Author, speaker, ENTREPRENEUR, Coach, and Consultant
So, through the last two blogs I have shared the most basic process to ensure success in achieving your goals starting with the Slight Edge or the 1% per day model and the added advantage of compounded effort over time. In the second blog, we discussed making a significant impact on those goals with a 10-fold impact by implementing Grant Cardone’s 10X Rule or Tony Robbins Massive Action focus with the idea of Maximum Effort for a shorter duration of time.
In today’s blog, we’ll talk about Jack Canfield’s Rule of 5. This concept of making significant progress in achieving goals is equally effective and probably the ideal blend of the two philosophies. I say this because it is few and far between that many of us will have the ability to give a goal a massive Max Effort kind of approach for too terribly long. Likewise, many of us, despite our best efforts, will get the necessary impact to sustain progress with just 1% per day. Both concepts are valuable in their own right and have value in their application at different times. However, my hypothesis is that this idea of the Rule of 5, or what I might refer to it as “Discretionary Effort”, would be a better solution for the majority of people on a regular day-in and day-out basis.
We discussed this concept briefly in the last blog, part two of Personal Productivity. The idea here is that at just 1% per day, there is significant long term value over an extended amount of time. However, at that rate, you may never get your goal off the ground, or at least not with enough momentum to sustain the necessary commitment to see a large goal through. On the flip side, the Maximum effort approach may be difficult to pull off, especially for any significant length of time. If you are a spouse with a family to provide for and responsibility of a day job, you will certainly find it difficult to manage enough time to make this level of effort work for longer than a few weeks or months.
The idea with the Discretionary Effort approach is that it provides enough action each day to maintain strong momentum, while not being so overbearing that you must thrust other goals and obligations to the bottom of the priority list. A strong focus on 5 key things that move you closer to your goal each day, will ensure that if you complete each of the five tasks, you’ll find strong momentum and still be able to manage that Work-Life-Balance we all strive for.
Now, don’t misunderstand me, depending on the size of your goal, you may well need to give Maximum Effort for some period of time, particularly in the beginning to get your project off the ground. Then you can transition to your Discretionary Effort level to maintain strong consistent momentum. Should you find yourself waning due to distractions or frustrations, or potentially even more pressing obligations short-term, you can down shift to the 1% rule, where you at least complete 1 task per day. This keeps you moving forward and maintains the ever important momentum principle.
Even if this time disruption should extend for weeks and months, you must keep the focus on 1% (or 1 new incremental task) per day to keep the momentum. Remember, there is no neutral gear in life, and as such, if you stop taking action, even just for a little bit, you will begin to regress and not only lose momentum but go backwards. This would be the absolute last thing we want to allow to happen on our biggest goals in life. We’ve all been excited to make those weight loss or muscle gain goals, rush in to the gym and jump full force into massive action, even with a good plan, you will likely experience this thing called lactic acid build up in your muscles and you will be amazingly sore. This leads to making it harder to get out of bed, and then we sell ourselves on I’ll just rest today and get back at it tomorrow.
The problem with this logic is that tomorrow comes and either we feel no better yet, or we have some legitimate distraction that keeps us from getting to the gym. Now, two days of a layoff and we are missing out on the opportunity to grow from this effort and as such miss out on the potential progress. Days turn into weeks and suddenly it’s been months since we saw the inside of the gym and all that progress is now lost. Not only is this hard on the body, but significantly demotivating and harder to overcome every time it happens. Where just a commitment to do 50 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, 50 squat thrusts, and running in place for 15 minutes in 5 – 3 minute increments, would have been enough to sustain the efforts and keep momentum moving forward.
Over time, you will find yourself in a lull at some point, and if you can just muscle through that one task, you may find enough energy to get even one or two more and consequently you keep that all important momentum moving forward, as well as your motivation and desire. Then, as you find that new resurgence of energy, you can move back to the Discretionary Effort level. Finally, every once in a while, when you have the ability to throw the gear into Maximum Effort, you can make HUGE strides. For instance, when you find yourself up against a large challenge, you can kick into Max Effort and push through those tougher times and stay the course.
A great example here might be while you are trying to build a second income stream from a side business, you may need to give it a kick-start with some Maximum Effort with the training, and education you will need. You could do this over a week’s vacation even a long weekend. Next, set up a plan to execute the 5 basic tactics each day to take action on so you can maintain strong solid momentum. Then, every once in a while, when the business needs a nice push, take some time to give it a Max Effort thrust to push it along again. This would allow you to stay the course with the Discretionary Effort for the weeks and months after.
As you can see from such an approach, you can continue to make massive strides in multiple goals over a 12-month span of time, while not losing momentum in either category. More importantly, this is an approach we can all hold ourselves to, rather than jumping in with a Max Effort approach we can’t sustain and then losing momentum or worse yet, losing faith and giving up. The concept is not difficult to embrace, or even maintain, the most difficult part is the conversation we have with ourselves, trying to justify why it’s OK not to take the necessary action today.
And for those of you out there that just said “What conversations I have with myself, I don’t talk to myself”, that’s the one right there… 😊 We all do it, the key is to listen to the right voice and tell the other one to keep quiet, while YOU GET STUFF DONE!
Thanks, I hope you appreciated today’s info.
Eric Whitmoyer: Entrepreneur, Consultant, Speaker, Coach and Author
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