Your alarm clock goes off and you hit snooze. You roll over and figure you can slide into work late because your boss is out of town. You bag going for a run or writing in your gratitude journal. Heck, you don’t even know where your running shoes or journal are! You haven’t written in it for months. You brush your teeth, take a two-minute shower, dress and head to work sans breakfast. Does this sound like your typical morning? Is it setting you up for success?
I just finished Hal Elrod’s The Miracle Morning. It’s an inspiring book that I highly recommend. He has a ton of free resources on his website tmmbook.com. If you want to set yourself up for success, give it a read. Or read some of the highlights here. It turns out that I was already practicing many of the strategies that Hal espouses in his book. What I have done is to add a couple of tweaks to my morning routine, and I’m starting to realize that some of my success over the last few years can be attributed to my morning routine. I’ve now incorporated some of Hal’s ideas and my morning is getting even better.
So here is how to revamp your mornings:
- Get up early. You night owls out there are all groaning. Hal recommends 4 or 5 AM. What? Is 7 AM early enough? Frankly, I’ve been getting up at 5 AM for several years now. Sometimes 4:30 AM. If you don’t need to arrive to work until 8 AM, that gives you 3 whole hours less your commute to incorporate some of Hal’s ideas. Hal says that practically anyone can be a morning person. I have to admit, I have always been a morning person so this wasn’t a difficult adjustment. Part of the secret is your mind set. Believe you are a morning person and you can be. As Henry Ford famously said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.” Decide that you are a morning person.
- Bedtime Affirmations. This is new to me. Hal recommends setting yourself up for success with bedtime affirmations, which are free on his website. I have tried it the last few nights and I do think I am sleeping better and waking up energized. It basically says the I am going to be successful, wake up well rested, go to bed at ____PM and wake up at ____AM. You fill in the blanks. Full disclosure, I have always been an early bird and have never hit the snooze bar, so this was relatively easy for me. Try out Hal’s bedtime affirmations.
- Water. Hall recommends a full glass of water as soon as you rise from bed. I have been sleeping with a full glass of water by my bedside for decades. The thing is, I don’t usually drink the entire thing before kicking off my day. Hal points out that you’ve just spent 6 to 8 hours without water and it’s time to start re-hydrating your brain and body. It’s a small subtle thing, but it makes sense. A plant won’t grow without water. Why not feed your brain and body? Drink a full glass of water first thing.
- Journaling. The ironic thing here is that I recently started writing in a gratitude journal in the morning. I used to write in my journal at night and sometimes I would skip it. Once I skipped it a few times, next thing I know, I don’t even know where it’s located. I’ve been doing it first thing in the morning for several months now, and it works a lot better. Hal is not specific about what you journal about–you can switch it up over time to keep it fresh. Start journaling in the morning.
- Exercise. This book inspired me to start walking again every morning. I have been a lapsed morning walker for a while. I went for a decade walking or running almost every morning. Hal inspired be to get back out there and I am about a week in. It feels awesome to get outside, hear the birds and get my heart pumping. I feel better throughout the day. Hal recommends yoga and I’m thinking about shaking up my routine, once I am definitely on track to be a morning exerciser again. The key here is that it’s only 20 minutes, but that 20 minutes makes all the difference.
- Tweaks. As I recommend in my free e-book 102 Itzy Bitzy Habits, don’t take on five new routines right away. You will get burned out and give up (think New Year’s resolutions). Adapt one or two changes to your morning or evening routine for a few weeks, then add one or two more. I already have a morning routine, so I just added the exercise and bedtime affirmations. Don’t bite off too much.
This is just a brief summary of what I have chosen to take on. I already have a morning routine that takes about an hour. I’ve just incorporated some of Hal’s ideas into mine. I highly recommend the book or his website for more information. How are you going to revamp your morning?