I was in eighth grade when my life changed for the better. I had been sent into the personal development realm of the internet through a series of coincidences and came across the amazing book The Miracle Morning, by Hal Elrod. This book skyrocketed to the bestsellers list and has since sold _______ copies. This book is irritatingly simple, telling you that you only need six habits in your morning routine.
“Remember, the moment you accept total responsibility for everything in your life is the moment you claim the power to change anything in your life.”― Hal Elrod
Elrod further explains that these are all that you need to behave like those who conquer the problems of the world and radically grow their capacity to live wholeheartedly every day. These are the habits that I want to discuss with you today — the shockingly obvious six habits of the Miracle Morning: Silence, Affirmations, Visualization, Exercise, Reading, and Scribing. Let’s get into them a bit more:
1 || Silence
Silence is the first in the six habits of the miracle morning and it’s pretty obvious why. Well, maybe it’s not at first, but when you start doing it you begin to see why that’s how you should start the day. We often start the day with noise — either we’re woken up by our kids, or by our families, or by a noisy alarm. Then, our first instinct is to check our messages, our social media, and we’re flooded with information.
“To understand the immeasurable, the mind must be extraordinarily quiet, still.”– Jiddu Krishnamurti
While that information isn’t necessarily bad, it prevents us from doing something really natural and necessary for a thriving life — checking in with ourselves. When we’re flooded with other people’s voices, we lose our own, and often spend the rest of our days in a reactive mode.
And what’s great about the habit of silence is how many different ways it can be achieved. This can be meditation (I, personally, love using the headspace app), a prayer, quiet time sipping coffee, or any mixture/addition you can come up with. This time is about checking in with yourself, finding your voice, and setting the tone for the rest of your day with your needs in mind.
2 || Affirmations
Affirmations are important — but maybe even more so than you may realize. Affirmations are really simple in principle. They’re about acknowledging the truth, and then speaking them aloud to yourself. When I started using them on a daily basis, it didn’t take me long to realize how they transformed the way I saw myself and the world around me.
“Don’t be pushed around by the fears in your mind. Be led by the dreams in your heart.”― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart
But do be careful to find affirmations that actually work for you. Don’t find and use what I like to call “cheap affirmations”. These are simple and weak affirmations, those that are not going to call you to grow or to see yourself differently. Find affirmations like the following:
“You bring life, love, and light to those that you meet.” “You are resilient, capable of overcoming the obstacles in your life as you’ve done previously.” “People love you and there’s evidence to prove that.”
Whatever speaks to you in the different areas of your life, whether that be your business, your personal life, your relationships, your family, or otherwise, use them on a daily basis. Journal and read over them, print them and speak them aloud, whatever you want to do to remind yourself constantly.
3 || Visualization
Visualization was something I thought was really stupid for a really long time, in full disclosure. I was always curious as to how it would be helpful to print out pictures, look at them, meditate and think about them, and other things/practices/habits typically associated with meditation. And I will say, it’s not for everyone, and needs to be done in a way that suits you best — but it can most certainly be a powerful tool in the toolbox of your morning routine.
“I would visualize things coming to me. It would just make me feel better. Visualization works if you work hard. That’s the thing. You can’t just visualize and go eat a sandwich.” — Jim Carrey
I personally keep a Pinterest board of my morning routine filled with everything from the car I want to drive, to the bedrooms I want mine to be fashioned after, to things I dream of one day doing with my family, and adventures I want to embark on. It can be powerful, simply thinking about your future, aligning yourself with it, and looking for it in your day to day life, concrete ways to step towards your ideal future self.
4 || Exercise
Move your body. It doesn’t matter how, it doesn’t matter for how long, or where, but that you simply get it done. Every time I work out, which currently isn’t as often as I’d like, I’ll look at myself in the mirror or simply think to myself as I’m headed to change — “Why didn’t I do this sooner?”
“Exercise is a celebration of what your body can do. Not a punishment for what you ate.” — Anonymous
Exercise is a catch-all for me. It keeps me healthy, it helps me think creatively, it helps me process my emotions, express the anger I’ve been keeping inside, and realign with my strength as well as who I want to be. Doing it in the morning makes it that much greater — allowing a great, upbeat start to the day.
During the summer I was in a really great rhythm of waking up and doing Audible workouts that were only 10–15 minutes long, sometimes even shorter. That was what was great — it didn’t take up too much time, but it was an incredible start to my days.
5 || Reading
Reading is probably one of the most classic morning routine elements, but I’ve found that it’s absolutely amazing and life-changing in so many ways. What’s crazy about it is how much variety there is. You can read fiction in the morning, biographies, finance books, listen to audiobooks, read psychology, and more.
“Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary.” — Jim Rohn
There are so many mediums by which you can read, so many types of literature, from books to magazine articles, and so many genres you can read. However, you can in your morning, get some reading in.
Learning something new, fill your mind with information and creativity, with new ideas, and more. This can be done in so many ways but is such a worthwhile addition to your morning. It can also be done, by audiobooks or skillful multitasking, during other parts of your routine like getting ready or straightening up your home.
6 || Scribing
The sixth and final part of the morning routine, scribing or journaling, is one of my personal favorites and has led to some of my most insightful morning moments. This can be done on a laptop, in a journal that’s already outlined with prompts and such, or in a notebook blank and ready for whatever you may throw at it.
“Journaling is like whispering to one’s self and listening at the same time.” — Mina Murray
This can be done at length, or shortly, depending on your preference. I personally go back and forth. Sometimes I’ll use Notion and a template I created for a quick morning journal, other times I’ll doodle and think through some things in my journal, or write 3+ handwritten pages about what’s been on my mind — things I need to get out of the way before I start my day.
How do I make them happen in my life?
Maybe these six habits speak to you, but you’re unsure of how you could actually factor them into your morning routine. I’ve had several individuals reach out to me about similar articles with similar suggestions saying that they simply didn’t have the time. Believe me, I get it. Only months ago I was a busy high school senior who didn’t want to wake up and do this every day — and now I’m a college freshman with the same feelings.
If you need some thoughts on how to make it work, and if you need encouragement that it actually can be done, feel free to check out my other articles: You Have Enough Time and 5 Reasons Why You Find It Hard To Wake Up At Early every day.
What if I don’t have enough time?
In one of my recent articles, 7 Things You Need To Do To Have Consistently Incredible Mornings, a few individuals expressed concern in the comment section about how they weren’t going to be able to implement these techniques because of the time constraints in their life brought on my jobs, children, relationships, etc.
And let me say, while I’m not a parent or spouse myself, I get it. None of us have as much free time as we’d like — but what we have is what we’ve got, and we can all learn to work with it and make the most of it.
Katie is a freshman studying Neuroscience, Pre-Med at Auburn University with the goal of being a primary care pediatrician. She is the author of On Purpose: Discovering Who You Are With The Enneagram, runs a professional Instagram @intentional_enneagram, and maintains a profile of work on LinkedIn — you can follow her here.