REVIEW OF The 5am(-ish) Club

Thoughts from the Coddiwomple bedside pedestal.

“Legendary leadership and elite performance expert Robin Sharma introduced The 5am Club concept over twenty years ago, based on a revolutionary morning routine that has helped his clients maximise their productivity, activate their best health, and bulletproof their serenity in this age of overwhelming complexity.” ~ Google Books

In short, I loved it. The more I read, the more I clutched onto this softcover like my life depended on it. I needed it to work for me. To give me direction. And it has.

Let’s rewind a few months. The first time I contemplated buying The 5 am Club from the local book store, I turned to my daughter and asked, “Do you ACTUALLY have to wake up at 5am?”.

Her response?

“Well, mom, let’s just say…it’s the title of the book.” Honestly, I was proud of her for not rolling her eyes. It caught my attention because she has been following the 5am teachings for over a year already. She’s a Rockstar human.

I put the book back on the shelf. Yes. That’s how much early rising scared me. I only went back for it when I felt braver.

I read it in the mornings to ensure my mind was fresh and focused. My copy has green highlighter splashed across the pages. Yes, I know – civilised humans don’t scrawl in a book?

The first time I highlighted the words “small daily improvements when done consistently over time, lead to stunning results,” I did sense the leer of my sharp-nosed high-school librarian. However, this book requires some note-taking. I found the luminous green helped cement the concepts and my scribblings allowed me to tailor them to my personal journey. That is why it’s important to have your own copy – keep it because you’ll most likely need to refer back to its wisdom occasionally. Tell your frugal friends to get their own copy (diplomatically, of course). If they seem disgruntled, buy a set of highlighters and tell them to pick a colour.

This past year has challenged me in ways I could never have anticipated. Just when I think I’m nailing things, my mind’s electric screwdriver does a lefty-loosey on me, bringing increased sensation to my feeling of having a “screw loose.” In short, I’m still struggling with the ‘letting go’ of my life in South Africa. And by life, I’m referring to loved ones and friends. There’s a lot of MISSING in my heart, and at times, it aches.

The 5am Club has first and foremost trained me to manage digital distractions and a scattered mind. I feel more focused on the hard, consistent work required to achieve my work and life goals. As someone that works from home, managing distraction is essential. I have long recognised and believed in holistic wellness as a pathway to happiness – mind (psychology), heart (emotion), health (physicality), and soul (spirituality). This personal ‘pursuit of balance’ is what gave rise to Coddiwomple. What I was lacking, however, was structure and consistency. I’d exercise, then not. I’d meditate, then not. I’d start a new project, and then pick up another before completing the first. The 5am Club introduces formulas and routines that allocate dedicated time to all of life’s essential components.

There is a LOT to this book. I haven’t managed to follow it text-book style, but the parts I have introduced to my life have already bought more balance to a wobbly time.

My 5am-(ish) loft sanctuary in our new rental. It’s where I can do yoga and meditate with minimal interruption.

I’ve been following the morning 20/20/20 principle for a month now: MOVE, REFLECT, GROW. This all happens before the other commitments of your day begin.

I do online yoga, cardio, or strength training. I meditate or journal and  have begun studying one of the 3 online courses I’ve identified as beneficial to my growth.

I’ve scheduled my ‘daily demands’ more clearly. I complete my ‘paying’ work first, and I’ve allocated late afternoons to completing my kids’ book, novel and prepping for the launch of the Coddiwomple online store. This scheduling allows me to focus on the project at hand instead of flipping between them willy-nilly.

I’m not going to tell you much more about the book because you need to read it – reading a summary is not the way. However, I think almost everyone will benefit from its teachings. Many of which are science-based, which I love.

So, let’s circle back to the question I asked my daughter. DO you REALLY have to wake up at 5am? Well. No. I don’t think so. Although a thousand others will most likely disagree and probably be right. But I want to be honest while also presenting my fine tuned excuse…

…In Canada, in winter, I think even the sun has been affected by the smell of weed in the air…it’s very slow to rise, and when it does get up, it’s not the brightest. In addition, the workday starts at 9am. So, yes, it’s less than ideal, but I’ve shifted my wake up to 5h30am and kick off my routine from 6am (because: coffee). It’s working for me, so I think that’s all that truly matters.

Here’s my disclaimer…

Someone recently told me that she can’t stand bloggers because they portray a picture-perfect existence that makes her feel ‘kak’ (for the international followers, that’s Afrikaans slang for ‘sh*tty’). She reads my blog because I’m not perfect, so she feels better about herself. I say ‘yes’ to being perfectly imperfect…and that is why the 5am-ISH Club is the best club of all. We’re all just doing the best we can. One little improvement at a time.

Let’s just coddiwomple

x Keryn