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When you change the way you wake up in the morning, you change your entire life — this is the basis of the Miracle Morning, a popular program and book by motivational speaker Hal Elrod.
The Miracle Morning focuses on dedicating intentional, purposeful time every day to becoming a person who is capable of “creating, attracting, achieving and sustaining success” in every area of his/her life. Elrod built the program off the realization that “your level of success will rarely exceed your level of personal development, because success is something you attract by the person you become.”
Pretty good stuff, right? Personal development should be a priority in all our lives — we just have to find the time.
We first heard about the program from Joe Zimmerman, Keller Williams Chicago – Lincoln Park, who recommended it to attendees at a recent Young Professionals Network breakfast. Joe discovered the Miracle Morning through his mentors and circle of friends, and after reading the book, committed to implementing the steps outlined in the program for 66 days. He then followed the program strictly for about six months; at present, he follows the program at least 85 percent of the time. “I can feel a difference — when I don’t do it, I’m a different person during the day than when I do it,” he says. “It all starts with you, whether it’s business or personal. Since beginning this, I’ve become a better person in business. I look at business in a different light — much more positively. I’m more energetic. And I’m coming from a mindset of abundance, rather than scarcity. I’m prepared for the day, so my business is flourishing. And it’s not necessary to wake up at 4 AM like I do — it just needs to be the first thing that you do for the day.”
Starting the morning with a set routine designed to give you a positive, motivational kick-start eliminates any excuses. When you wake up, immediately drink a glass of water — something Joe says has been a “big difference maker” — because we dehydrate overnight. Then, ease into your day with a routine designed to optimize your waking moments and set the tone for the remainder of the day. For the Miracle Morning, that means following S.A.V.E.R.S. — a series of six activities designed to have the most immediate impact on your life.
Both Joe and Hal recommend starting here. Sitting in silence and meditating, praying, reflecting, deep breathing and practicing gratitude, even for just five minutes, allows stress to melt away and your mind to ease into the day. Silence will help to increase your self-awareness and gain clarity needed to achieve your goals.
Affirmations are a powerful reminder of our capabilities and potential — a reason Joe says he never skips this step. This is a great opportunity to empower yourself by programming your mind to what you want, who you want to be and what you’re committed to doing to get there.
Visualization seeks to generate positive results in your life and business by internalizing specific behaviors and outcomes. With visualization, you imagine precisely what you want to achieve and rehearse the path to getting there. Visualization ensures that your future is the pull, rather than any heartbreak or setbacks from your past. Even just 5 minutes of visualization can make a huge difference in your life.
Are you looking to boost your energy, improve your self-confidence, have a clearer, more positive mindset and concentrate harder? Enter exercise. By incorporating exercise into your morning routine, you can eliminate all the excuses that may be holding you back, including the dreaded “I’m too tired,” that often creeps in towards the end of the day. Lay out your exercise clothes the night before so you don’t have to think about it in the morning. You’ll ensure your quality of life for years to come — which means that you can achieve more, at a higher level.
You’ll notice that Netflix isn’t included on this list. Instead, reading is one of the most immediate ways you can acquire the knowledge, ideas and strategies you need to transform your business and live a better life. Learning should be a life-long endeavor — and thanks to books, you can absorb all the wisdom of successful people who have already achieved their goal life. “Don’t overthink it,” Joe recommends. “I was never a big reader, even in school, but now I read ten pages a day. And since beginning this, I’ve read eight books.”
Scribing — aka writing — gets your thoughts out of your head and onto paper, which can lead to powerful insights. Having a written record of your thoughts, ideas, breakthroughs, predictions and lessons learned is a huge growth opportunity, as you can consult your records for years to come. Scribing helps you to implement a deeper quality of gratitude and growth, as you can be more intentional in acknowledging your progress, successes and failures.
CUSTOMIZING YOUR ROUTINE
Consistency is the key to forming any routine— something Joe acknowledges was the most challenging part of getting started. But implementing a morning routine doesn’t have to be a three-hour ordeal — in fact, you can start slow and build up.
You can adapt this somewhat to your schedule — for instance, Joe never skips out on silence, affirmations and visualizations, but will often do the reading and scribing at night before he goes to bed. He also drinks a glass of water and prepares one for the next morning. “Everyone thinks the morning is important because you’re recharged, but the night before is just as important. The night before gets you there.”
Just remember: it starts with you. “On airplanes, they say to put your oxygen mask on first — this is true in life,” Joe says. “In our business, we put everyone else first. But you have to take care of yourself; otherwise, you can’t take care of anyone. Perfection is overrated — don’t overthink it, start small, find your routine and stick with it.”