What is your "one word" intention for 2021? Mine is: "MORNING." To get myself motivated to wake up earlier each day I just read The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod as book #1 on my quest to read 52 books in 2021. (and I plan to blog about them all!) Are you a morning person? Do you want to be a morning person? Read this blog post for some encouragement and then read The Miracle Morning. Below are 5 takeaways of mine from this terrific book.
1. Hal Elrod shares an inspirational story of turning tragedy into triumph in this book. It is truly a miracle how he turned his life around. And he shares how waking up early in the morning and having a morning ritual to start his day was pivotal for him transforming his life. Hal's love of the early morning hours reminded me of retired Navy SEAL Jocko Willink, who wakes up at 4:30 AM daily. I won't be waking up that early! A consistent 6:00 AM wake up time is my goal for 2021.
2. Hal shares in the book 6 morning practices that he calls "The Life S.A.V.E.R.S." This acronym stands for: Silence, Affirmations, Visualization, Exercise, Reading and Scribing (writing). He describes each of these practices in detail and says that the ideal amount of time to spend on these 6 practices is 10 minutes each, for a total of 60 minutes every morning. He graciously gives options for doing each of these 6 practices for a shorter period of time as you build up your morning ritual stamina. He shares how you can do these 6 practices for just 1 minute each, or for 6 minutes total to get your day off to a great start.
3. Hal discusses in this book his belief that we don't need as much sleep as we think we do. He describes how setting an intention before you go to sleep to wake up energized will do the trick, even if you only get 4 hours of sleep. This is one point that I disagree with in this otherwise great book. I'm a huge believer in the importance of sleep, particularly after reading the book Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker. My plan for 2021 is to not reduce the number of hours I sleep nightly so that I can wake up earlier, but rather to simply get to bed earlier. My daily goal is a 10:00 PM bedtime with a 6:00 AM wake up.
4. The Miracle Morning encouraged me to think through how I might enhance or add to my current morning rituals, which are below. I shared these morning rituals as a devotion at work last year along with some related Scripture verses.
- Prayer: I pray in the car on my way to work and throughout the day. I try to pray using the A.C.T.S. acronym: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication.
“But I, O Lord, cry to you; in the morning my prayer comes before you.” Psalm 88:13
“Pray without ceasing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17
- Wisdom: I read/listen to the One Year Bible in the car on my way to work. My goal in 2021 is to read/listen to 4+ books a month using www.Audible.com, typically on the drive home or when working out.
“Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.” Proverbs 4:7
- Worship: After prayer and the Bible, I often listen to worship music in the car on my way to work, such as Chris Tomlin, Phil Wickham, Casting Crowns, Matt Maher, or K-LOVE radio.
"But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning." Psalm 59:16
- Health: My ideal morning is that I get my heart rate up with 15 to 30 minutes on the rower daily in my home gym. I plan out my meals daily. Ideally I get 8 hours of sleep nightly. I track my steps, heart rate and sleep with a smart watch.
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? Therefore, honor God with your bodies.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
5. Do you want to wake up earlier each morning? The Miracle Morning will encourage you to do so! Do you have a morning ritual? If not, this book will definitely help you create one. I don't think you need to necessarily do all 6 of the Life S.A.V.E.R.S each morning that Hal describes, though he makes a compelling case for each one. Please do give yourself grace as you embark on an earlier wake up time - which I have to do for myself often! Changing habits takes time, but is well worth the effort. Check out James Clear's terrific book Atomic Habits for some great tips on how to build habits.
I hope this blog post encourages you to wake up earlier and to develop your morning rituals! Please do post up in the Comments section below if you have any advice or resources related to this topic.
p.s. The purpose of this blog is to encourage you to live a more disciplined life by God's Grace. I'd be honored if you'd subscribe to my blog's emails to alert you of new blog posts at: www.mikepritchard.com/subscribe.html