How Hayley Summers
I have not always been a morning person. That was a problem, because my children definitely are. No matter what time they go to bed, they wake up around six. I would hear them getting up and just lie there, hoping they'd go back to bed so I could get a little more sleep.
Then I read a book that transformed mornings for me: The Miracle Morning. The author, Hal Elrod, describes the things that all successful people do to start their day, with the acronym SAVERS: Silence, Affirmations, Visualization, Exercise, Reading, and Scribing.
When I started waking up early and doing each of these things before my kids woke up, I was suddenly more deliberate and productive, and living the way I wanted to be living. I am horribly unproductive by the end of the day, so if I do all of the things that I value the most at the beginning of the day, everything else I do is icing on the cake.
This summer, I decided that I wanted to include my kids in my "miracle mornings." I feel like summer is a great time for me to teach my kids habits that I hope they can master before adulthood. I know I would be way better off if I had learned this early on. So I adapted the SAVERS acronym to incorporate my kids (although I reversed the order of visualization and affirmations). Here's the plan I came up with at the beginning of summer:
- First, I get up with the kids (rather than staying in bed griping about my kids' inability to sleep in), everyone makes their his/her bed, gets dressed, and gets a BIG drink of water. (I'm not waking up before my kids right now because I have a four-month old.)
- Silence: Personal prayer time (help the littles say a meaningful prayer).
- Visualization: We eat breakfast together and discuss our vision and activities for the day: "today I will be...", "today I want to..."
- Affirmations: Then I give specific positive affirmations during breakfast cleanup.
- Exercise: If the baby is ready for a nap then I'll put her down and run on the treadmill while kids do Cosmic Kids Yoga or "feats of strength." If the baby is still awake we go on a bike ride, walk, hike, play tag, practice a sport, etc. before it gets too hot! If I know we're going to be doing other active things that day, we sometimes skip our morning exercise, maybe once or twice a week.
- Reading: Everyone splits up to read for 20 minutes. (The littles work on a literacy program on the computer.)
- Scribing: Everyone has a summer journal and use one page a day to record our summer adventures. They can draw a picture or write whatever they want.
Now we're several weeks into summer, and so far we have been able to maintain our miracle mornings—mostly. As usually happens when big ideas meet the real world, we have made some adjustments. We don't always have time to get through everything in the morning, so normally the reading is the first thing to get bumped to bedtime. And we've never quite gotten the hang of the journaling. I still love the idea, but I think it may work better for us if we do it before bedtime or just on Sundays to recap the week. I'm still trying to figure that one out.
Overall, though, I love the tone the Miracle Morning sets in my home for the day. We are productive right away, and it seems to minimize the "I'm bored" problem because visualizing the day's activities gives them a realistic expectation for the day. I love how I am able to do SAVERS alongside my children to model it for them as well as reap the benefits myself.