Are you a morning person?
Most of us aren’t. But what if waking an hour earlier each day and taking a couple of intentional actions provided access to everything you’ve ever wanted?
This is the simple premise of the “Miracle Morning” – a philosophy and technique designed to help you become the person you need to be to achieve anything you want out of life. A life you’ve designed.
The team at Akras Capital is always searching for ways to make life better for ourselves, our communities and our investors, so we took on a 30-day challenge to see what this was all about.
In this article, we’ll share the results of our challenge (spoiler: it’s great) as well as the basic philosophy, technique, and some free resources so that you can try it for yourself and see why mornings are now our favorite part of the day.
The Basic Philosophy and Idea
After nearly dying in a head-on collision at age 22, Hal Elrod recovered and re-started his life, eventually becoming a hugely successful coach and motivational speaker. But then 2008 happened and he experienced total financial failure, sinking into a deep depression. A self-processed “Night Owl”, it wasn’t until a close friend recommended morning runs to clear his depression that he had the epiphany that resulted in the development of his technique, the Miracle Morning.
Jim Rohn, a successful mentor of his, helped him to realize that success in life, whether financial, relational or health, rarely outpaces your own personal development. In order to increase your level of success, you must first start with your growth and development. But with the busyness of life, when do you have time for exercise, meditation, reading and reflection? He realized it had to be the morning. Every morning.
“How you wake up each day and your morning routine (or lack thereof) dramatically affects your levels of success in every single area of your life.
Focused, productive, successful mornings generate focused, productive, successful days – which inevitably create a successful life – in the same way that unfocused, unproductive, mediocre mornings generate unfocused, unproductive and mediocre days, and ultimately a mediocre quality of life.
By simply changing the way you wake up in the morning, you can transform any area of your life, faster than you ever thought possible.”
It’s not about who you are, but about who you are becoming.
Mornings can be hard. Why would you want to crawl out of that warm, cozy bed and take on the uncertainty of the world? Life can be tough!
There’s a commonly held belief that the more sleep we get, the better off we are, but research shows that the optimal amount of sleep is far less than 9 hours. Anything beyond that can be detrimental. Many of the most influential thinkers, business leaders, entertainers and athletes including Einstein, Bill Gates, Aristotle and Oprah are famous early risers. We can function optimally on 4-6 hours per night. It is of course different for everyone, and I find that 7 hours is optimal.
Further, if you can break past the self-limiting belief that you’re not a morning person, and take on the day with intentional purpose, other barriers start to fall, and you can begin designing your life with energy and purpose.
The Surprising Results Of Our 30-Day Challenge
In order to understand the results, you need to know the baseline. You know the COVID-19 Quarantine we all experienced? That uncomfortable feeling of being trapped inside and germaphobic, especially during the first stressful and chaotic 60 days as it spread worldwide?
Well, that’s where we were – feeling a bit overwhelmed, unfocused, and generally cranky. We slept in now and again, basking in 9-10 hours of sleep, but never feeling truly rested. Seeking something different, the Akras team got started with the Miracle Morning challenge.
After only a few days, we all started feeling less groggy in the morning, and our bodies began to naturally wake up without our alarm clocks. Our minds felt clearer and we noticed a distinctive quality of peace and ease throughout the day. Some of our team took the challenge on with their spouse, and they experienced a new sense of encouragement in the growth of their relationship and some deeper connection. We generally experienced less frustration, anxiety and crankiness – things started looking up!
At work, we found ourselves thinking more creatively about the ways to organize and structure our days, so instead of just launching into our emails and “to-do” lists, we began intentionally grouping projects that required more creativity at certain times of the day and saw increased levels of productivity.
A big part of this was implementing ideas and techniques from the books we read as part of the routine (more on the full routine below). Amongst our team we read several books including the namesake Miracle Morning book, Atomic Habits, The 4 Hour Work Week, The Power of Habit and The Untethered Soul. Each of these contributed new ideas that we began to implement.
This all resulted into a generally higher sense of satisfaction with what had been accomplished during the day.
By the end of the challenge, waking up was a joy, and we all truly valued the quiet, contemplative mornings that allowed us to start the day with intention and accomplish exactly what we wanted. We’re all continuing with the practice, and even have plans to start waking up earlier!
The Simple Technique and Routine
As confronting as waking early and taking on a bunch of new practices can be, It’s actually pretty simple, and millions of people have figured it out and implement it daily. It get’s easier each day as you learn how to get into a morning flow.
The night before, you read an evening affirmation, setting the intention for how you’ll wake up and how the next day will go (and putting to rest all of the common excuses). The next morning, you wake up 1 hour earlier than usual, so if you typically wake at 8 AM, then wake up at 7 AM.
You then perform six simple life-enhancing practices, each of which develop one or more of the physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual aspects of your life. They are called “Life S.A.V.E.R.S”, and you practice each of them for 5-20 minutes. If you have more time, like many did during the quarantine, you can lengthen them as well. Here they are, simply defined:
Silence. 5-10 minutes of Meditation, Prayer or Breathing. Whatever it is for you, the idea is to quiet the mind, reduce the chatter, and start the day with a calm and focused mind.
Affirmation. 5 minutes of speaking and writing down an encouraging statement about yourself to help break down limiting beliefs, be healthy and happy and live out your purpose. A link to some ideas can be found below.
Visualization. 5 minutes of imagining yourself doing each thing you need to do that day, step by step, to accomplish your goals. Then imagine the feeling of success. Take this out further a week, month, year or decade and visualize living and enjoying your ideal life.
Exercise. It doesn’t have to be intense, but at least 7-10 minutes of basic bodyweight exercises, yoga, stretching or walking/ jogging, to get the blood and oxygen flowing to the brain. Even a small amount greatly improves quality of life.
Reading. For 20 minutes, read something that fills your brain with positive thoughts and ideas to improve your life. Absorb the written knowledge from the people who have accomplished the things that you want in life.
Scribing/Writing. Taking 10 minutes to journal is a great way to process your thoughts, reflect and develop your life. It will help you be more self-aware and articulate, and provide a record of your progress.
Now, commit to do this for 30 days, and experience the amazing results! If you stick to it, you’ll want to continue past the challenge.
“Remember this truth: now matters more than any other time in your life, because it’s what you are doing today that is determining who you’re becoming, and who you’re becoming will always determine the quality and direction of your life.”
Some Additional Tips and Resources To Ensure Success
Our Top 4 Tips:
- Find an accountability partner. This is someone who will encourage you each day to keep going, even when it seems impossible.
- Find a good spot for your morning routine. You’ll want a space where you can focus and not be distracted by other family members waking up.
- Prepare yourself the night before. Have your chosen book, journal/notebook, pen and everything else you need for the routine ready and in place so you don’t have to search for them and disrupt flow the next morning.
- Get a sunrise-simulation alarm clock. This helps to wake you up with natural light, and plays nature-themed alarms, like singing birds. It’s a welcome alternative to jarring smart phone ringtones and makes for a restful wake-up. Check it out on Amazon here.
A couple of additional valuable resources:
- Miracle Morning Book: The first two chapters are free to download on their website, www.MiracleMorning.com
- List of affirmations to get started: Bedtime Affirmations, Morning Affirmation, Other General Affirmations
- Calm Meditation App for your phone to use during the “Silence” part of the morning. Download Calm for free here
- Other Books: Our team collectively read these during the 30 day challenge:
Atomic Habits, James Clear. Check it out on Amazon here.
The 4 Hour Work Week, Tim Ferris. Check it out on Amazon here.
The Untethered Soul, Michael Singer. Check it out on Amazon here.
The Power Of Habit, Charles Duhigg. Check it out on Amazon here.
We hope you enjoyed learning about the Miracle Morning!
If you are interested in giving the Miracle Morning a shot, please check out the full book – it goes into a lot of interesting detail about each of these ideas, and far more than we could cover in a single article.
“Always remember that where you are is a result of who you were, but where you go depends entirely on who you choose to be, from this moment on.” – Hal Elrod
Further, if you’d like some encouragement to get started, reach out to our team by clicking the button below, where you’ll find a variety of ways to get in touch. We’d be happy to give you some ideas and answer any questions you might have!