I’ve mentioned this book and its author on the blog before, when talking about the 5 Minute Rule. The book begins with a terrifying story of a car crash that saw Hal Elrod dead for six minutes before spending several days in a coma, and then waking up with brain damage, being told he would never walk again. It’s an amazing story – especially when you consider everything he’s achieved since.
The basic premise of this book is that Elrod gets up an hour early every morning, in order to do six activities to start his day. He calls these his life SAVERS. The SAVERS is an acronym standing for Silence (meditation), Affirmation, Visualisation, Exercise, Reading, Scribing (writing). He attributes his amazing success to this approach, and has written the book to show others exactly how it’s done.
Aside from being an incredbly inspiring and uplifting story, Elrod makes a good point here about making changes to your life. So many of us say we can’t do this or that because we don’t have time. I don’t meditate, I don’t exercise, I can’t write that book, blah blah. I’ve done it myself for so long. Your day to day life expands to take up the hours you’re awake, and before you know it a week or a month has passed and you’ve not quite managed to make a start on that brilliant, life-altering plan you had.
The answer – to just get up an hour early and work on self development then – seems so simple it can’t be right. Nothing can be that simple, can it? But also – do I really have to get up shit early? Really?
In recent months my alarm clock had crawled later and later, until I was getting up at 6:45. I just felt too knackered to get up earlier and would snooze and snooze and snooze it until I absolutely had to get up. The idea of setting my alarm an hour earlier did make me think perhaps this wasn’t the book for me.
Then I got to the section where he basically asks you, do you want to improve your life, or would you rather sleep?
When he puts it like that, it’s hard to argue with his logic.
Prior to starting the Miracle Morning routine, my day looked like this: alarm goes off, we both get up, showered and dressed. Then we have breakfast and go to nursery. I come home from nursery and spend my day working, then collect S. She has tea, I put her to bed and come back downstairs to finish off some work. There is precious little spare time for any sort of self development shenanigans. For a while I was exercising when I got back from nursery drop off, but that’s really hard to stick to – and exercising, then having a shower etc takes a precious chunk out of the time I should be working.
Elrod says after his first early morning wake up, he began to look forward to the alarm going off, as if looking forward to Christmas morning. This, I sincerely doubted. But actually… well, I won’t say I look forward to the alarm going off – but I do look forward to having that hour or so before S is awake, to do the things I would normally not fit into my day.
I enjoy the silence of being up and about before the world wakes up. It’s nice to do my workout without a toddler critiquing my moves, but it’s also an incredible luxury for me to be able to meditate afterwards, to be able to keep a daily journal, to have time to read the stack of books that teeters next to my desk at any given point.
Being a self employed single parent, I don’t get a lot of “spare” time. I don’t get time to sit and visualise how I want my life to be. Unless I make time. And really the entire thing really does boil down to Elrod’s one question: do you want to change your life, or would you rather sleep? Personally, I want to change my life and improve my daughter’s future. So my alarm is set for 5:30, and I’m quite looking forward to it.
EDIT 07/01/16: The Miracle Morning has now been officially released in the UK, with a swanky new cover! The perfect purchase for a new start in the new year!