According to Hal Elrod, we can make better use of our mornings by setting the alarm-clock an hour earlier. This hour is completely dedicated to practice self development, and becoming a better, more productive and happier person as a result. After my first week into this 30 day challenge, I decided to split my findings up in two separate articles. In this second and final part of my Miracle Morning Challenge Report, I’ll tell all about my experiences of getting up early, doing the SAVERS, and about my personal ideas about the concept!
THE MIRACLE MORNING
Want to read more about Hal Elrod’s the Miracle Morning? You can read all about the method and the 30 day challenge in this article.
The Miracle Morning Challenge Report: Part 2
The first week
During the first week I described feeling insecure about starting the challenge, because of my previous sleeping problems. I found a balance between timing my SAVERS and winging my minutes, and I tentatively start to notice differences between the days where I participate in the challenge or skip my Miracle Morning all together. I enthusiastically embrace the concepts of positive Affirmations and Visualization, and I notice that meditating in Silence works a lot better when I just woke up!
This morning I had one of my infamous “bad wake-ups”, caused by mulling things over too much at night and starting my morning after a series of bad dreams. This is what used to make me immediately grab my iPad: It would calm me down and evaporate some of the groggy confusion I can be prone to. I’d browse social media, blogs and meme sites until I’d feel my head clear up – eventually even after I had a lovely night’s rest. Not exactly the most productive way to start your day!
This time I had no such a response. I turned over again (not that that was such a good idea) and started my Miracle Morning a little later. From the tub. This was far from my ideal Miracle Morning, but I’m happy I allowed myself a little flexibility on the matter*.
* An excellent tip I read on the Miracle Morning Facebook Community!
Despite yesterday’s Miracle Morning being a bliss (doing my MM in the woods, calming myself down for a hard exam – and ending up passing in the process) I can barely bring myself to do my SAVERS today. One of my pets is sick and I’m waiting for the practice to open to call the local vet. Although my wake-up time was rather early and the morning looks promising, I simply can’t find the will to focus on myself. Unless you can count writing this down as a distraction.
I do some halfhearted attempts at practicing Silence by meditating, at which I fail miserably. Then I write a special series of Affirmations for today. OK, this sort of works. After trying to Visualize my day, neutrally picturing how I’m going to help my pet get better, I give up. But admittedly, even half this Miracle Morning helps a little to keep my shit together.
As I described in an earlier personal update, I had my pet put asleep, and it survived. After receiving two lethal injections we left her at the vet, only to hear five hours later that she outlived them and managed to receive surgery after all. Yesterday we picked our chick up, and she’s now trashing around the yard as usual. I can’t describe this in other words than what it really is: A complete mindf*ck. It would be a lie to say that this hasn’t dominated my thoughts and actions for the last couple of days.
Although I didn’t feel motivated to do anything remotely constructive at all, I do find that even my sorry attempts at doing a Miracle Morning really works wonders for my sanity. As I haven’t mastered meditating, Silence can be tricky if your mind feels like a tornado. But Affirmations and Visualization keep helping me to start off my day at a positive note. I even kick in a little Exercise by rubbing the sleep-sand out of my eyes in the woods, taking a hearty stroll during the process.
“So, I heard you’re waking up early nowadays?”
It’s my brother on the phone, which a few seconds prior was lounging in my lap (functioning as a timer) during my Miracle Morning. Although he pulls me from my focus I can’t manage but laugh. “Yeah, but that means I can’t be disturbed!” I can hear his smile over the line as he shrugs off my remark. When he announces he’s coming over, I decide to go for a shorter version of my MM routine. Before dotting the i’s on my latest article, I throw on a couple of shorts and pull up my hair in a ponytail. We’re going for a hike, and at this time it’s still early enough to file it under the E for Exercise!
I wake up (too late) after dreaming up a zombie scenario more terrifying than any movie I’ve ever seen, with an appointment coming up. The Mister found me laying in bed with my iPad propped up under my chin, grumbling and moaning. After asking whether I did my Miracle Morning yet I say – for the first time since the start of this challenge – I don’t want to. You know, in one of those childish, obstinate voices. He sits down next to me and asks me how much time I have left.
“Maybe 20 minutes…”
“Then get up, and just do your affirmations.”
I jump out of bed immediately, knowing he’s right. He does too. “I know what’s good for you, baby”.
I start realizing the last two weeks have been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster, and that I’m tired. I also had trouble focusing on my work, let alone on myself. When I talked it over with the Mister he reminded me that the Miracle Morning isn’t an on-off button to forget about all your troubles. He did motivate me to do at least the easiest parts of my morning ritual, because he too has noticed how much better I start my day when I do.
So after several days of doing half-hearted attempts at a Miracle Morning, I try to get back into a positive flow. It takes some devotion, but this morning I do all 6 of my SAVERS. As expected, I end up feeling a lot better after I finish. I didn’t expect this challenge to have such a learning curve, but I’m oddly grateful it does!
Although I have some stuff on my mind, I start noticing meditation is less of a pain than it used to be in similar situations*. I guess practice is making perfect! During my Silence minutes I decide to write an article about it; you know, just before I gently remind myself to let that thought go for the time being and focus on my breathing 😉
* Remember me during the Happiness Advantage challenge? Meditation was a downright pain in the behind back then!
Another successful Miracle Morning. I feel that I’ve been collecting some preferential ways to spend my hour, and that it starts to become a pleasant routine. I don’t use a timer anymore: I just allow my morning to organically flow into something that feels natural and comfortable. That means that I even take a 10 minute break in my MM to fix me some breakfast, or tend to another small chore I feel can’t wait. Although my uncanny need for sleep recently still won’t bring me to jump out of bed all excited, I do notice I feel great every time I completed all the SAVERS!
The Miracle Morning Challenge Report: Conclusion
I am absolutely thrilled with the Miracle Morning concept. Creating an extra hour in your day by getting up earlier might sound exhausting, but I can tell from experience it isn’t. If anything, the Miracle Morning with it’s SAVERS will soon leave you more concentrated, more invigorated and more awake than you’d ever feel after hitting the snooze button every morning!
As you might have noticed during the reading of my challenge report, I felt the last couple of weeks were out of the ordinary. A couple of setbacks, some increased pressure and a good bit of bad luck made me long for extra sleep and general comfort. Additionally I had trouble focusing on myself and on my personal development with all kinds of stuff going on. Instead of pushing myself to another limit by rigidly keeping up with the Miracle Morning routine, I decided that cutting myself some slack was the better option. This resulted in practicing my MM daily, but in some cases at a later time, at a slower pace or in a different configuration.
Although the Miracle Morning seems to be designed to loyally keep up with the SAVERS every day, I have to admit I rather liked the freedom I allowed myself to feel by practicing a slimmed down version now and then. As a perfectionist who often benefits from taking a step back (rather than continuously pushing myself forward) this feels like a solid solution to me. Yet I can imagine that for people who benefit from a daily nudge to keep up their motivation to reach their goals, any half-assed approach will undermine their chances of success. I guess the choice to take a sprint or run a marathon is very personal, and should be taken with your personality into account.
I am definitely planning to keep up my Miracle Morning routine! It made my mornings happier and easier, and it gave me an increased sense of focus during the rest of the day. If you’re having trouble getting up in the morning, or when you feel you could use an increase in joy and concentration, the Miracle Morning Challenge could give your life a new boost!
Curious about the ins and outs of the Miracle Morning concept? Make sure to read Hal Elrod’s book to get you filled in.
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Do you practice the Miracle Morning, or are you curious about trying it out? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear about your thoughts and experiences!