I remember that Saturday morning in March as if it was yesterday, I was browsing online looking for my next book to read, when I stumbled upon Hal Elrod’s The Miracle Morning, a book that served as a guide for people like Richard Branson, a man who needs no introduction and whose success speaks by itself. The book praised the idea of waking up at the crack of dawn and performing a morning ritual meant to improve my every day and by that, my life. While I was already a morning riser, my wake-up time usually didn’t happen before the sun was out, nor did I have any kind of ritual, apart from drinking water first thing in the morning. Needless to say I was intrigued.
In The Miracle Morning, Hal Elrod breaks down the morning rituals in 6 easy steps, going by the acronym S.A.V.E.R.S.
S — Silence
Meditate for at least a few minutes every morning. Sit in silence, follow your breath, calm your mind. If you think meditation is not for you, as most of us do in the beginning, try with just a few minutes of silence and breathing and add more time as you get more comfortable with it.
A — Affirmations
What is it you truly believe in and you want to accomplish? Affirm it to the Universe and watch the magic unfold.
V — Visualization
Can you see it? Can you see your goals come true? Imagine them in the deepest detail possible. If your goal is a relationship, imagine your partner, what do they look like, what is the dynamic between you, how does the relationship make you feel, how does your partner make you feel? If it’s your future home, how is it decorated, what does the neighborhood look like?
E — Exercise
Get your body moving. It can be a walk around the block with the dog or an intense workout, whatever your style is, just keep your body moving.
R — Reading
Grab a book. Learn something new every morning. You might think you have no time for reading, but really, you can read or learn something in 5 minutes every morning. That book you’ve been wanting to read — 10 pages every morning will have you finishing it before you know it.
S — Scribe
Write it down! Whether you’re writing down your goals and aspirations or you’re working on your own book, or even if you’re writing your game plan for the day with a detailed to-do list, just sit down and write it.
I started the ritual exactly as expected, excited about the new challenge. Even though the idea of waking up at 5am was not something I longed for, I tried it. Some days were easy as I woke up full of energy, others were quite painful and the last thing I wanted to do was get out of bed, let alone actually go through my ritual. Using the SAVERS guidance, I decided to create my own morning ritual that looked like this.
For the longest time people believed that it takes 21 days to form a new good habit (the bad ones take a lot less), but recent studies show that it takes an average of 66 days to form a sustainable habit, which is what I was going for. So I gave myself 66 days. I wanted to see what would happen by the end of those 66 days and during that time, I would give it my all to follow my morning ritual.
Here’s what happened during those 66 days:
Maybe the most important part of those 66 days was that I became more open to learning and participating in new things that just showed up in my life such as climbing, swimming, playing sports I wasn’t comfortable with, meeting new people, asking for support, believing I can achieve anything I set my mind to, being grounded in reality while at the same time looking at the horizon for my next dream to unfold. And on day 66, I knew that wasn’t the end of the cycle, but truly a beginning of a lifetime of miracle mornings.
Originally published at medium.com