One of the hallmarks of highly successful people is their morning routine and regimen. Some of the early risers include Apple CEO Tim Cook, Oprah Winfrey, Indra Nooyi, and Barrack Obama, to name but a few. I have always been fascinated by success and the routine of the successful people in our world. As it is often said, “Success leaves clues”. One of the clues and patterns have found in my reading of multiple biographies and autobiographies is the dedication, routine, consistency, and regimen of the greats.
I recently read Hal Elrod’s The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8 AM), wherein he asserted that having a consistent morning routine dramatically affects the level of success in every area of an individual’s life. The book was pivotal in my decision to start waking up by 5 AM daily. Since October 2022 have started waking up by 5 AM on weekdays, and 6 AM on weekends. It has made a huge difference in my productivity and efficiency.
In Miracle Morning, Elrod shared six daily practices that could be used as a framework for developing a consistent morning routine. The Miracle Morning S.A.V.E.R.S is an acronym for Silence. Affirmations, Visualization, Exercise, Reading, and Scribing.
- Silence – Decrease stress and anxiety while increasing happiness and focus.
- Affirmations – Improve self-esteem and self-confidence.
- Visualization – Rehearse in your mind performing at your best.
- Exercise – Increase energy and physical well being
- Reading – Learn how to change any area of your life.
- Scribing – Reflect, track progress and cultivate gratitude.
The S.A.V.E.R.S. framework is a great tool for living a more purposeful and deliberate life. Just like the TIME (Thankfulness, Insight, Meditation and Exercise) Framework, the S.A.V.E.R.S. framework has been life transformative in my quest to become a better version of myself, especially my morning routine. Here is how I have been implementing the S.A.V.E.R.S. routine.
I am on a 389 days meditation streak which I started on December 27, 2021. Meditating daily has been one of the most transformative habits I have cultivated in the past three years. Every morning, I meditate using the Calm app. I listen to the guided meditations of the following teachers: Daily Jay – Jay Shetty, Daily Calm – Tamara Levitt, and Daily Trip – Jeff Warren. The sessions usually last 25-30 minutes, and I lie down while meditating, staying silent and focusing on my breathing.
Silence is one of the best ways to immediately reduce stress, while increasing your self-awareness and gaining the clarity that will allow you to maintain your focus on your goals, priorities, and what’s most important for your life, each and every day. Silence activities: Meditation, Prayer, Reflection, Deep Breathing and Gratitude.
One of the habits I have been consistent with within the past three years since the COVID-19 pandemic hit is the practice of filling the five minutes gratitude journal every morning; one of the sections in the journal is the Daily Affirmation portion.
An affirmation is a simple statement of what you want to become. As the saying goes, “Be careful what you ask for – you might get it.” Former boxing heavyweight champion Muhammed Alli was a great believer in the power of affirmation; Alli often said out loud, “I am the greatest.” That affirmation became his signature. Alli observed:
It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen. – Muhammed Alli
Visualization refers to the practice of seeking to generate positive results in your outer world by using your imagination to create mental pictures of specific behaviours and outcomes occurring in your life. During my daily meditation sessions, I visualize how I want my day to go, setting up in my mind with intention the goals I wish to achieve for the Day.
Visualization is a tool that is used by lots of successful people, either through a vision board or mental visualization. Celebrities such as Jim Carrey, Drake, J.K. Rowlings, Will Smith, Micheal Phelps, Tiger Woods and Oprah Winfrey have all attributed visualization as a factor in their success.
When you exercise for even a few minutes every morning it significantly boosts your energy, enhances your health, improves self-confidence and emotional well-being, and enables you to think better and concentrate longer.
I participated in my first full 42.2 KM marathon in 2013 and have since participated in multiple marathons across ten different cities (Accra(3), Cotonou, Lagos(2), Nairobi, Toronto(3), Ottawa(2), Vancouver, Edmonton, Montreal, and Hamilton). I ran six marathons in 2022, visiting three new cities. I love running and the rigour of training for the marathons. My daily exercise routine includes the following: Basketball shooting, running on the treadmill (winter) – Road running (summer), daily swimming, cycling and weight lifting.
I strongly believe that how you do one thing is how you do everything. Exercising daily requires staying committed, dedicated and consistently trusting the process. The result of exercising usually takes time to show up, just like anything great. It takes grit, tenacity and effort to keep showing up day in and day out. Having a morning routine has been very transformative for me as it allows me to start the day on a high.
The fastest way to achieve everything you want is to model successful people who have already achieved it. With an almost infinite amount of books available on every topic, there are no limits to the knowledge you can gain through daily reading.
I started challenging myself to read more in 2016 when I started the yearly 100-book reading challenge. I started documenting my progress on this blog in 2020 (2020, 2021, 2022, 2023). In 2022, I challenged myself to read more biographies through the 50 biography reading challenge (2022, 2023). I love reading, and I am passionate about becoming a better version of myself. Reading is a great avenue to learn from different individuals and experts. In 2023, I am also trying to read 50 books by my favourite leadership author, John C. Maxwell – John C. Maxwell 50 Books Reading Challenge 2023.
‘You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.’ – Charlie Tremendous Jones
The Scribing element of your Miracle Morning enables you to document your insights, ideas, breakthroughs, realizations, successes, and lessons learned, as well as any areas of opportunity, personal growth, or improvement.
I use multiple journals daily to log and document my thoughts, insights, lessons learned and aha moments. I fill out the following daily: a diary, five-minute gratitude, daily intention/goal journal, exercise log journal, eating journal and budgeting/spending journal. Filling out all these journals has not been easy, but I set out time to fill them out daily. Writing down my thoughts and musings has helped me tremendously with my writing and focus.