By Dr. Rohi Shetty

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” ~Aristotle

Hal Elrod was pronounced dead after a car accident. He made an amazing recovery but then he became bankrupt. Depressed and desperate, he listened to a podcast during a morning run. The following words by Jim Rohn electrified him: “Your level of success will rarely exceed your level of personal development because success is something you attract by the person you become.”

The next morning, Elrod spent 60 minutes in silence, reading, reciting affirmations, visualizing, journaling and exercising. These six simple activities changed Elrod’s morning and his life. He shared the “miracle morning” that had turned his life around with friends who immediately felt the benefits. The Miracle Morning movement was born…

Elrod discovered that your morning routine dramatically affects your levels of success in every area of your life. Focused and productive mornings generate focused and productive days just as unfocused, and unproductive mornings generate unfocused and unproductive days. You can transform any area of your life by changing the way you wake up in the morning, even if you’re not a morning person.

One of Elrod’s most important insights is that we need as much sleep as we believe that we need. How we feel in the morning when we wake up is not based on the number of hours of sleep we get. He writes, “What I found was that it did not matter whether I got nine, eight, seven, six, five, or even just four hours of sleep. As long as I consciously decided, before bed, that I was getting the perfect amount of sleep—that the hours were going to energize my body to feel wonderful in the morning—I consistently woke feeling better than I ever had before.”


Step 1: Set Your Intentions Before Bed
Your first thought in the morning is usually the last thought you had before you went to bed. So, the key is to decide every night to create a positive expectation for the next morning. For example, “I’m getting the perfect amount of sleep. I’ll wake up in the morning feeling fully energized and enthusiastic.”

Step 2: Move Your Alarm Clock Across The Room
This forces you to get out of bed to switch off the alarm, instead of pressing the snooze button. Once you get out of bed, it helps you to wake up and stay up.

Step 3: Brush Your Teeth
This simple act will help you to boost your motivation and stay awake.

Step 4: Drink a Full Glass of Water
After 6–8 hours without water, you’ll be mildly dehydrated, which causes fatigue. Often when people feel tired, they need water, not more sleep. Drink a glass of water or more.

Step 5: Get Dressed or Jump In the Shower
Either get dressed in your exercise clothes or take a shower. Then leave your bedroom and start working so that you aren’t tempted to get back into bed.


Your life is made up of four quadrants: physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual. Our outer world is a reflection of our inner world. When you develop all your four quadrants each day, your life situation will automagically improve. Elrod recommends six powerful personal development practices known as the Life S.A.V.E.R.S. that will enable you to improve any area of your life.

S is for Silence
Purposeful silence means that you are engaging in a period of silence for a beneficial purpose. Silence is one of the best ways to reduce stress, increase self-awareness and gain clarity about your values, goals, and priorities. During this period, you can practice breath-meditation, wise reflection, deep breathing, and so on.

A is for Affirmations
Affirmations allow you to develop a positive mindset and to transform limiting beliefs into empowering beliefs. To create your affirmations, think about what you want, why you want it and what you’re willing to do to achieve it. Add a list of your favorite inspirational quotes.

V is for Visualization
Creative visualization is the process of imagining what you want to achieve and then mentally rehearsing what you’ll need to do achieve it. It’s frequently used by athletes to improve their performance.

E is for Exercise
Vigorous exercise in the morning for even a few minutes boosts your mood, energy, health, creativity, mental clarity, and self-confidence.

R is for Reading
Reading is one of the most effective ways for gaining the knowledge to achieve success in any area of your life. Thanks to the internet, you have access to unlimited knowledge on any topic you choose. If you read just ten pages a day, you can read about 15 to 20 books in a year.

S is for Scribing
Scribing is just another word for writing. You can free write in your journal for 5–15 minutes in the morning. The main thing is to write without stopping, editing or thinking. This is also called vomiting on the page.

THE 6-Minute Miracle
The best thing about the Miracle Morning is that it can be adapted according to your needs and circumstances. For example, Elrod developed the 6-minute Miracle Morning for those days when you’re extra busy.

Minute 1 – Envision yourself waking up peacefully in the morning, with a big yawn, a stretch, and a smile on your face. Spend the first minute sitting quietly, in purposeful silence. Calm your mind, relax your body, and allow all your stress to melt away.

Minute 2 – Read out loud your list of daily affirmations based on your goals and priorities.

Minute 3 – Close your eyes and visualize what it will look and feel like when you reach your goals.

Minute 4 Write three things for which you’re grateful, three things to which you’re looking forward and three things you will do today to make yourself feel better.

Minute 5 Read one page from your selected book.

Minute 6 – Finally, move your body for 60 seconds. Do push-ups or squats or run in place. Do any vigorous exercise that will get your heart pumping faster and increase your energy and focus.

Action steps:
Step 1: Get The Miracle Morning 30-Day LTC Fast Start Kit

Visit and download your free Miracle Morning 30-Day Life Transformation Challenge Fast Start Kit, which include exercises, affirmations, daily checklists, and tracking sheets.

Step 2: Plan Your First Miracle Morning for Tomorrow

Schedule your first Miracle Morning as soon as possible and decide where it will take place. For example, Elrod does it in his living room while everyone else in my house is still asleep.

Step 3: Start Reading the Fast Start Kit and Do the Exercises

Read the introduction in your Miracle Morning Fast Start Kit. Follow the instructions and complete the exercises. Your Miracle Morning will always start with the preparation you do the day before.

Step 4: Get an Accountability Partner

All of us benefit from the support that comes from accountability, so it’s recommended that you get an accountability partner to join you.

Join the conversation:
Do you have a morning routine?
Do you plan to try out the Miracle Morning?
Let us know in the comments below.

Related articles:
Eight Advantages of Breath-Meditation
Five Benefits of Daily Mindfulness Meditation
Are You a Writer Who Doesn’t Exercise?

(22 February 2017)

Rohi Shetty is a doctor, health writer, and editor. Check out his website at and connect with him on LinkedIn and Facebook.

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Facebook Comments
  1. Ketaki Narkar says:

    Hi Rohi Sir, It has often been my experience, that once you set out to change certain things in your life, you will often come across cues and hints pointing at it wherever you look. I have been thinking recently, that I seriously need to make some important change in the way I plan my day so that I get more things done. That’s exactly when I came across this article of yours on morning routine.
    A week ago, my husband pointed out this thing about a morning routine and getting into shower straightaway after waking up in order to kickstart the day well. It is working for me.
    Another article that I read a couple of days ago also spoke about writing for at least half an hour as the first thing in the morning. Even though, I am struggling to make it a habit, the days when I have done it, have been very productive in terms of writing.
    I feel, morning routine is a must especially for someone like me working from home. It makes the day more disciplined and organized.

    • Rohi Shetty says:

      Thanks for your comments, Ketaki! I absolutely with you: the universe is constantly giving us signals and a morning routine is the best way to start each day successfully. Now I find that a night routine is equally important because how you close the day impacts the next day. It’s particularly important to set goals for the next day so that you wake up the next day with clarity of vision and purpose.

  2. Rohi Shetty says:

    Hi Raspal and Aneeta,
    Thanks for your comments.
    Yes, I also drink water in the morning and its health benefits have been validated. As Raspal rightly says, we are bound to be dehydrated after 6-8 hours without water.

    Daily writing is another great suggestion, preferably first thing in the morning.

    And we can start with a mini-morning routine – one minute each for drinking water, meditation, writing, exercise, reading, and setting three big daily goals. Surely, we can easily spare 5-10 minutes to do this every morning.

    The main thing is to start small so that we can build the habit consistently and then gradually build on it.

  3. Raspal Seni says:

    Hi Rohi,

    I love that quote by Aristotle. Whenever I read it or it comes in front of me, it makes me attentive at what I’m doing. Whenever I remember it, I quickly check myself and change, because I’m creating myself through what I’m doing. We are what we repeatedly do. In other words, we are made up of sanskaaraas, which are nothing but habits as strong as iron, gone deep into the unconscious mind.

    The morning routine affects us, but even more important are the first 3-5 minutes after waking up. What we do in those few minutes after waking up, whether someone is a morning person or otherwise, affects what we do the rest of the day, and what we become.

    I recently started this habit – drinking a glass of warm water after I wake up. Been more than a month now and it seems to help a lot. Water is the most important thing we need after being dehydrated (especially during these summers) for 6-8 hours. Plus, Ayurveda recommends drinking warm water without brushing the teeth too.

    Lately I’ve made a habit of writing 750+ words daily, using the service. It helps writing daily. Before this too I had once started writing using the above service, but had stopped after 2-3 days. This time, I already had enough half-finished drafts and outlines for drafts that I didn’t have to think much what to write about. Except for one day I never took more than 25-27 minutes to complete the 750 words.

    Productivity guru Steve Pavlina recommends practising getting up as soon as the alarm goes off. Practising it so this becomes a sanskaaraa, a strong habit. Because we unconsciously get up (even if the clock is kept far away), and switch the alarm off.

    Will try out the 6 minute miracle. Thanks for this interesting post.

    • Aneeta says:

      Hi Raspal,
      This is such an interesting reply. I, too, have started this habit of drinking water in the morning. It’s proving to be beneficial.
      I wonder what other people do.

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