How do you start your day? Is it slowly?

You can’t cope until you’ve had your caffeine fix or do you get up and wish you had a bit more get up and go? Let me share with you something that has revolutionised my wake up routine in the past year.

It’s funny how things appear on your radar screen. Before Christmas 2015 I had a meeting with someone who mentioned a book called ‘The Miracle Morning – 6 Habits That Will Transform Your Life Before 8AM’ by Hal Elrod. It’s based on the fact that the way you start your day will determine how the rest of the day will pan out, in terms of your mood, your relationships and your ability to focus and be productive. I made a mental note to put it on my ‘books to buy on Kindle’ list, as I love reading books on personal development.

The spooky thing is that when I actually came to buy the book, I had apparently already bought it, but I had no recollection of buying it – weird! It had been languishing in my Kindle library for months unread.

The book is based on six habits or rituals with an easy to remember acronym – S.A.V.E.R.S, without sounding clichéd, they are ‘life savers’!

Even if you’re not a morning person, and you’re a bit of a night owl, this works for you too.

So you’re probably wondering what you have to do

First off, let me share with you what the acronym stands for and then I will explain how it has inspired me.

S = Silence – meditation
A = Affirmation – programming your mindset
V = Visualisation – mental rehearsal
E = Exercise – get your body moving first thing
R = Reading – personal development
S = Scribing – journaling

How do I make ‘S.A.VE.R.S’ work for me?

Typically I naturally wake up around 5.30AM, I’m a bit of a lark! This is the order I do S.A.V.E.R.S.

SILENCE

The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is do a 10 to 15 minute meditation. I always do a guided meditation; I used to be rubbish at just focusing on my breath, but I am now getting better at it and am more aware of when my mind starts getting distracted and taking me off down ‘rabbit holes’. So I prefer to have something which gives prompts to bring me back to the here and now. Last year I used the meditation app Headspace and this year I’m using Daily Calm and I can also recommend these meditations from Nest Maven.  Since the beginning of the year I have only missed five mornings of meditation – I’ve meditated 94 times which is nearly 19 hours.

SCRIBING and AFFIRMATION

Over the past 12 months I’ve got back into writing, there’s something about physically writing by hand with a nice pen and writing on nice quality paper. I love scribing in my very zesty coloured Daily Greatness Wellness Journal

It’s where I’ve written all my health, personal and business goals which I can look at daily. It keeps me on track and picks me up when I haven’t had such a good day the day before. I keep a record of my workouts, my food diary, how I’m feeling and what I’m grateful for.

VISUALISATION

The app Trello is where I keep my vision board. I don’t have a physical vision board, I have made them in the past, with images cut out of magazines and stuck with glue, which was great – I could look at it across the office. However, the cat took a fancy to it and started chewing the corners, and it kept getting knocked over, by then end of the year it was looking a bit jaded and beaten up. Having an online version is great; it’s a lot more flexible. I can grab images off the web add in new things that inspire me or things I want to achieve. Anytime I want to have a bit of a motivational fix, I can access it online on my phone, tablet or computer, this is great to access first thing in the morning.

READING

This is my time for a bit of personal development. Whether it’s a few pages of a book I’m reading or watching a TED talk, or something I’m studying. It just gives me a bit of time to learn something new and get inspired.

EXERCISE

Reading the Miracle Morning was what motivated me to get into my running last year, and then went on to inspire me to run 10k’s!

During the week, I always try and get at least three 10 minute HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts in, and at the weekends I may do yoga or go for a run. The days I don’t get my 10 minute workout, I’m usually walking long distances, but I will do a couple of minutes stretching, however, I feel so much healthier, less sluggish and sleep better if I’ve had my 10 minute HIIT.

How long does this all take?

As long as you want it to! You could do it all in less than 10 minutes, here’s how:

  • 1 Minute slow breathing meditation – just focus on the in breath and the out breath, and the pause in between. (Silence)
  • 2 Minutes – Write a one liner in your journal on what you are grateful for and how you want your day to be (Scribing and Affirmation)
  • 1 Minute – Scan over your vision board in Trello (Visualisation)
  • 1 – 2 Minutes – Read a couple of pages of a personal development book or an article, listen to an audio book or podcast or watch a short inspirational video (Reading)
  • 1 -2 Minutes – Stretching or yoga sun salutation (Exercise)

May be you could do the meditation and exercise when you get up in the morning, and do the rest on your commute, if you’re driving, listen to an audio book or podcast instead of the radio.

It doesn’t really matter what order you do it in, but it’s there to set you up for your day ahead and give you a mental, emotional and physical boost. It gives you that bit of va va voom and a bit of zest!