My quest to be better with finances is also a question to simply be a better me. A good way to do that it to put self-care and self-improvement at the start of the day. That’s what The Miracle Morning routine is all about.
The Miracle Morning, originally published in 2012, aims to give you the “not-so-obvious secret guaranteed to transform your life before 8 a.m.” Yep, BEFORE 8 a.m. If you’re not a morning person, stick with me.
Author Hal Elrod credits The Miracle Morning routine with getting him out of depression when he was in debt and at a standstill with work. Six basic steps—dubbed the Life S.A.V.E.R.S. — helped him return to the path to success. He claims to have helped thousands of other people transform their lives.
So this month, I’ve declared is S.A.V.E.R.S. September. I’ll take on this 30-day transformation challenge in hopes to make the rest of my days the best of my days.
“Start every morning with a personal success ritual. That is the most important key to success.” —Eben Pagan
What are the miracle morning steps? How do you do the miracle morning?
The Miracle Morning Life S.A.V.E.R.S. are what Elrod calls “a set of six simple, life-enhancing, life-changing daily practices, each of which develops one or more of the physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual aspects of your life, so that you can become who you need to create the life you want.”
Elrod champions “purposeful silence” to reduce stress levels and start the day with calm, clarity and peace of mind. To practice Silence, he suggests meditation, prayer, reflection, deep breathing or gratitude. Don’t meditate in bed, Elrod says, or you might doze off. “Study after study shows that meditation can be more effective than medication,” he writes.
Everything starts with belief and the proper mindset. Repeated affirmations done with feeling help you believe in the person you want to become. Elrod says they “allow you to design and then develop the mindset (thoughts, beliefs, focus) that you need to take any area of your life to the next level.” Your self-talk can hold you back or propel you forward. Some negative affirmations you might be saying right now is “I’ll always have debt.” or “I’ll never be rich.” Elrod warns, “If you don’t consciously design and choose your affirmations, you are susceptible to repeating and reliving the fears, insecurities, and limitations of your past.”
See things as you would have them be instead of as they are. — Robert Collier
Visualization is based on the principle that the outer world is a reflection of the inner world. It’s “the practice of seeking to get positive results in your outer world by using your imagination to create mental pictures of specific behaviors and outcomes occurring in your life.”
Beyoncé choreographed the iconic Homecoming at Coachella in her brain months before hitting the stage. Michael Jordan saw himself sinking the last-second jumper in his childhood fantasies before doing it in the NBA Playoffs.
“The more vivid you make your vision, the more compelled you’ll be to take the necessary actions to make it a reality,” Elrod writes. (I see myself accomplishing goals and experiencing the awesome feelings that come with it.)
“If you don’t make time for exercise, you’ll probably have to make time for illness” —Robin Sharma
Elrod advocates for morning exercise because it:
- boosts your energy
- enhances your health
- improves self-confidence and emotional well-being
- enables you to think better and concentrate longer
Exercising at this important part of the day helps you sustain higher levels of energy throughout the day, Elrod says. If you get it out of the way early, then you can’t fall prey to the excuses: “I don’t have time.” and “I’m too tired.” Makes sense, right?
Reading is to the mind is what exercise is to the body and prayer is to the soul. We become the books we read.” —Matthew Kelly
Elrod believes anything you read influences your thoughts. “When you consistently read positive self-improvement books and articles, you are programming your mind with the thoughts and beliefs that will support you in creating success.” Reading about what successful people do gives you a blueprint for how you can achieve success and achieve it quicker than the others because you avoid the pitfalls. Just 10 pages a day will average 3,650 pages a year, which equates to approximately 18 200-page personal development/self-improvement books.
Elrod says keeping a daily journal helps you:
- gain clarity
- capture ideas
- review lessons learned
- acknowledge your progress
Journaling also enables you to express gratitude, note areas of personal growth and plan specific actions to take to improve.
How long does the miracle morning take?
It can last however long you want it to last. It’s completely customizable. Right now, my preferred routine is about 70 minutes.
Elrod offers a 60-minute (1 hour) Miracle Morning using the Life SAVERS as such:
- Silence (5 minutes)
- Affirmations (5 minutes)
- Visualization (5 minutes)
- Exercise (20 minutes)
- Reading (20 minutes)
- Scribing (5 minutes)
Elrod even suggests a 6-minute Miracle Morning for those in a rush, spending 1 minute on each of the 6 pillars of S.A.V.E.R.S.
What’s does my Miracle Morning Routine look like?
Preparation is key. The night before, I push my coffee table out of the way and spread out my yoga mat, like this one, onto the floor. I place my laptop, DVD player and 3- and 5-pound free weights on the TV stand. I try to go to bed by 10:30 p.m.
My phone alarm rings at 5:30 a.m. The kitchen is the first place I go to get a green smoothie. Then I set the atmosphere by putting on meditation music from YouTube. After drinking my smoothie, At about 5:50 a.m., I open up at the Sloth app that times each part of the routine for me so I don’t go over 75 minutes.
Doing my morning routine in the exact order of the acronym—S.A.V.E.R.S.—doesn’t work for me. I like to leave exercise last so I can go straight into the shower.
My Miracle Morning routine goes like this:
1. Affirmations (2 min): Right now I’m trying to get amped up on being a consistent blogger. My affirmations pertain to believing that I have everything at my disposal to be successful. For example:
- “I am 100% committed to working on Wise Woman Wallet 7 days a week for, at least, 20 minutes each day.”
- “Everything I need to be successful is available to me.”
- “I will transform obstacles into opportunities with grace and creativity.”
2. Scribing (5 min): Since my affirmations are in my SELF Journal 13-Week Planner, I flip to the day’s page and start expressing my gratitude. I also jot down any notes or to-do’s that have popped up since I woke up.
3. Reading (10 min): This is my favorite part. Books are my bae. I usually end up going over 10 minutes when I really want to finish a chapter or go back to scribing because I want to take note of a gem. I’m currently reading Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and Word-Class Performers, a super thick book with bite-sized sections of tips from any- and everyone—Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Tony Robbins and Margaret Cho. I gotta read a little bit every day to get through this book by the end of 2019.
Best Self Co.’s SmartMarks allow me to mark my place like a traditional bookmark and write down notes. I used to use the Notes app on my phone, which could lead to checking out other apps. (Use the case-sensitive discount code, WISEWOMANWALLET, to get 15% off your Best Self Co. purchase for journals, SmartMarks action pads and more.)
4. Visualization (3-5 min): Then I head to my yoga mat in front of my TV where I set up the free weights and DVD player (connects to my laptop) so I can jump into my 30-minute exercise routine after visualization and meditation.
I used to focus on my debt-free vision board, but I found it more effective to visualize success for today’s event that produces fear or uneasiness. For example, at the semester’s start, I envisioned my brand-new 3-year-olds coming into the classroom tear-free and smiling. I saw myself being patient with them and teaching them in a fun, engaging way. I’ve also visualized people coming to my website, smiling while soaking up the material and happily clicking on a link to get a freebie or product. And guess what! I started getting more comments from folks about how much they enjoyed the blog. There’s definitely a correlation.
I let myself get lost in visualization until I start thinking too far ahead.
5. Silence (5 min): When I come to, I do 2 rounds of 8 yoga poses. That’s when my mind clears and I move in silence through muscle memory. After the spinal twists, I say “Namaste” and prepare to sweat.
6. Exercise (30-40 min): 21-Day Fix is my program of choice right now. There are 7 30-minute routines, so I don’t get bored. My strength and endurance gets better each week. No abs yet, though. Ha ha!
Then it’s off the shower and back to the kitchen for a second breakfast. If I don’t eat again before reporting to my classroom at 8:30 a.m., then my stomach would start eating itself. Lunch isn’t until 11:30 a.m. That green smoothie doesn’t last 6 hours.
“Routine, in an intelligent man, is a sign of ambition.” — W.H. Auden
How can S.A.V.E.R.S. work for you?
Tweak the recipe to your liking. Do it backward (S.R.E.V.A.S.) if that’s what you’d like. Completing the routine matters more than the order and length of the routine.
Debt-free journeyers, use the period of silence to meditate on what you’re grateful for. Gratitude breeds contentment and fends off temptations to spend impulsively or outside of alignment with your goals.
You can use affirmations to speak life into your finances. Include specific actions for whatever goal you’re attacking. Some examples of affirmations include:
- I control my money. Money doesn’t control me.
- I am sensible with money and manage it wisely.
- My actions create constant prosperity.
- Financial success is mine! I accept it now.
- I’m committed to making $1,000 in extra debt payments for the next 6 months.
- I’m committed to making 20 prospecting calls every day from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.
They can use visualizations to imagine receiving money through multiple streams, clicking “Submit Now” on their final debt payment or cozying up to your boo on that gondola ride on your all-expenses-paid-in-cash trip in Venice, Italy, to celebrate debt freedom. Can you see it? Create a debt-free vision board while you’re at it. Visuals are one of the 12 tools for staying in the debt-busting mindset.
Exercise is one of the habits of the wealthy. Working out boosts your energy throughout the day to help you think clearer and work longer hours, if necessary. Exercise could also keep you away from the doctor and those bills. Health is wealth.
Reading will help transform your thoughts and give you the tools and encouragement to execute your plan. Use this time to read any of the 28 Life-Changing Books or anything else that you could help improve your mindset and, subsequently, your bottom line.
Scribing allows you to do a “brain dump” on everything you need to do increase your income, save and pay down debt. Write down your short-term and long-term goals. Write down your daily expenses. Write down lessons you’ve learned about your spending habits and the best debt payment methods. And make visual trackers to measure your success. They are my not-so-secret weapon for saving and paying off several thousand dollars. One reason why I love my SELF Journal is all of these reflection tools are built right into the notebook. (Use the code, WISEWOMANWALLET, to get 15% off your journal purchase.)
If you want to take back your life, then you’ve got to take back your morning. Start your day off right.
“An extraordinary life is all about daily, continuous improvements in the areas that matter most.” —Robin Sharma
- The 6 steps of The Miracle Morning steps are called the Life S.A.V.E.R.S.
- 1. Silence (meditation, prayer or breathing)
- 2. Affirmations (speaking encouraging words over your life)
- 3. Visualization (imagining yourself taking action toward your goals)
- 4. Exercise (getting the blood flowing)
- 5. Reading (filling your brain with positive thoughts and helpful information)
- 6. Scribing (writing or journaling to capture your ideas, action steps and thought process)
- The Miracle Morning routine is customizable, so it can be as short or as long as you’d like it to be.
- Tools that are helping me on the 30-day challenge include the Sloth app, SELF Journal, 21-Day Fix exercise DVDs and Tools of Titans book.