horrible, painful even. It took me hours to get my groove on and start to enjoy the day. I simply didn’t have that little switch other people have that shouts the sun is up time to get moving!
And to be honest I still don’t.
However when I started to become interested in personal development and changing my life it became abundantly clear that the way you start your day shapes the way your day is going to be. And when I looked I could see that the grumpy morning troll routine was hindering me more that I have ever realised. I wasn’t actually feeling human until about lunch time and then half the day was gone. And with my eyes on the prize of wanting to be an entrepreneur I could see that I was going to have to thump that troll back into its cave and try something new!
I was really lucky at this point in my life journey to be introduced to Hal Elrod’s Miracle Morning Concept. In a nutshell Hal researched the morning routines of the worlds most successful people and discovered most their routines contained similar elements. He chose six of these Meditation, Affirmations, Excercise, Journalling, Reading and Visualisations. And basically the idea is you get up 1 hour earlier than you need to everyday to dedicate the first hour of everyday to doing 10 mins of each. Basically setting a 6 -step routine of habit stacking, so adopting 6 beneficial habits in one go through a self chosen routine. There is no specific order, you pick and choose how you do each section so it is designed for you. Now to a grumbling morning troll like myself this was the intense cold turkey of staying away from my grumpy cave.
So I thought what the heck! And tried it…
And yep it worked. I felt empowered. Everyday, even when my troll tried to win the fight I got up. Made myself start with yoga. And carried on from there. After that one hour I felt energised. I was happier. And I was streaming ahead on my personal development goals. Was it easy? Not at first. But it worked. For 9 months I kept up this dedicated routine. My relationships with morning changed. I began to look forward to mornings! If I skipped a day I could feel the loss of that time in the morning. And slowly but surely mornings became my friend. I still hated getting up early but it became easier to do. However, after 9 months I moved country, stopped work and started school.
And that’s when my Miracle Morning went sour
I am still not entirely sure why. I think it was because the time I had to get up to do the full miracle morning was so ridiculously early that I simply wasn’t getting enough sleep. (As a night owl going to bed before 22:00 never results in sleep for me. ) Hal offered a cure for this the Mini Miracle Morning doing it in half an hour. 5 mins to each activity. But my heart wasn’t really in it and I didn’t feel the same benefits as when did the full hour. I kept promising myself I would do it. Then I didn’t. Then I would get into a guilt cycle. It became this chore I kept putting off. And the morning troll was slowly creeping back. One thing however was different.
I didn’t hate mornings anymore!
Although I still didn’t have that morning switch. I did find that I could actually get up fairly early and not complain about it. As long as I got enough sleep mornings we great! But having been a Miracle Morning afficado I seriously missed the inspiring start to the day. I decided to create my own “Miracle” morning based on my needs, my time and my energy.
And this is how I did it
- Firstly I looked at my week schedule and decided which days I really could invest in a longer morning routine. And which days I couldn’t – Today I have a long morning routine on a monday and friday and at the weekends we are at home. Tuesdays and wednesdays I have 15 mins I can use on me and Thursdays are just out.
- Then I choose which elements of my old routine inspired me the most – For me the most important were Yoga, gratitude, reading and affirmations. Meditation was good but it didn’t really work as a daily practice for me,
- Then I created a 40 minute long morning practice and a 15 min long practice. So apart from Thursday when I am most exhausted, I have a daily empowering morning routine.
These days my morning routines look like this:
A long day routine:
- Make my not coffee (did I mention I dropped coffee completely?) and fill the dishwasher or washing machine while the kettle boils. (added bonus of a tidier house for breakfast after the morning routine).
- 10 -15 mins yoga (basically however much I can convince myself to do)
- 3 minutes gratitude writing
- 2 mins daily priority goal setting. (never more than 4)
- 10 mins of reading
- 7 mins of meditation
- 5 mins affirmations
- Make my favourite breakfast
A short day routine
- Make my not coffee and fill the dishwasher or washing machine while the kettle boils.
- 10 mins yoga
- 3 mins daily priority goal setting and gratitude
- Quick shower
- Quick breakfast
- Watch 15 ted talk / podcast whilst eating breakfast
- Listen to my affirmations on the commute to work
So as you can see I still have many of Hal’s original ideas. This is just more realistic to the time I have and includes activities that work for me. The biggest difference is that I don’t get up extra early to do this. On my short days my routine is built to fit into the one hour I have to get out of the house. On the longer days I start work later, or it is the weekend so I can take my time and enjoy myself. These routines are built around me. It’s not always easy to do these routines, and yes I sometimes skip it out. However I feel so empowered when I do do it that I miss it and crave it as much as my troll wanted those 2 cups of coffee and a cigarette.
If you are thinking of starting a morning I definitely recommend looking at Miracle Morning and trying this first. IT is a great way to get started. But ultimately design your routine around you. The time you can realistically take to dedicate to yourself. Even if its just 10 mins (where you could do 5 mins stretching, or 10 sit ups and do 5 mins affirmations before brushing your teeth, for example). You want to make your morning routine easy and addictive, so choose activities that you will enjoy and that energise you. The most important part is to do what empowers you and lifts you up at the start of your day.
Make yourself a morning ritual to empower you to seize the day and enjoy your life to the max – only you will know what will work for you!
Let me know about your morning ritual in the comments below and if you haven’t started it yet let me know here and now what is the first step you can take to getting it started
Have a great day <3