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John Maxwell: The Rule Of 5

I was on the train the other morning at 6.15am. It was 2 degrees outside, dark and everyones morning breath was misting up the windows. I was daydreaming a little, back to the beginning of February when I was sat amongst 25,000 people in a baseball stadium bathed in sunshine and 24 degrees.

There was a 71 year old guy on stage. It wasn't just any guy though, it was John Maxwell, a leader in the field of leadership. He dropped a lot of great knowledge in the short hour he was on stage, and one thing was so simple and easily moulded for whatever it is you're trying to achieve right now.

The Rule Of 5

His Rule of 5 has one aim: to help you hone in on your priorities. It looks like this:

#1 - Know what you want - What do you want to achieve? What is the desired outcome of your actions?

#2 - Select the right tool - what do you need to do in order to achieve your goal? This needs to be specific.

#3 - Stay focused - remember what your goal is. Stay the path and avoid distractions.

#4 - Stay consistent - use your tool everyday to ensure you're moving you closer to what you want.

#5 - Stay with it until you're finished - don't stop until the job is done.

Now, that looks like it's straight out of a self help book (and it kind of is - I'm sure it's in one of John's 20+ books) and it's great knowing all this, but how can you action it and use it in your life.

Let's assume your goal is weight loss/fat loss.

Let's use The Rule of 5 to give you a framework in which to prioritise your day-to-day and weekly actions.

#1 - Know what you want - You want to fit in a little black dress or that nice shirt you got last year for the Christmas party in 4 weeks time - AKA you want to lose weight. Whilst we know that you probably need to lose weight, let's focus on the want of fitting in the dress for now.

#2 - Select the right tool - There are multiple tools you can use in order to lose weight. You just need to identify the one that works for you - it could be intermittent fasting, low-carb or any other mainstream diet.

Ultimately though you need to be in a calorie deficit. Check out this instagram post to see the considerations that need to be made to lose weight

For the purpose of this though, we are going to say that your tool is increasing your activity levels, both inside and outside the gym.

So, your tool is now to train 3x a week, and hit 11,000 steps a day.

It's also important to choose a tool that is usable. If you were trying to chop down a tree, you wouldn't choose an axe that you couldn't lift. Your thought process needs to be the same when it comes to weight loss - there's not point in saying you'll train 6 times a week on 1,000 calories if you know you can't stick to it.

Photo by Yogendra Singh from Pexels

#3 - Stay focused - Your focus needs to be on increasing your activity levels, nothing else, especially at the start. Don't get shiny object syndrome and start experimenting with fad diets, or juicing or other things that may be vying for your attention.

Again, if you were trying to chop down the tree, stick with the axe. The chainsaw might offer a quicker result, but it might not be suitable for you.

#4 - Stay consistent - Keep active every day. This doesn't have to just be in the form of gym workouts. Habits such as going for walks at lunchtimes, taking the stairs, even getting up and walking around the office every hour will make a difference to your activity levels over time. Remember that consistency compounds.

#5 - Stay with it until your done - This simplifies the process of achieving a goal massively but, you have your goal, the method with which you're going to achieve that goal, you've developed your focus and your consistency. Don't stop until you're done!

The great thing about using the Rule of 5 is that it helps to build positive habits and consistency around whatever it is you're trying to achieve throughout any area of your life, not just losing weight. You could use it in building friendships, improving your relationship or even building a shed.

Once you've achieved what you set out to do, all you need to do is take the the rule of 5 process and apply it to something new.

I'd love to hear how you could use the Rule of 5 in your life, so email me with your 'Rule of 5' steps!

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