When the miracle morning doesn’t work (because your job starts at 4am)

Miracle morning exercise doing yoga during sunrise

You’re ready for a change. 

You want to start habits and move your life in a new direction. 

Perhaps you came across a book like the Miracle Morning, which preaches the best time to perform your habits is before 8am. 

That’s all fine and dandy for most—but not you. 

You’re one of those unlucky dudes whose job starts at an ungodly hour. Like 4 or 5am. And a morning routine before work means you’d have to rise and shine around 2am. 

If you’re going to get up that early, why even go to sleep? 

There has to be another time of day ripe for habits.  And there is. But before we talk about that, why is the miracle morning so popular? 

Why everyone drinks the miracle morning kool aid

Hal Elrod’s Miracle Morning might as well be a cult. His book has sold over a million copies worldwide and his miracle morning community has over a quarter of a million members. People love his philosophy, but why is that? 

The reason is simple. 

Performing habits first thing in the morning works. I even preached about it in my own book An Ordinary Dude’s Guide to Habit. The point of this post isn’t to undermine Hal’s philosophy or even to say he’s a bad guy (he genuinely seems like a nice dude). However, the belief that mornings are your only option for starting habits leaves many dudes hanging. 

The truth is, mornings don’t work for everyone

But what if there was a way to shift your miracle morning to the late morning, or even the afternoon? Huh? It sounds strange, but let me explain…

What if you could move your morning to later in the day? 

It sounds crazy. 

The morning is the morning, so how could you possibly move it to the afternoon? 

The thing is, you’re not literally moving the morning. Instead, you’re identifying the characteristics that make mornings great for habit change and then searching for times in your day where those qualities exist. 

So let’s examine these beneficial characteristics of mornings: 

  • Quiet: typically, there are no disturbances or distractions in the morning to prevent you from performing your habits. People are sleeping. The world is quiet. 
  • Consistency: while most people’s day-to-day schedule changes often, (for most) mornings don’t. They are disturbance free, almost every day. 

Now that you understand these key qualities of mornings, let’s look at how to shift them to later in the day. 

How to leverage miracle morning routines at any time of day you wish

What times of your day are consistently quiet? Obviously, you’re reading this post, so mornings aren’t one of them. But my guess is there are a few areas of your day that do have consistent quiet times with few distractions. 

Think of your day like a heart monitor.

heart monitor

Your heart beats in rhythms. And your day also has a rhythm of activity. There are times that are typically very busy, and there are other times that are typically quiet. The goal is to shift your miracle morning routine, or whatever habit you want to start, to one of these times. 

How do you identify morning-like times? 

Just look for the patterns in your day when life is consistently quiet. A few likely times are lunch and other breaks at work. Immediately after work is another golden, morning-like time to perform habits.  

Does this technique really work? 

Yes, I have actually used this technique in my own life. 

When I first moved to Thailand, I was an English teacher and had to get up around 5am for work. To me, this was already early enough, and I couldn’t bear the thought of having to get up a second earlier to restart my meditation habit. So I didn’t. I slept as long as dudely possible. 

Instead, I used the very technique outlined in this blog post. 

I identified a time that was consistently quiet—after work. My wife (then girlfriend) was not yet home and I had an hour or two of peace where I could do whatever I wanted. For the most part, this quiet time was pretty consistent every day, so I started meditating then and was easily able to do it five days a week. 

If I can accomplish this, then there is no reason you can’t, too. 

You can start new habits. You can change your life. 

It is possible. 

Whether you want to start exercising, meditating, reading for ten minutes or something else, there is time in your day. 

Be creative and think outside the box. I once wrote 80% of a book on my commute to work because it was consistently quiet. And you can find pockets of time just like this, too. Searching is the key. 

Just because you struggle with habits today, doesn’t mean you will tomorrow. The person who can and has changed their life is already inside you. You just need to look for that person. Look for the actions that person would take, and then sooner than you know it, you will become that person. 

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