Welcome to latest in our book review series where we review the most practical books to help you in all aspects of business turnaround. Check out the Resources page for more great books. Today, we’re reviewing one of the most authoritative books on morning routines. Now, morning routines are something which I’m very passionate about so let’s dive straight into today’s book review…
- Book: The 5 AM Club
- Author: Robin Sharma
- Subject: Morning Routine
- *Score: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
*Score ratings out of 5
Who Is This Book For
The 5 AM Club is literally for anyone who wants to be more proactive about their life – whether it be in business or in their personal life. The book talks about wide-encompassing topics such as productivity based on neuroscience, exercise and physical wellbeing, facing fears, the challenges of living in a digital world dominated by glaring screens and endless notifications, and mainly how to win at life. So if any of those sound appealing to you, then you might want to consider this book.
What are the main headlines of The 5 AM Club
“Own your morning, elevate your life.” This is the mantra of the 5 AM Club. The underpinning principle of the book is that in order to excel in life and business, we must rise early. The book speaks of many successful people (from Steve Jobs to Bill Gates to Abraham Lincoln) who all have a common trend – they were early-risers. The book advocates getting up early (at 0500) and having a solid morning routine (which I’ll cover later in this review). Whilst the world is asleep, you’re up getting things done and have a huge head-start on everyone else. The book makes no bones about the challenges that come with this. It’s hard to get up at 0500 but the books says something which has stuck with me:
[PARAPHRASE] Your greatness lies in doing things that most are not prepared to do.
The book does say that 5 AM is not a hard and fast rule. It’s more of a guideline. The main habit we need to adopt is to get up early.
But what exactly will you do when you’re up at 0500?
I used to be the kind of person who would wake up and habitually reach for my phone. Before I knew it, I would be aimlessly scrolling through social media for lengthy periods. I would be wasting my time and then claiming I didn’t have time to achieve my goals. Sound familiar? Well, this book tells you how to overcome this.
The 20/20/20 Formula
The 20/20/20 Formula is the basis of your morning routine. This routine covers all aspects of your life; something the book refers to as:
- Health Set
- Heart Set
- Soul Set
- Mind Set
You wake up at 5 AM and then follow the following formula:
- 20 minutes – MOVE
- 20 minutes – REFLECT
- 20 minutes – GROW
This might not seem a lot of time, however, the book argues its position using the ‘compounding effect’ – little consistent action over long periods. Just as continuous drops of water can weather even the hardest mountain face, so too can we achieve mastery in every aspect of our lives if we do something small every single day. If you read for 20 minutes a day, every day, how many books would you read in one year? Get it?
MOVE – Exercise
This tackles what the book refers to as ‘Healthset’
I don’t need to talk about the benefits of exercise. We all know it’s good for us. The book places a huge emphasis on the importance of physical exercise – first thing in the morning. It reduces cortisol (the stress hormone) and releases endorphins (the feel-good chemicals) therefore setting us up for a great day.
REFLECT – Journalling/Meditation/Prayer
This tackles what the book refers to as ‘Heartset and Soulset’
People have different ways of connecting with their inner-self, get centred and get to grips with their emotions. I use ‘Morning Pages’ (stream of consciousness writing popularised by Julia Cameron in her book, ‘The Artist’s Way). For some, it’s meditation, yoga, prayer, gratitude. Whatever tickles your chakra, you need to do 20 minutes of something that will take care of your emotions and put you in a positive mindset to tackle the day.
GROW – Self-Development
This tackles what the book refers to as ‘Mindset’
How many times have you said you wished you read more or knew more about [X]? Well, now you can carve out time to develop your skills and knowledge in anything you want. To be our best selves, we must practice continual learning. Whether you want to learn more about your industry, history, leadership or how to be a better parent, this is the time to develop your mind, increase your skills and crush it in all aspects of your professional and personal life.
The 66 Day Challenge
For those who have made it this far and like the sound of getting up early, just hold on for once second. The book makes no bones about it – this is a tough thing to do. Everyone has different situations and installing this habit can be particularly challenging. Therefore, the book talks about the science of how to install a habit.
According to the book, it takes on average 66 days to install a habit where it becomes automatic and is broken down by the following:
- 1-22 days – Destruction
- 23-44 days – Installation
- 45-66 days – Integration
- 66 days – The ‘Automaticity Point’
The book says “All change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end”.
The idea is that at first, we have motivation and the novelty factor which helps us do something. But after a while (circa 22 days) it becomes a chore; it becomes difficult. That’s why the book says it’s ‘messy in the middle’. However, this is time to push through and stay consistent. It won’t be easy, but as we said earlier, your greatness lies in doing what others are not prepared to do.
I am a proud member of the 5 AM Club. This book has changed my life. Why only 3/5 stars? The book is written in a story format which is extremely cheesy and quite tedious for the most part. However, if you can get past that and extract the nuggets of wisdom (including some fascinating neuroscientific research) then it’s worth it. This is a fantastic, life-changing principle wrapped up in cheesy storytelling.