The way you start your day can have a big impact on your mood, energy and productivity. Most people have some kind of morning routine, but is yours a routine that sets you up for success or leaves you dragging your heels through the day?
With the lockdowns messing with our schedules, now is a good time to reassess your routine and regain some control over your life.
A few months ago I read The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod and I wanted to share its benefits with you. The Miracle Morning is a hugely popular productivity book published in 2012 by Hal Elrod, promises to reveal a “not-so-obvious secret” that’s “guaranteed to transform your life”- all before 8 am!
Elrod claims his book has transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. Giving them more energy, focus and motivation.
And it seems he practices what he preaches.
Despite several serious challenges in his life, including two brushes with death and bankruptcy, Elrod became an international keynote speaker, author, husband, father and an ultramarathoner – all by age 30!
Now, you might not want to run an ultramarathon – but I bet you’d love to have his level of energy and focus?
When I first heard about The Miracle Morning a few years ago, I was a little sceptical. Could small morning habits really make that much of a difference?
But I gave it a try – and I’ve never looked back.
Creating a morning routine isn’t about ticking boxes or getting stuff done. But it’s about preparing your body and mind for the day.
It’s about setting yourself up to succeed and beginning your day with confidence, peace and a positive attitude.
The Benefits of A Morning Routine
A good morning routine can help you to wake up refreshed and feel more energised throughout the day.
Calm An Anxious Mind
Positive daily practices can help to reduce stress and anxiety, helping you to feel calm and in control throughout the day.
Gives You A Little Certainty In A Crazy World
With so much uncertainty, it’s important to keep some structure and routine in our lives. A morning routine can give you just that.
More mental clarity, focus and productivity are all linked to a good morning routine.
More Positive Mindset
Train your brain to stay focused on the good, protecting your mental health and allowing you to be happy even if times are tough.
So what should your morning routine include? In his book, Hal Elrod suggests that you should start your day with these 6 practices…
1 – Start With Silence
Starting your day with a simple meditation can help you to transition from night to day positively. As we discussed in my blog post last week, meditation isn’t a woo-woo, new age idea. It’s actually scientifically proven to make changes to your brain.
The benefits include less stress, more focus, better memory and more energy. If you missed that blog post you can read it here now.
So start your day with a simple, silent meditation. You can do it on your own, focusing on your breathing as you bring your mind to a calm state. Or, you can use an app – like Headspace or Calm to help you.
2 – Affirmations
Elrod suggests that affirmations can have a significant impact on our thinking patterns and behaviours.
While it might feel a little uncomfortable to talk to yourself in the mirror, it’s not as silly as it might sound. There’s actually some pretty solid research showing that affirmations really do work.
MRI evidence suggests that certain neural pathways are increased when people practice self-affirmation tasks. If you want to learn more about the science behind affirmations then check out this blog post on Psychology Today.
It’s really easy to do, just choose one or two sentences that are aligned with what you want to achieve and who you want to be. Repeat them out loud each morning.
If you’re stuck for ideas, try some of the following.
I am disciplined, energised, and inspired.
Everything I’m looking for is already within me.
I control my thoughts and energy.
3 – Visualisation
Visualisation allows you to practice living the way you want to live. Not only does it help create the habit of focusing on the positives, but it can also help you to make behavioural changes that are more in line with your goals.
Again, I know it might sound woo-woo, but there are some fascinating studies to back it up. My personal favourite is the study conducted by Dr Biasiotto at the University of Chicago.
People were split into three groups and tested to see how many basketball free throws they could make.
He then had the first group practice free throws every day for an hour. The second group just visualised themselves making free throws. The third group did nothing.
After 30 days, he tested them again.
The group that practised daily improved by 24%, the group that did nothing did not improve at all – as you’d expect. But the visualisation group improved by 23% without touching a basketball!!!!
Elrod suggests that you start the day by visualising “living your ideal day, performing all tasks with ease, confidence and enjoyment.”
4 – Exercise
As you probably already know, exercising every day can have a hugely positive impact on your body and your brain. As little as 7 minutes of exercise a day can improve your cardiovascular health, boost your energy levels and even speed up your metabolism.
You don’t need to run a marathon or join a gym. Something as simple as a home yoga routine or YouTube workout video is perfectly fine. You just need to increase your heart rate and get your body moving. Check out this hugely popular 7 Minute Workout Video on by Lucy Wyndham-Read on YouTube.
For ideas of how to get some exercise into your morning routine during lockdown check out my previous blog post here…
We pay attention to what we feed our bodies, but what about what we feed our minds? With so much negativity and drama in the world right now, it’s more important than ever to make sure you get a daily dose of productive, positive mind-food.
In his book, Elrod suggests choosing a personal development book and reading a minimum of 10 pages per day, to help fast track your transformation and continue your personal growth.
A few of my personal favourites include;
6 – Scribing
Scribing, or more simply put, writing – can help you to clear your mind, gain focus and boost your positivity.
You could use your scribe time to practice gratitude, to jot down ideas, to journal your day or just get all your thoughts out of your mind.
I personally like to use this time for my gratitude practice. Gratitude is a hugely important part of maintaining a positive attitude – in good times and bad.
It’s really easy to do – just spend a few minutes thinking about what you’re grateful for that day, really focus on FEELING the gratitude as you write them down.
I know that some days will be easier than others, but there’s always something to be thankful for. Research shows that regular gratitude practice helps to train your brain to focus on the positives and look for the good things, instead of focusing on the bad.
What Does Your Morning Routine Look Like?
So whatever you want to achieve, having a good morning routine can help you to feel better, get more done and have a more positive experience of life. If your morning routine is more “drag yourself out of bed and drink coffee” than “miracle morning”, perhaps it’s time to put some new practices into action.
If you enjoyed this blog post, check out “Is Beauty Sleep Important to Prevent Premature Ageing?”