Now that the mornings are getting a little brighter and summer looks as though it is finally ready to make an appearance, ignoring the temptation to hit the snooze button every morning becomes just that little bit easier. If you’re looking for a reason to jump out of bed at least a few minutes earlier than usual, the ‘Miracle Morning’ plan (from the bestselling book by Hal Elrod) may provide just the right incentive. By setting that alarm as little as 6 minutes earlier than usual you can start the morning with a positive routine that will set you up for the whole day.
If you’ve never heard of the Miracle Morning routine before you will be surprised at just how simple and yet effective it is. There is no cost and it’s not one of those ridiculously difficult routines that you know you’ll have given up by the end of the week. You can take as long as you like to compete it, but the whole routine can be compressed into as little as 6 minutes if you are pushed for time in the mornings. It’s just a matter of following these six easy steps, which have the easy-to-remember title of ‘SAVERS’. Think of them as little life-savers! You don’t have to do them in this order, of course, it’s just a way to help you to remember each of the steps:
S = SILENCE
Studies have shown that meditation reduces stress hormones in the body and can help to elevate your mood. Take a minute, or five, or as many as you can spare to just sit and be in the present moment. Don’t let thoughts of what you need to do for the rest of the day intrude, just become aware of your immediate surroundings and clear your head of all other distractions.
A = AFFIRMATIONS
Affirmations are a way to programme your mind to think positively about yourself and have helped many people to make meaningful changes in their lives. Write down four or five lines which focus on making things that you perceive are negatives about yourself into positives. Think about where you want to be and how you plan to get there and use empowering words in your affirmations to show that you are in control.
V = VISUALISATION
Visualisation has long been practiced by sports-people as a means to achieve goals and is being adopted by more and more people as part of their regular life. Find a good place – maybe outdoors or in an uncluttered peaceful room and think about the things you want to accomplish today. Now imagine yourself physically doing the actions required to complete these tasks, whether it is going for a run, making a presentation or starting to write that novel. The mind can struggle to differentiate between reality and imagination and visualisation can take advantage of this to reinforce how we plan to achieve our goals.
E = EXERCISE
Nobody needs to be told that exercise is – or at least should be – an important part of everybody’s daily regime. Time is often the enemy, so focus on achievable goals. Whether it’s jumping jacks, press-ups, sit-ups, burpees or a run in the park, give yourself a realistic target that you know you will be able to meet every day. Nothing too simple, but don’t aim for the moon only to find that you have lost heart after a few days.
R = READ
According to research by the University of Sussex, spending just 6 minutes reading can reduce stress levels by 66%. It doesn’t need to be some worthy tome or improving article, reading anything that you enjoy will have the same effect. Maybe start a routine whereby you pick up a book to read in bed for a few minutes after the alarm goes off and before getting out of bed. And ‘No!’, scrolling through social media on your phone does not count and is probably going to get you even more stressed if anything.
S = SCRIBING
This could have just as easily been called ‘writing’ but then the acronym wouldn’t work quite so well! There are various ways to approach this, such as taking a few minutes to write down what you have learned from the preceding day as well as new goals you want to accomplish. Or you could take five minutes to write a journal entry where you pose and answer questions like ‘What am I grateful for?’ and ‘What do I want to achieve today?’ The act of simply getting things down on paper gives the sentiments more authority.
These are just six simple activities and whether they take you six minutes or sixty each morning, they will make for a powerful and affirmative way to begin your day.