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I am a grade A grump in the morning.
I wake with crazy lady hair, I squint my eyes and I grunt when anybody dares speak to me.
Which I’m sure is not pleasant for my three little ones who easily bounce out of bed, excited to start the day.
So I started getting up earlier than them.
Yes, I know that sounds like trying to put out a fire with alcohol, but just hear me out…..
I have two compelling reasons for such complete and utter craziness….
- I realised that I needed to wake up slowly – and preferably with nobody requiring anything from me for at least 20 minutes &
- My days left no room for any ‘alone time’ – which is important for my sanity and to be able to pursue these big goals of mine.
So, like you do, I googled my predicament and stumbled upon ‘The Miracle Morning – The 6 Habits That Will Transform Your Life Before 8am’ by Hal Elrod.
Sounded great. I quickly purchased it and began to read it while I fed the baby (who was only 3 weeks old at the time). Yes – ambitious plans.
In the book, Hal Elrod talks about his own journey of self-development after some pretty serious set-backs in his life. He has a very inspiring story and he talks about the growth and lessons he learnt from hitting rock-bottom.
So, What is ‘The Miracle Morning’?
In a nutshell, the concept is based on:
1. Making personal development a priority in your life
“Until we dedicate time each day to developing ourselves into the person we need to be to create the life we want, success is always going to be a struggle to attain.”
2. Allocating the time each and every day
As the name of the book suggests, the mornings are where it’s at. By getting up earlier, you will be creating and blocking out this time to focus on your personal development. All before the demands of the day get ahead of you.
3. Focus on six key personal development activities or habits, aka “the SAVERS”
The Benefits of The Miracle Morning:
As I mentioned above, I first picked up the book a little over a year ago. And then I quickly put it back down. Well I might have even flung it across the room…sleep deprivation will do that to you, right?
A newborn, cluster feeding and starting the day any earlier than I ‘had’ to was just a recipe for disaster. When my alarm went off at 5am and I had only just crawled back into bed, I couldn’t fathom it at all. At that point in time, it was causing stress that far outweighed the lofty promises of energy, clarity and focus.
So “The Miracle Morning’ stayed on the shelf for the last year.
Recently however, as I was feeling unproductive, overwhelmed and unfocused, I was once again drawn to the book and the practice of The Miracle Morning.
So, I did a 7-day experiment of The Miracle Morning and it’s definitely a keeper for me.
Now (on most days) I get ahead of the pack by getting up earlier than the kids – which is no easy feat in my house! The two eldest (6 & 4) do not sleep past 6.30am EVER and the baby prefers 5.30-6am starts (plus he often throws a few overnight wakeups in for good measure).
However, the benefits far outweigh the effort of rising extra-early and the days that I press the snooze button, I always regret it later in the day.
For me, it provides:
- A structure for a simple but highly effective personal development practice
- A calm and peaceful start to the day
- Focus and clear direction on how I want the day to go, setting me up for a positive mindset
- The wonderful feeling of productivity that follows through to other things throughout the day
- Much needed alone time before my day starts and I’m pulled in different directions
- A happier, calmer and relaxed mother for my children
How to do your own ‘Miracle Morning:
Once you’ve read The Miracle Morning, work out what you will be doing for each of the six ‘SAVERS’.
Gather the tools that you require for practicing the six habits your way and get them organised together the night before.
For example, I require:
- My journal – a book that I use each morning where I keep my (A) affirmations, my (V) vision board, my habit tracker (to record my Miracle Morning progress) and where I record my (S) writing (gratitude, journaling etc).
- My iPad – For my (S) I am currently doing a guided mediation and for my (E) I am going a short yoga video – both of which I need my iPad for.
Therefore, each night I set my alarm (and place my phone far away from me), set out my journal, a pen, my iPad and whatever I am reading at the time (R) all ready to go for the morning.
5 Tips for practicing the Miracle Morning when you have little ones:
Ideally, you will bounce out of bed early with energy and enthusiasm, you will have a quiet, secluded place to practice your ‘SAVERS’ each morning and your children won’t wake up early and interrupt you.
But let’s face it, this motherhood life is real and messy and often unpredictable.
In my experience so far, the only way to effectively do the MM routine for me (with my kids being at the ages of 6,4 &16 months) is to be flexible and accommodating and not get too hung up on the perfection of completing all 6 key activities at once and in perfect order.
Therefore, with little ones, I have found:
1. Aim for 1 hour before the ‘standard’ (yes, I laughed too) wake up time of your kid/s. But if you can’t manage this (at this time and stage of your motherhood) then make it work for you.
Elrod suggests that significant improvements will still be made, even if you only have 1 minute to spend on each of the ‘SAVERS’ (so 6 minutes in total).
2. All 6 key activities are the ideal. If you can get 2 done before the kids wake, then great. Work from a SAVERS checklist and aim to get the others done throughout the morning/day as and when the kids are otherwise occupied and as your schedule allows.
3. Set age-appropriate ground rules for early risers – I don’t know about you, but my children have the hearing of elephants (that’s truth – I googled it!) any time from about 4am and unless its pitch-black outside, they will not be convinced it’s still sleep time!
A few years ago, we invested in a Gro-Clock and it’s been amazing! If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a clock designed for children (who can’t yet read the time) to know if it’s either night time (the clock shows a star) or daytime (the clock shows a sun).
My 6-year-old and 4-year old both have one in their room, and whilst they can’t read the time just yet, they clearly know if they can or can’t get out of bed yet. Genius! And works 90% of the time in our house. I will be buying another Gro-Clock for the baby AS SOON as he can understand the concept too!
4. Try including your early risers if required.
Rather than allowing the interruptions to derail me completely, I found that I was able to include my kids in some of the SAVERS.
For example, the first 3 (S: silence, A: affirmations & V: visualizations) are next to impossible to do with children (anyone tried to meditate with a child around?), so I do these first. Then if my children have woken before I’ve finished the last 3 (yoga stretching, reading and writing), I can generally get them finished, even with my little audience around.
5. Mix and match to your life.
Some people don’t want to exercise first thing, but will find the time later. Whatever works for you and your situation, the important things is that you are getting into the personal development habit.
I’m not going to lie…..It does take some getting used to. It’s so tempting to grab that extra bit of sleep in the morning before you absolutely have to get up.
The first few days are particularly hard and I noticed slumps in the afternoon that I had to fight with an extra coffee or an outside play (for the kids and me!).
It’s also very hard to do if you’ve had a bad night with the kids or if you’ve been out late the night before. No matter what time my kids go to bed, they NEVER sleep-in so I find this especially hard. You just need to go with what feels right and listen to your body. Sleep is so important and sometimes you just need to grab it when you can for sanity-sake!
But I can honestly say it’s well worth it and before you know it, the practice becomes second nature to you and you will notice amazing benefits.
Would love to hear how you go or if you already do the Miracle Morning!