The 5 AM Miracle and Why Lawyers should Read it

I read self improvement and motivational books all of the time. I think it is easy to say that these books are all essentially the same. However, many times the author will remind you in a new way of helpful things to improve your life or work or have you think differently about your day and goals. That is what Jeff Sanders does in his book The 5 AM Miracle, Dominate your day Before Breakfast.

While he suggests the benefits of waking up at 5 AM, the point of the book is not about the time you wake up, but that once you are up you have a plan and immediately being to take charge of your most important goals.

Sanders suggests, having an plan for your entire day to get the most out of it. He suggests having a list of morning habits to start your day.

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Two of his key points:

  • Create a set of Evening Rituals
  • Break your Goals up into 12 week Goals

He suggests updating your goals and reviewing them weekly to track your progress.

Sanders discusses what he called Anchor habits,meaning core productive and healthy habits to do daily. It is important to thing about them so as to not get out of the habit of doing these positive things that you normally do to be productive.

Sanders lists his anchor habits as:

  • wake up early
  • drink a liter of water upon waking up
  • quiet time for mediation or prayer
  • fruit for breakfast, he drinks a 2 liter green smoothie for breakfast;
  • consume motivational content;
  • exercise;
  • plan your day.

Your perfect morning may be different from Sanders but the important point is to have your own ideal morning. One of the things that I think leads to great achievement is to be fascinated by what successful people do, whether Jeff Sanders, Tom Brady or Steve Jobs, we can learn from all successful people.  It is easy to get access of these ideas, from famous individuals to countless lesser known successful business people.  I found Jeff Sanders book through listening to a terrific Podcast called EO Fire by John Lee Dumas.  

In trying to incorporate Sanders ideas, I have framed my ideal morning this way:

I have always had a Great Blender and Drank Shakes but in the morning, its tough because I do not want to wake the house and got away from this habit and now prepare the smoothie at night.
I have incorporated drinking at least one liter of water.

Since my ideal day can depend on whether I have to be in court and how far away it is, here are a few variations.

If I have a Trial, I get dressed and try to get as close to the location as possible to begin reviewing. On a Trial Day, I do not like to get distracted by other projects as no trial can be taken for granted and in the law business – winning is everything.
On a day I have Court and its not a trial, I’ll do three sets of different exercises while listening to something motivational. This helps get me started in the right direction and makes it easier for me to work out later in the day. Sometimes, I prefer to take an hour to work on a specific project or do writing. Typically, I prefer to take on the toughest challenge first thing in the morning. I usually like to work out in the afternoon or evening.

In Sanders book he has a chart, showing the day. I have not tried this yet, but think it would be a great idea to print out a chart for each day with the idea of keeping track of your progress on a daily basis.

His day is like this, though courts makes tracking time tougher, it is a great goal to keep track of how each hour of the day is spent.

5-9 AM: Ideal Morning Routine

9-12 PM: Priority Projects

12-1PM: Lunch

1:5PM: Projects

5-9PM: Ideal Evening Routine

9PM: Bed

His suggested weekend routine is slightly different, as he gives a little more leniency. Sanders also suggests scheduled at least 90 minutes per week to work on your goals. This is important to keep track of the big picture and improving your business and your life.

He also has a daily ritual and habits tracker, where you can record whether you have stuck with your goals for the day. Basically, you write each of your goals down a column on the left, and on the right you record whether or not you were able to accomplish this. A simplified version looks like this:

Wake up at 5 AM: Yes

Meditate for 10 min: No

Drink 1 liter of water: Yes

Run for 45 min: No

Read a chapter of a book: Yes

Obviously, you can adjust this or create it in any way that works best for you.

Jeff has a weekly review of his goals for the week. In it, he notes his wins and accomplishments, losses, fixes, Ah ha moments, Goals for the week, personal development material read and skills to practice.

This can be designed as follows:

Weekly Review for January 1-7 of 2016

Wins:

Got up earlier and finished reading a book.

Losses:

Did not work out as much as I wanted.

Fixes:

Watch less TV and use that time for workouts.

Further, he also does a monthly review: ‘’Daily key habits that need improvement

  • what will I do next month to be more consistentWins and Accomplishments

Sanders tips for productivity include:

  1. schedule time for thinking
  2. listen to music designed for focus
  3. get a standing desk
  4. buy a vision board
  5. and inversion

To read more about Jeff Sanders you can visit his website which has a link to his Podcast.   To learn more about improving your life as a lawyer and finding great resources, follow my Facebook Page where you will receive 2 posts per week designed to help you achieve your goals in the law.  I am resigning my officer, which already has probably more weights than it should have and a pull up bar, but am very interested in getting an inversion board, but that will have to wait.  If you find this book motivating, let me know.

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