The morning has always been a sacred time for most people, across traditions and throughout history. Time and time again, research has shown, the way you start your morning has a major impact on the tone of your day. Many of the most successful people share similar morning habits and rituals that get them in the right mindset for high production.
After the 2008 economic crash, Hal Erod crashed with it. In the following 6 months he developed what he calls “the miracle morning” with the acronym S.A.V.E.R.S.
S — Silence
A — Affirm
V — Visualize
E — Exercise
R — Reading
S — Scribing
If you strive to be as productive as the world’s most successful people, consider adding some of these habits to your morning:
Once you turn on your phone and look at your email it’s hard to find true moments of silence. Carve out 5-10 minutes for peaceful, and purposeful silence each morning. A quiet mind will help you tap into a higher power of thought and will generate ideas that you couldn’t have otherwise forced. Some call this a morning meditation, and it’s much harder to do than it sounds. Don’t judge yourself, simply sit and find a balance of relaxation and attentiveness. This time will help establish a clear mindset for the rest of your day.
Affirmations, simply put, are written statements of the results you want. However, just because you say something doesn’t necessarily make it come true. Elrod offers a twist to your affirmations: instead of affirming what you want, affirm what you’re committed to. Some questions you might ask yourself:
What are you committed to?
Why is it meaningful to you?
What activities will you do?
When will you do those activities?
These affirmations can be as small as your intention for the day. What do you want to focus on accomplish? Set an intention and check-in on that affirmation throughout the day.
Use visualization to motivate yourself. This is a popular method that athletes use before they step onto a field, and it's no different for any other situation. Visualization can help you prepare mentally and emotionally for whatever the day has in store. Whether it’s giving a presentation, or resolving a conflict, imagining a positive outcome before it happens will help guide you to the positive ending.
Even dedicating just a small amount of time to movement in the morning will give a noticeable energy boost. If you already have a set workout routine, this doesn’t need to replace it. But consider a minute of jumping jacks or 10 minutes of yoga to get your blood flowing first thing in the morning.
Whatever you are trying to work on in your life, whether that’s to be a better team leader, have happier relationships, or learn how to cook, you are just one book away from improving that area of your life. You don’t need to ready a full book in a day, try with just a few pages each morning. Believe it or not, even that small amount of learning can make you a better person.
Elrod refers to a 5-minute journaling exorcise he does at the end of his morning routine. In this exercise he answers two questions:
What are 3 things I’m grateful for?
What are the 3 most important things I need to accomplish today?
Starting by writing what you’re grateful for helps remind you what you’ve already achieved and what you already have. The latter helps tie in how you can be most effective in working towards your larger goals that day.
Reading this full list may feel overwhelming at first. Why not try incorporating just a few of these items to start? You never know what you’re capable of until you take the first step.