It’s been another one of those days, and I have to say I have been having a lot of them lately. Don’t get me wrong these days are full of fun and laughter and very very full. For instance, today included laundry, fun in the pool with the kids, running errands, catching up on some work stuff, painting the front walk, making bunting, watching Lego Justice League, …and that’s just only some of it!
I love my life and all the wonderful fun things I get to do on a daily basis, be it in my work, or with my family. The problem is that it’s 11:30 at night and I’m just getting time now to find some time to focus on myself. The truth is that I really should have gone to bed about 30 minutes ago. So why don’t I?
Well, I’ve been trying to be purposeful about making myself more of a priority each day. Let me tell you, I am finding that a lot harder than I thought! Between the priorities I have with work and my children and home, I find that these well made plans I have for focusing on myself each day slowly get pushed further and further down the timeline of the day until the day is over and I still really want to spend this time with and for myself.
I have been reading and learning about the Miracle Morning and I love the concept. If you haven’t heard of it, the Miracle Morning is an approach to personal development developed by Hal Elrod.
So the idea is that you start off each day with a number of different tasks that are designed to help you focus your priorities and energy for the day ahead. I’m completely sold! I know this could be so positive and helpful for me; the only problem for me seems to be the ‘morning’ thing. Since I’m NOT a morning person, the recommendation that I should wake up at 5am to complete the Miracle Morning would take nothing short of a miracle. I have made numerous attempts to complete a Miracle afternoon, evening, or bedtime but it totally defeats the purpose of creating focus and motivation for the day ahead. What to do ☹. I felt like if I couldn't commit to the entire process then I wouldn’t really get anywhere with it.
Then I came across an entry Hal made on his website last year called the 6-minute miracle morning. As I started reading it I was reminded of a Podcast I recently listened to (Fit and Vibrant You by Tanja Shaw) where Toronto based trainer Christine Line said “start where you are with what you have”. Those words really resonated with me and when I saw Hal’s 6-minute miracle morning I thought, I’ve got six minutes…. I will start there.
And that is exactly what I have done! This morning I completed the 'SAVERS' of the Miracle Morning, which only took about 10 minutes (because I wasn’t timing things exactly), but at the end of it I really did feel positive and ready to get my day going. I can definitely see how spending an hour would be amazing, however I’m not going to dwell on that. I’m just going to do what I can do, and that is certainly better than doing nothing.
If you are not familiar with the 'SAVERS' that make up the Miracle Morning this is what they are and what I did (I did not complete them in the SAVERS order based on the 6-minute routine recommended by Hal Elrod).
S- Silence: Simple but very powerful. I use the “Simply Be” app on my iPad. It's a meditation app. It has several timed sessions with talk through and music you can customize to your preferences. I just used the 5-minute one. Alternatively you could pray, do breathing exercises, or all three. The idea is to be present and to relax and focus.
A- Affirmations: For this I had done some work previously to come up with some statements of affirmation for myself. These include things that I wanted to focus on as well as some negative-self-talk issues I’m trying to make more positive. Once you have those ready you simply spend your time, in my case about 1 minute, reading them out loud. Now I have also recorded mine as a voice memo on my phone and I have just been listening to that. Not sure if that is some how less effective than reading them out loud in the moment or not but that's what I've been doing.
V- Visualization: As a former gymnastics coach who used a lot of mental training with my athletes I can attest to the power of visualization. For this portion of the Miracle Morning you can look at a vision board or simply visualize your day going well. I’m still working on this. I have chosen to do a Journal (I’m sure no surprise coming from the Everyday Journalista). This book includes my personal mission statement as well as my affirmations and goals, but I am doing it in a visual and artsy kind of way. Just the process of creating this journal is inspiring to me. It will be a work in progress, just like me ;)
As the acronym goes E should be next, but based on Hal’s recommendation for the 6-minute version things go a little out of order from here on.
S- Scribe: One of the many reasons why I love this process is that it includes and acknowledges the benefit of journaling. I journal everyday, and have since I was about 13. I usually do this at night just before bed to reflect on the events of the day. I will continue to do this, as journaling here is a little different. In this 1-minute segment you want to quickly jot down something you are grateful for, proud of, or committed to for the day. This is awesome and I think the action of writing it down makes it more ‘real’ and allows for reflection later.
R- Read: Hal recommends reading 1-2 pages from a self-help book for this. I currently am not reading a self-help book (I’m pretty sure the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon doesn’t qualify!) so I was thinking a book of inspiring quotes, or a Pinterest board of awesome quotes, or even a verse from the bible would work. I have been using the daily verse feature on the YouVersion bible app.
E- Exercise: This is the last of the steps for the 6-mintue Miracle Morning. I thought to myself what exercise would be worth doing for only 1 minute. Hal recommends getting up after completing the previous 5 sections and doing jumping jacks for 1 minute, and you know what? It really did get my heart rate going and gave me a little boost. Every little bit counts!
So that’s what I’ve been doing to try to carve out a little time for myself in a day that there never seem to be enough hours in. It’s not perfect and I still have a lot I want to work on, but it’s something, it’s a start and I think only good things can come from it.
I would love to know what kind of things you do for personal development or just me-time.