“Dominate your day before breakfast” may sound intimidating, but it’s really not.

That’s been Jeff Sanders’ motto for his podcast, and now for his book.

The idea is that you can accomplish a lot with little effort, if you change a few habits.

I’ve been listening to Jeff’s show, The 5AM Miracle podcast, for a few years now.  It made my top podcasts list and it continues to be one of the only podcasts that I listen to every time a new episode is available.

Jeff finally (I’ve been waiting!) put his expertise into words and released a book…an extremely awesome, useful, direct, practical and applicable book, if I do say so myself…and I do.

Here’s some insight into his book, The 5AM Miracle

The 5am Miracle book

Change the Way You Set Goals

The first thing that jumped out to me in this book was how Jeff sets goals.

I’ve heard of “the quarter system” before, but he really goes into detail and gives actionable steps.

Basically, the idea is to set short-term goals, and as you reach them, you’ll reach the bigger goals by default.  In this book, he explains how to set quarter goals from start to finish.  If you’ve ever had a hard time sitting down and actually writing down goals, you need this book.

In the chapter “Forget Annual Goal Setting”, he lays out how to set these quarter goals, and he includes worksheets to help.  It was a big eye-opener for me, because while I do have goals, I have let some slip by the wayside recently, and reading this book motivated me to reevaluate my goals and break them down.  This is the quote that grabbed me:

“Ask yourself, ‘If I continue down the path that I am on right now, where will I end up in 5, 10, or 20 years? Is that somewhere I want to be?'”

Why This Book is Easy to Read

Even if you’re not a regular reader, this book is easy to read.  Jeff has broken this book down into simple chapters and pieces, and he added really useful sections to make it an even easier and more interesting read.

Here’s what you get with each chapter:

  • Kill the Snooze Button – This is a section at the end of each chapter where Jeff shares common pitfalls, mistakes, and problems to avoid.  He gives actionable tips that you can actually act on today, right away.
  • Quick Review – Jeff summarizes each chapter into bullet points in the “Quick Review” section.  This ensures that you don’t miss any key takeaways from the chapter and reinforces what you didn’t miss.
  • Action Plan – He will give you a task to accomplish, usually with a worksheet right in the book.  This will be a way to take action after reading each chapter.  And these are fun too.

The entire book is so simple and straight-forward that even a non-reader can enjoy it.  He shares practical, applicable tips that you can implement right away.  He’s all about action, and he helps you take action.

The book goes through a pyramid that Jeff refers to as the “5AM Blueprint”.  He goes step-by-step and guides you all the way to the top of the pyramid by the end of the book.

5am blueprint

The book is so well organized and easy to reference.  Let me take you into the bookstore and show you the first page of the Table of Contents.  You’ll see how it’s broken down, and how easy it is to read:

5am miracle table of contents

It’s All About Taking Action

Jeff is heavily influenced by David Allen’s Getting Things Done strategy.  David Allen has significantly influenced my practices as well, so I especially love Jeff’s book.  Since he is GTD-minded, he is big on taking action, because that’s the only way to produce results.  Plan, execute, review…that’s the idea.

This is a short read, less than 200 pages, which makes it even easier to read and take action.

Jeff concludes the book with a “30-day 5am Action Plan Program”, which practically forces you to take action.  This is a step-by-step guide to simplify everything you learn throughout the book and combine it all into a plan.

From time management to goal setting to increasing energy levels, this book will make you more productive.  If you’re not motivated to get up early after reading this, you might as well just embrace your inner night owl.  He even shows you specifically how to wake up earlier.

I know “they” say (whoever they are) that a review should include pros and cons about the product, but I’m an optimist and I really think Jeff put everything he has into this book.  If I could only recommend one book this year, it would be this one.  I really mean that.  That’s why this is the only book I have reviewed in a long time.

Do yourself a favor and go buy the book here.

Other Books I’ve Been Reading

My wife and kids are in another state for a few months while my wife is attending school. Though I go see them almost every weekend, this has allotted for much more reading time than I’m used to when I’m home. Because of that, I’ve read over 20 books in the last two months. I’ll be the first to admit that this list appears to be very random and all over the place on subjects, but I had a reason for reading each one. Here are some of the ones that have stuck out to me. Click “show more” to see the complete list:

I hope you can find a few books to read from this list. After you read The 5am Miracle, of course.

Speaking of books, go learn how to read more books in 2016 than most people will read in their life.