You may have noticed in this site’s right sidebar that there’s a section titled “what I’m reading now” about two-thirds of the way down the page.
Listed there is a book titled The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM). I actually read it for the first time a few months ago and have been re-reading it again both for myself (to see what I may have missed the first time) as well as to dig deeper into it for this post.
Short summary: I LOVE it!!!
And while I wouldn’t say it’s changed my life, I would say it’s made my life much better.
But before I get into that, let’s discuss the main concepts in the book.
The Miracle Morning
Let’s start with Amazon’s summary of the book:
What’s being widely regarded as “one of the most life changing books ever written” may be the simplest approach to achieving everything you’ve ever wanted, and faster than you ever thought possible.
What if you could wake up tomorrow and any—or EVERY—area of your life was beginning to transform? What would you change? The Miracle Morning is already transforming the lives of tens of thousands of people around the world by showing them how to wake up each day with more ENERGY, MOTIVATION, and FOCUS to take your life to the next level. It’s been right here in front of us all along, but this book has finally brought it to life.
Are you ready? The next chapter of YOUR life—the most extraordinary life you’ve ever imagined—is about to begin. It’s time to WAKE UP to your full potential…
Here’s my summary with a bit less hype:
If you get up earlier than you do now you can find the time to work on (and accomplish) the major things you want to do with your life that you “don’t have time for”.
There’s a bit more to it than that (of course), so let me briefly take you through the highlights of the book.
It begins with what the author calls three imperative arguments:
- You are just as worthy, deserving, and capable of creating and sustaining extraordinary health, wealth, happiness, love, and success in your life, as any other person on earth. It is absolutely crucial—not only for the quality of your life, but for the impact you make on your family, friends, clients, co-workers, children, community, and anyone whose life you touch—that you start living in alignment with that truth.
- In order for you to stop settling for less than you deserve—in any area of your life—and to create the levels of personal, professional, and financial success you desire, you must first dedicate time each day to becoming the person you need to be, one who is qualified and capable of consistently attracting, creating, and sustaining the levels of success you want.
- How you wake up each day and your morning routine (or lack thereof) dramatically affects your levels of success in every single area of your life. Focused, productive, successful mornings generate focused, productive, successful days—which inevitably create a successful life—in the same way that unfocused, unproductive, and mediocre mornings generate unfocused, unproductive, and mediocre days, and ultimately a mediocre quality of life. By simply changing the way you wake up in the morning, you can transform any area of your life, faster than you ever thought possible.
So if you want to “be all you can be”, one step is to start your day off right and use what is now likely sleep time to get up early and improve yourself.
Not a bad message, but as a life-long night owl, I hadn’t bought into the book this early on. I got it because a friend recommended it, but you could color me skeptical at this point.
The book recognizes the fact that many reading it will have the same feelings. Thus it spends a good bit of time (once it springs it on you that you need to get up earlier) telling you how to make the most of your sleep time as well as doing the common sense thing — go to bed earlier.
What to Do in the Morning
The book suggests you get up an hour earlier than you are currently to seize the day.
It also provides a list of what you should do in that hour with the acronym SAVERS as follows:
- S – Silence (could be meditation, prayer, deep breathing, thinking grateful thoughts, etc.) — 5 minutes
- A – Affirmations (telling yourself how great you are) — 5 minutes
- V – Visualization (thinking of what you want and visualizing it in your mind) — 5 minutes
- E – Exercise (I don’t think this needs an explanation) — 20 minutes
- R – Reading (also self-explanatory) — 20 minutes
- S – Scribing (writing down your thoughts/impressions/plans/etc.) — 5 minutes
And believe it or not, if 60 minutes is too long, the book has a 6-minute version for those of us too stressed to spend a solid hour on improvement. 🙂
That said, it doesn’t seem like those 6 minutes would yield much.
Of course you don’t have to do SAVERS. You can customize the time however you want to use it. The main idea is that you get up and work on improving yourself and your life — whatever that means for you.
The book ends with a challenge to try it for 30 days and see what happens.
What I’ve Done
Over the past few months, I’ve done a modified version of this including:
- I get up 40 minutes earlier than I used to (6 am now — 6:40 am in the past). And I get up at 6 am EVERY day, not just work days. Supposedly if you get up at the same time every day it’s good for your sleep, which I have noticed some improvement in.
- After I get ready for work, I have my coffee and do a bit of Bible reading (usually Psalms and Proverbs since I need both something uplifting and some wisdom for my life).
- I also have a protein drink and read a few pages of a book I want to tackle. It doesn’t seem like much, but just two pages a day is 60 pages in a month — much better than I’d do sleeping in. 🙂
- I then play a couple of challenging games on my phone (chess is one, of course) to give my brain a bit of exercise/challenge.
- If it’s a day where a post comes up, I’ll check ESI Money to be sure all is good. Then I’m off to work.
This is my pre-retirement work day schedule. If it’s a weekend or vacation, which is pretty much every day now, I go to the gym instead of going to work. I’m not a huge fan of working out early, but I LOVE having my workout done by 9 am, so I force myself.
I’ll be expanding the routine as I ease into a better post-retirement plan. Stay tuned.
So, has my world been completely changed by this? As I said above, it has not. But it has been improved in the following ways:
- Just the process of getting up at a specific time and planning around that has helped me improve my sleep. I go to bed about 10 pm every night and sleep way better than I used to. Of course my improved workout plan has something to do with that as well but the workout plan itself is made possible by getting up earlier. I get things accomplished in the morning that frees up my nights to workout after work.
- I have read a couple books that I would NOT have gotten to if I hadn’t started this.
- I complete my Bible reading when I’m fresh instead of squeaking it in at night when I’m dog tired. Much better.
- I have a quiet time to myself (the rest of the house is asleep) where I can just enjoy the peace and calm before a hectic day. It seems as if this allows me to think clearer and come up with new/better ideas for work, this site, my personal life, and so on.
There are Tons of People Doing This
Do you know how sometimes you start to think about an idea or concept and then you begin to see it discussed again and again? Well, that’s what’s happened to me lately with the “get up early and improve your life” line of thinking. Here are a few pieces I’ve run into lately:
- 8 Things Every Person Should Do Before 8 A.M. — “With this short morning routine, your life will quickly change.”
- What I Learned Working Like Benjamin Franklin For a Week — “I had such a great time that there’s no way I’m stopping this now. I want to see how far I can push it and try to improve on all those areas mentioned above, while continuing to reflect and appreciate life more.”
- 5 Morning Rituals That Help Me Win The Day — I think we all can agree that Tim Ferriss has done relatively well for himself. Getting things done early is one key to his success.
- What I learned by waking up at 4:30 a.m. for 21 days — A bit extreme for me, but the author had several positive outcomes by finding a new, couple hours each day.
- How to Become a Morning Person — Also links to a piece on how to be more productive by changing your morning ritual.
- 5 Habits of the Wealthy That Helped Them Get Rich — #4 is “They have a dedicated morning routine.”
- My Morning Routine — Lists morning routines of the famous and successful.
- Because of 4 am — Kobe and others are successful because they get up early and do the extra work others don’t/won’t.
- How do you start your morning? — I have no idea if the info in this video is accurate, but it showed up in my LinkedIn feed, I watched it, and found it interesting.
- Eight Things Successful People Do Every Morning — Very similar to the above tips.
- 27 Executives Who Wake Up Really Early — “These people know how to seize the day.”
- Why the Most Productive People Start Their Day at 4 a.m. — “A number of successful leaders and entrepreneurs, I have found, are declaring that they are most productive while the majority of us are still under the covers in a deep sleep.”
- Why Mark Wahlberg Wakes Up At 4:10 a.m. Every Single Day — “There are always enough hours in the day — if you get up early enough.”
- Why 4 am is the Most Productive Hour — You may need a WSJ subscription to see this one. If you can’t, go to Google, type in the name, then click on the link to the article when it pops up. They’ll usually let you through then. If not, clear cookies and try again. 🙂
Can It Make You Rich?
Let’s wrap this topic up and get back to the topic of money.
Just consider what the impact could be if you got up an hour early and spent part of that time working on your finances. You could:
- Read some great financial books and then apply what they have to say.
- Work on growing your career. By making just small changes you could reap millions more over your working lifetime.
- Develop an investing plan similar to what I did when I decided to invest in real estate (so far, that’s worked out well for me) or P2P lending.
- Take care of some personal finance blocking and tackling issues like managing a cash flow plan or working on saving money that many say they don’t have time for.
- Create a side business to develop a new source of income.
- Exercise a bit. As we know, physical fitness can be tied to financial fitness.
You can probably think of a lot of things you could do with an extra hour every day of uninterrupted time. You could work to improve on any area of your life — not just finances — and make a big, positive impact.
So, what do you think of the idea? Anyone willing to take the 30-day challenge? Anyone already doing something similar to this in the morning? If so, I’d love to hear your results/thoughts.
Great run down of the book and the benefits of waking up early. I’ve been doing this for a while now in an effort to get more writing done. And, it’s worked wonders for me. One of the best tips is to keep your same schedule even on the weekends. Getting up early even on Saturday and Sunday have helped me stay even more productive.
J. Money says
I’m on year two of waking up early now and it’s been one of the best things I’ve ever done!
Here’s a quick list of my thoughts after week one (I blogged about it all here if anyone wants more detail: http://www.budgetsaresexy.com/2015/08/learned-working-like-benjamin-franklin/)
— The stillness of the morning is so beautiful.
— The early wake ups slowed down time and helped me appreciate life more.
— It was nice to set your own tone for the day instead of outside influences! (particularly crying babies)
— I wasn’t stressed at all.
— It felt like a “secret club.”
— My brain seemed to be able to soak stuff up more.
— It’s nice having 100% YOU time.
— I was able to work a lot more efficiently.
— I didn’t care about work once the evening hit!
— I had no trouble going to bed early.
The one major downside was that I didn’t get to spend as much time with my wife early on into this because I was so freakin’ tired by the end of the days! So our evenings were shot until I got used to it…
Either way, def. worth trying it out for a week and then seeing how it goes 🙂
What? You sleep? I thought you had so much energy that sleep was not required!!! 😉
Dannielle @ Odd Cents says
I’m in agreement! I was up very early this morning and I’ve accomplished so much already. I was able to read some of my favourite blogs (including this one), which is something that I’ve struggled to do. Thanks for the links – I’ll add them to my reading list for the week.
Thanks for reading!
I just subscribed to your blog. 🙂
I have always been a morning person even on the weekend. I am usually up at 5:15 and do a routine and out the door by 6:45 and at work at 7:00 which is my most productive time. No one around to distract me and I am able to organize what needs to be accomplished that day. People start at different times but everyone is usually in by 9:00 so two hours before meetings really start happening.
My morning routine includes the usual of getting dressed for the day, breakfast and reading the on line comics of a website that is all about comics. I know it is silly but a good laugh is a nice way to start the day for me. There is also some reading of on line info and stories. During the week my wife and son are also getting ready so there is some conversation happening so there are distractions. On the weekend it does not change too much. Maybe wake up a little later( 6:00) but it is the peace and quiet that I like. The rest of the family is not up for another 1 ½ hours. Gives me time to think and recharge. I do other reading during this time and if weather permits a walk. Most of the time it is my peaceful time to reflect on life in general.
When the routine is disrupted I am not really in balance and might be a little off.
Sounds like I will need to check into this book to see what else I can do.
Yes, I LOVE the peace and quiet.
Once everyone gets up, the day gets much louder and can get off course easily.
Mustard Seed Money says
Great article on talking about the benefits of waking up earlier. This reminds me of an article from Business Investor.
“In his five-year study of 177 self-made millionaires, author Thomas C. Corley found that nearly 50% of them woke up at least three hours before their workday actually began.”
This reinforces the principle that I need to start waking up earlier.
I always mean to do this and always stay up late instead. I’m going to take this seriously for the rest of this month and October…
Mike H says
I have been getting up at 5:10am the past two days and really do enjoy it. I can get a jump on the day, exercise, get follow up work done and have the chance to think about things before the demands of the day really hit. If you don’t take caffeine you’ll find it’s really quite easy to get to bed early and the 7 or so hours of sleep per night that I’m getting is just fine for me.
Jon @ Be Net Worthy says
I have been doing this for years and it is fantastic! I usually work out in the mornings and now with the blog, I do some reading and commenting during that time as well.
I’m usually sound asleep by 10pm and up by 5:15am during the week. I usually sleep a little later on the weekends, maybe between 6:00am and 6:30am.
It feels like “bonus” time because at least for me, nothing productive ever got done after 9pm anyway, so going to sleep earlier was no loss.
Geoff S says
I’ve been doing this for about a month or so. I used to wake up around 6:30 or 7 and would go to work. I now wake up at 5:45 and spend a good 30 minutes exercising (e.g., jogging outside) and a few minutes reflecting on the day ahead. I do like the aspect of having this be ‘me time’ while the rest of the house is still asleep. I haven’t been terribly tired either – am usually in bed no later than 10:30. On occasion, I was up past 11 and waking up at 5:45am on those days was a chore so I try to make it a point to be in bed by 10:30.
I’ve been pretty consistent, but am only doing it 5 days/week Mon-Fri. I have not yet read the book, but it’s in my ‘to-read’ pile.
Financial Samurai says
Lots of great links I’ve got to go through! I’m an early morning person b/c I’ve been trained to be at the office before 6:30am PST due to the stock market opening.
Here’s one thing I like to tell folks, “It takes EFFORT to see the sun rise.” And the effort pays back tremendously. You’ll run circles around your competition if you wake up early, put in 2-3 hours of work before they even wake up!
Physician On FIRE says
I have a sleep schedule dichotomy that I have difficulty shaking while working. Workdays, I’m up @ 0515 and OTD by 0545.
Non-workdays, when I may have worked late into the night or in the middle of the night, I usually sleep until 0800 or later.
I have no idea what schedule I will settle into when I set aside the laryngoscope for good, but I can see the benefit of that uninterrupted leisurely morning time. Worked for Ben Franklin.
-Physician on FIRE
So waking up early would then require you to sleep earlier or to cut down on sleep – any opinions on what works better in your experience?
I totally agree with the concept of waking up the same time every day, because when you get in the habit of sleeping in on the weekends, Mondays are an absolute bear.
I started going to bed earlier. All I had to give up was either TV or random web surfing, so it was an easy choice to me.
I would not want to cut down on sleep as getting enough sleep is key to good health.
Mrs. Picky Pincher says
I’ve always been an early riser, but I’ve been getting up 30 minutes earlier for the past 6 months, and it’s made a big difference. I finally made the time to exercise and calmly plan out my day. No more rushing around like a crazy person in the mornings trying to get 1 million things done.
Sure, it’s a half hour of sleep that I could be getting, but I’ve found that I have more energy throughout the day. If I skip my morning routine, I tend to be more tired and stressed out. So waking up later doesn’t always mean that you’ll be more tired.
Fritz @ The Retirement Manifesto says
Congrats on getting picked up by Rockstar Finance today! Seems “Early To Bed, Early To Rise, Makes You Healthy, Wealthy & Wise” should have added “& A Rockstar”. Great article, congrats on the publicity! Hmmm….8:30 pm, should I go to bed now and target a 4:30 wakeup??
I’ll be in bed by 10 pm and up at 6 am — even though I’m retired. 😉
Just listened to a Tim Ferriss podcast where he said, “If you win the morning, you win the day” and wanted to record it here.
Ms. Montana says
I just watched a video interview with him and Grant Baldwin a few day ago about writing and promoting this book. He self published, and to promote did over 350 podcast interviews! It started really slow but he just kept promoting. One of the other self publishing speakers mentioned that he has made 1.5 million off the book. The amount of work he put into promoting his book was very inspiring.
I wake up earlier just so that I have time to read my PF blogs along with my morning cuppa! Really focuses me for the day.
Audrey L. Brooks says
For the last 2 months, I have been waking up at 4:30 am. Previously, I worked on my side business after work, but I’m much more productive in the morning. The best benefit is that I am more focused and I get more done in less time.
Joel Carnes says
I get the point of more productive time, and how a routine can be a great enabler of that. I fail to see why the timing of those hours has any effect. Would not the same routine be just as effective if I were to start my “morning” at 2pm? For those who claim the “me time” and quiet time without interruptions from others to be a major benefit, wouldn’t 3am be just as quiet or more so? Wouldn’t your life be that much more improved because in fact the majority of your waking hours would be spent during those most productive periods without interruptions, without the noise and hustle-bustle of the rest of the world?
Perhaps the benefit is in taking the time for yourself and what makes you happy and what you want to improve on, and not the hour at which you do those things? Perhaps the routine of doing those things that are good for you is the source of the improvements, and not the time. Perhaps I could be waking up at 2pm and taking an hour to myself, peacefully preparing myself for my day, exercising, reading, thinking, etc. and still obtain the results? Perhaps it isn’t the early bird who catches the worm, but rather the one who stayed up all night waiting patiently for it. Perhaps the rest of the world would simply be jealous that I could be happy and successful; financially, emotionally and physically, and not have an alarm clock to worry about.
Or perhaps I am fooling myself, and my life is truly the lesser for catching the sunrise at the end of my day instead of the beginning.
I think that like in all things, there’s the theory and then what really works.
So in theory, any time will work as long as it’s concentrated and focused.
But as we all know, most people don’t (or can’t) set aside time from their daily routines to focus on what they really want to accomplish. Even the high performers among us have a hard time doing so (as evidenced by the articles I list showing how early many top execs, athletes, etc. get up early). And my guess is that many are too tired from the day to be that productive before they go to bed. That’s why I think getting up early is catching on.
Of course, YMMV. Every person is different. But I know for me the morning time is working — and is time I wasn’t able to implement elsewhere in my day.
And what did I give up for it? An hour less of TV at night. Seems like more than a fair trade.
Mr. RIP says
Amazing post, seriously!
I’m actually doing it too, well, we’re talking about waking up at 7am instead of 8.15, but it’s still more than an hour earlier than usual. I’m having fun and time for myself which is a nice gift I’m giving to myself. I’m not being productive with this time though, no rush. I’ll get better!
I’d like to move the alarm at 6am, the problem is that we do a lot of social life and evenings out… waking up at 6am requires going to sleep no later than 10.30 – 11pm. not easy to achieve these days.
Great post. I wake up every day at 5 and workout for 40 min. After a shower, I meditate for 10 minutes, read for 20 min, and grab a quick breakfast. I then work at home or head to the office. Starting early gives me energy and focus.
Debbie D says
Saw this post yesterday and pondered it for a bit. Then researched the book, ponder the book some more and realized that I have gotten so much value from your website it would be foolish to ignore the one self help book you recommended. Got it on Kindle yesterday so barely into it but thought “go for it” so this morning got up at the same time but did the miracle morning routine instead of wasting 45 minutes reading email and surfing the Internet. One day down and I felt very different getting into the shower than I normally do on a weekday. Focused on me, my goals and feeling peppy. Plus, my dog loved the 5:20am walk up the street!
Good for you! I’m so happy for you!
I’m still getting up at 5:30 am even though I’m retired. As Tim Ferriss says, “If you win the morning, you win the day!”
Just looping back to this post a year later. I do not do all the steps but I’m still getting up at 5:10 am, walking the dog (exercise) saying affirmations, visualizing, reading quality stuff and trying to journal. My professional, financial and personal life has definitely improved and moved forward in amazing speed. This process works!
I continue to recommend this book to people. Thanks for telling us about it.
Kinda late to the reply party… but when I was working I got up at 5:00am to work out (usually on our treadmill). That not only got my blood flowing, but allowed me to think about the day and what might be in store. It also gave me more time at night with my wife and kids. Previously I had been working out at night when I got home. That just didn’t work.
Now in retirement, I get up around 6:30, work out, then have my coffee by the dock planning my day (which is significantly less busy than when working). It’s a relatively new routine for us, but one that we absolutely love, and makes all the scrimping and saving well worth it. We keep busy working on the house and taking care of chores that used to be all crammed into weekends.
I may start getting up a little earlier now…late fall and winter in Florida is wonderful…I should take more advantage of the quiet mornings.
fred webster says
i retired after 38 years of working the grave yard shift…yeah most days i am up when you all
get up in the morning because i have been awake all night.
some of my 3rd shift co-workers had shirts that said they did more before 7 am
than the day shift did all day…lol…lol