Charles Spurgeon said, “Begin as you mean to go on, and go on as you began.” Having always been a morning person, I love this quote. I fully believe that your morning sets the tone for the rest of your day. If you get up and lounge about, checking social media and watching YouTube videos (not that I am knocking this, mind you), it is much harder to get motivated to get going than if you had gotten up and hit the ground running from the start.
At the start of last October I read a book that changed my entire morning routine. It used to be that I would get up, have a cup of coffee, go for a run, come home, do a quick Bible study over breakfast, get ready for work, and then leave. Then I suffered an IT Band injury, which I am still recovering from, and my whole morning routine changed. I had to take a break from running, then due to a migraine disorder I had to give up coffee. My morning began to look like getting on social media after a few chores, doing my Bible study (it’s with a FB group), and then staying there for a ridiculous amount of time. Then I would rush through the rest of my morning stuff, and head out the door to work. It was very stressful, and not a good way to start the day.
I first heard of The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod from Kara over at Boho Berry. She read it over the summer and shared about how it transformed not only her morning, but her whole life. You can read her book review here. Hal writes about how six simple things you can do first thing in the morning can set the tone for your whole day, and, as he claims, transform your life.
Hal calls them S.A.V.E.R.S., and each abbreviation stands for one element of the morning routine: silence, affirmations, visualization, exercise, reading, and scribing (or journaling). You can spend as little as five minutes or as much as half an hour on each element, and there’s no rules about which order you have to do them in. I spend about half an hour on my entire routine, some areas getting more time than others.
I like to start my day with Silence, which for me, is my Bible study. There are great online Bible studies you can get involved in. Two of my favorites are She Reads Truth and Hello Mornings. The great thing about The Miracle Morning, is it is very flexible. Your S might like look meditation (I do that too, actually, but not always in the morning, so I don’t count it for my S time), or deep breathing, or writing in a gratitude journal, or just sitting in silence for x number of minutes. The goal is purposeful silence.
After I’ve done that, I move onto Affirmations and Visualization. I keep my affirmations in my bullet journal. Each month I created a new page of affirmations, using Pinterest to help me find things I want to focus on. Sometimes I pick a theme (like in February I focused on love), and sometimes I just pick whatever speaks to me on the day that I create the page (like this month). For visualization I created a private board on Pinterest and I pinned a whole bunch of things that represent what I am working towards in my life. This allows me to keep my goals front and center every day.
After That, I move on to Reading, which I do over breakfast. I like to vary my reading location, and will read on my porch,or in the cozy chair in my creative studio. Most often I read personal development books during this time, which I have really loved. I read for about 10 minutes, or one to two chapters (if they are short), and so far this year I have finished seven books during my morning reading time. Your definition of personal development is going to be different than mine. You might want to be an architect, and therefore personal development books for you would be related to business and architect. I read a lot of books that have to do with writing or organization. Personal development is not the same as self-help. Let’s just be clear about that.
For Exercise, I do a few yoga poses and stretches. I am still working on a better daily routine, and also recovering from a very slow-healing wrist injury, and my exercise mostly consists of walking my dog, which happens later in the day.
For Scribing (or journaling), I do a practice from The Artists Way, called morning pages. You can do anything you want during this time: update your gratitude journal, write in a personal journal, or, some people even consider getting their bullet journal set up for the day as scribing. There are no rules.
Finally, at the front of each bullet journal I have created this layout, which helps remind me what the purpose of each of the S.A.V.E.R.S. are. I have to give full credit for this layout to Kara; I did update some of the information with things I was going to be doing, but the basic idea and some of the information for it came from her.
If you start your day strong, you will be motivated to continue strong.
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