How to Create a Life You Can Be Happy With (Even When It’s Not the Perfect Picture in Your Head)

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Photo by Jake Givens on Unsplash

On Monday of last week, Aaron and I re-committed to getting up at 5am each morning so that we’d have the time it takes to work on ourselves.

I know that probably sounds like nothing more than a bummer at the very least — and like complete craziness at the other end.

But crazy or not, it’s what we’ve decided to do, and here’s why:

We both have a lot of dreams and goals — some shared, and some individual. We both want more for ourselves than the lives we’re currently living and the situations we’re currently in.

Our lives aren’t bad in any sense, but we both know they could be better. We both know they could be the lives we actually want to create — the ones we don’t whine about and don’t take as many vacations from as we can. We want to take vacations because we want to — not because we’re trying to escape our “normal” daily existence.

We’re not quite there right now, and that’s okay. We don’t need to be.

Hal Elrod reminds us to “Love the life you have while you create the life of your dreams. Don’t think you have to wait for the latter to start doing the former.”

Our lives may not look like our ideal vision right now, but we are moving in that direction — and this Miracle Morning business (the personal development routine I do every morning) is, I believe, one of the main contributing factors.


Writing 500 words may seem insignificant when you compare that to the length of a book, but when you make it a habit and it becomes part of your daily routine, by the end of a year you’ll have written a minimum of 182,500 words — and that IS a book!

I’ve started to realize that the daily actions themselves aren’t earth-shatteringly important (but do still need to be done!). What is important is what they amount to when you create the momentum of committing to doing them every single day.

That’s the exciting part — and the earth-shattering part!

That momentum and energy you build up by doing something repeatedly over time is what the Miracle Morning is all about (at least for me).

Meditation (silence), visualization, affirmations, exercise, reading, and writing are the six practices Hal Elrod, author of The Miracle Morning, suggests incorporating into your daily routine.

I have done all six of these practices for 10 minutes each for the last nine mornings, and I have to say that they really do make a difference to the way I start my day! Not only do I feel like I have a purpose for waking up so early, but I also feel like life is exciting again.

This winter has been a battle of getting up early and committing to my personal development vs. sleeping in and staying stagnant (aka binge-watching Netflix and hiding from the cold).

We’ve started up again only to get de-railed a few days or weeks later many, many times. Making a positive change in my life (and one that is significant for someone like me who used to snooze her life away) has definitely been harder than I’d hoped. But what I’ve realized is that even on those days where I’ve “failed” — (where I slept in or skipped my morning routine), I’ve learned something valuable.

Months of riding this back and forth rollercoaster has shown me something that only experience can: that on the days I wake up early and do my morning practices, I actually feel better overall and in all realms (mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally).

I go to bed feeling more satisfied and at peace, and I sleep better. After a full day that incorporates not only work, but “me” time as well (time for my own personal development), and where I’ve spent quality time with loved ones and time doing the things that are important to me, I feel fulfilled.

And isn’t that the life I’ve been wanting to create?

I’d love to hear from you! What do you do for yourself each day?

Share your practices in the comments.

Writer & dreamer with a passion for personal growth, travel and self-discovery. I write about my journey through life and its many adventures and lessons.

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