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In late 2014 I listened to one of my favorite podcasts, Listen Money Matters, and they interviewed Hal Elrod. I had never heard of him and as I drove back to work after a meeting in Seattle, I had goosebumps in the freeway. After their interview, I bought his book, The Miracle Morning.
I have never been a morning person. Even as a small child, my parents would wake me up and I’d fall back to sleep in the hallway in front of our heater. But when I started the book in January 2015, I bought the WhisperSync version, so I could listen to it in my car, and then read it on my Kindle app when I got home. It was so good that it inspired me to start waking up earlier.
Before 2015, my morning routine looked like this: Set alarm for 7:30. Hit snooze until 7:45. Pour cup of coffee. Rush to put on makeup. Rush to get dressed. Rush to brush hair. Rush to put coffee into to-go cup. Rush to work. Sit in traffic. Arrive either exactly on time, or 1-2 minutes late. (OK, OK, when I was in private practice, arrive 15-30 minutes later than I told myself I would, but I wasn’t technically “late.”) Hurry through the day. Get distracted. Feel unmotivated. Eat cookies or sweets. Go home. Put on PJs. Take a nap or watch mindless TV. Think about blogging or reading my bible, keep watching TV. Go to bed. Do it all over again.
Since the book, my morning routine has changed drastically. Almost every post that you read here (including this one), is written early in the morning, after my coffee is poured, but before I have changed out of my PJs or gotten ready for work. I now have time to do my quiet time and prayer, while also a few other healthy habits I learned from the book. When I first started the process, I followed the six SAVERS just as they are described.
The idea is that each of the SAVERS will take 10 minutes, making for a 1-hour long morning routine. By having everything in one binder, you keep the breaks and distractions in between to a minimum!
Sometimes I spent more time on one SAVER (it was always hard to stop the Reading portion), but I never skipped them. I felt GREAT! Not only did I feel great, but I also got to work feeling motivated, able to focus, and aside from my 2:30-3:30 slump I’ve always felt, I was more productive and energetic than ever before. I had my goals in the forefront of my mind all the time, and in the last two years, I paid off my car, $11,000 + interest in credit card debt, made more money on this blog than ever before. I also stayed on a consistent workout routine, and felt healthier and happier.
In mid-2015 I stopped doing all 6 SAVERS and readjusted according to my priorities to only focus on the ones that I felt were really impacting my day.
Things haven’t been perfect. I had some sudden bouts with anxiety that started this summer and lasted for several months. The general anxiety feeling has mostly subsided but still hits me sometimes. I have also gone back to hitting snooze every day. I want to get back into that place of good habits and starting the day off properly.
I started 2017 with the flu, and none of my New Year’s Resolutions got off to the right start. I’m declaring February 1 my new opportunity for a fresh start. So I’m recommitting to the SAVERS and created a binder that combines my quiet time/prayer binder that I told you guys about in the past, and the SAVERS, all in one place.
I’m sharing it with you today to give you the opportunity to create your own, or even just to give yourself permission to make February your new start date for the things you want to accomplish.
Step One: Find a Binder
First, pick out a binder you like. I prefer white binders with the clear cover holder. You can decorate any piece of paper and personalize the cover, or you can just keep it looking crisp and clean. I haven’t decorated mine yet.
Step Two: Print Out Any Resources You Want to Use
Print out anything you need to create your binder. If you are doing the Miracle Morning, his PDF guide is available online. I printed that in full, even though I’d already gone through it in 2015. The guide takes you through some questions, and also includes sample affirmations and other resources.
Step Three: Develop your Desired Binder Dividers
Decide on your tabs. I would suggest deciding on them before you start labeling them. You might decide that you wish things were in different orders, or named something different. I had to buy the write-on tabs because my store didn’t have white dividers where you could change out the papers inside of the dividers, so it was very important to be sure about how I wanted it to flow.
The tabs I chose were:
- Prayer List
- Reading List
- Exercise Ideas
- Bible Verses
The Miracle Morning outlines six SAVERS for your morning routine. The book outlines the importance of each one and I’d strongly suggest reading it so that you can get the full picture. The SAVERS stand for: Silence, Affirmations, Visualization, Scribing, Exercise, and Reading. You can get a six minute guide to the entire process here, until you can get your hands on the book.
Step Four: Hole Punch & Add Your Resources to the Binder
Put your supplies into the binder, under the tabs you want.
You can create a prayer list on your own, or you can print out the Prayer List Printables I created. I made them available for free, not even an e-mail address is required for you to download and make use of them!
Otherwise, I use this format as well: a column for the date, the prayer need, and the answer. Sometimes it’s really easy to lose track of all of our answered prayers, but giving God praise is a huge step of faith. This list will help you remember all that God has done (and yes, a “no” from God is still worth praise).
I also sorted out the documents from the Miracle Morning PDF and ordered them appropriately for the tabs, such as the affirmations under the affirmation tab and the journaling pages under the journal tab.
Step Five: Add Loose Leaf Paper & Create Outlines
Label the papers accordingly. I added loose leaf paper to several sections, including the affirmations, reading list, and of course, a ton of paper to the journaling tab.
One of the Miracle Morning SAVERS is Reading. I made a reading list for the books to read during my morning Prayer/SAVERS time. I labeled all of the loose leaf papers under the appropriate tabs so that on my first morning, February 1, I am ready to go!
Step Six: Personalize Your Binder
Add any decoration or personalization you’d like. Under the visualization tab, that can be photos of places you’d like to go, accomplishments you’d like to achieve, or any other visual that motivates you and helps you picture the future you want to have. I have a pinterest board that I use as an electronic vision board. (Hint: It’s mostly related to travel.)
Under the prayer section, you can add photos of family, friends or others that you are praying for. Under exercise, you can add printables you’ve found of exercise plans you are interested in trying. This is your binder and your morning! After I make mine truly my own, I’ll update you on the personalization I’ve done!
A Printer (I own this one) or order your documents to be printed somewhere like Office Max
Pen(s) (These are my favorite)
I’d love to hear about your experience having a morning quiet time or prayer time, or having your own Miracle Morning! Tell me about it in the comments!