Life Changing: The Rule of 5

by Tess on November 17, 2010

Creative Commons License photo credit: alexxis

Everyone has their own opinion of what a miracle is…mine is "a shift in perception." When we have a shift in perception we create a space for wonderful things to happen. I believe living in love is a miracle. I believe forgiving someone is a miracle, I believe getting sober is a miracle, I believe my marriage of 39 years is a miracle and I believe making any major change in your life is a miracle. Again this is my opinion.

If you use the rule of five you can create miracles in your own life. Here is what happened with me.

If you would go to a very large tree take five swings at it every day with a very sharp axe eventually, no matter how large the tree, it would have to fall down. 

“The rule of five,” requires you to do five specific things daily that will allow you to achieve your goal. Doing five thing will keep you focused. 

The top sales people at Keller Williams use the rule of five. 

The five swings for selling homes include:

1) Make five visits in person to houses

2) Call five people

3) Write 15 thank you notes

4) View 5 new properties

5) Make 5 new contacts 

This is how the top realtors at Keller Williams have become millionaires. With today’s economy they may require even more of themselves. 

On National Smoke Out Day, November 17, 1984, I chose to quit smoking. I replaced it with running. I wanted to run a 10K (6.2 miles) the following May in Grand Haven Michigan. It was their kick off to summer run. 

My five swings included:

1) No smoking

2) Walk/Run six days per week (increasing mileage weekly)

3) Eliminate eating red meat

4) Increase fruits and vegetables

5) Eliminate sweets and fried foods 

The weekend of the race hubs, my four daughters, and I camped at Lake Michigan. I didn’t own any fancy running clothes or shoes. Race day was cold and rainy. My finish time was just over one hour. I was the final runner to cross the finish line. Yet in my family's and my opinion I was a winner! 

I continued to run weekend raced with my family cheering me on. Six months later hubs quit smoking and began running as well. The girls ran the one mile, “fun runs.” 

I stopped running a couple of months ago due to a knee injury. My friend Lori, a former trainer figured out my injury was caused by the way I sit in a chair. Duh! 

I currently walk, run and do yoga for runners. My plan is to take off the rest of the year, sit properly and begin swinging again January 1st, 2011.

Farnoosh from Prolific Living is offering a FREE e-book on Blogworld 2010. Check it out! 

Is there a tree you want to begin swinging at with a very sharp axe? What five changes will keep you focused and bring down the tree.

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    { 31 comments… read them below or add one }

    Bryce Christiansen November 17, 2010 at 9:25 am

    Interesting concept.

    One goal of mine is to plan an interesting vacation for my wife and I. My five swings could be.

    1. Research a location to visit
    2. Find activities in the area
    3. Find the best deals on costs
    4. Pick a time frame
    5. Add it to my vacation calendar


    Lance November 17, 2010 at 10:18 am

    I like this! And now…I’m going to think about areas in my life where I can apply the rule of 5.

    What I really like is how simple this feels – making it that much more do-able!
    .-= Lance´s last post…Crash and Burn…And Get Back Up =-.


    The Exception` November 17, 2010 at 11:01 am

    It seems simple – just five steps, five swings… I love the idea and am sitting here thinking – why didn’t I think of it? ;)

    I, like Lance, am going to see where I can apply “five” to my life.


    Sandra Lee November 17, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Hi Tess,

    Life has become so complex, we really need simple strategies like this one in every area of our life. I love the idea of the rule of 5 and am reflecting on where I can apply it. Thanks for helping us focus and in so doing be more effective and happier too.


    Lori November 17, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    Hi Tess,
    I love reading your posts, where you build a strategy to better yourself, show us how you incorporated the ideas, and share your successes while showing us a bit about you, too. Yes, 39 years is a miracle, I agree, and also with the other miracles you listed. Wow. Just, wow.

    Hmmm, about your question and the rule of five, you’ve left me thoughtful. You’re good at that. ;)

    Coach Lori says good job with being mindful about how you’re sitting. I’m always happy to help. I hope you can get back to racing real soon.
    Much love, ~xo
    .-= Lori´s last post…Love!Love!Love! Part Deux =-.


    Uzma November 17, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    I love this. What a great idea. My tree is a shift of perception. It is to be happy in this moment.(not to be so sad). My 5 points.
    1. Read uplifting stuff
    2. Practise, one by one what I read.
    3. Spend time in nature 2-3 days a week
    4. Yoga 3-4 times a week.
    5. Love self :)


    Little Lessons Under the Big Sky November 17, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    Tess, you are an inspiration.

    I also became a runner, kicking the habit of partying and some smoking. My husband used to chew Copenhagan (yes, because that’s what people do here in MT:) and became a runner too. We have both run marathons and replaced many of our negative patterns with healthy lifestyle to model to our three children.

    The idea of 5! I have always liked the number 5! I think, combined with SMART goals, it would be a great approach for acheiving so many things. I am going to sit and think on where I will go with this. This time of year it probably will be able writing deep letters to 5 people who have influenced my life in a positive way and tell them how much gratitude I have.

    Thanks, as always, for sharing your wonderful thoughts! I really enjoy reading your posts!
    .-= Little Lessons Under the Big Sky´s last post…Chilling with my cello and Friesen =-.


    Jannie Funster November 17, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    Tess, I LOVE this!! I’ve been going by 3s, but I think 5 is really the ticket.

    5 is magical. 7 magical too, but 5 seemingly aligned with all the best stars and best matter in the universe.

    Hmn, now ‘m thinking of 5 things I can do.

    5 letters yes.
    5 fun photos in a post.
    5 things in Kelly’s lunch tomorrow she has not had in a while, and will appreciate.
    A 5-minute back massage for hubby while he’s watching t.v.
    5 minutes of holding my tummy in here before I have to dash away.

    You are such a genius, thanks!!

    .-= Jannie Funster´s last post…Love Beats Hate — a poem =-.


    Belinda November 17, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    Tess, you are so generous with this post. You have certainly taken some admirable life-changing steps (smoking is so difficult to give up for so many) and I love how you always invite us to join you.

    Five swings — hack away at it consistently. It really isn’t a mystery, is it.

    Thank you for sharing your heart and history here. I don’t doubt that you will be running again in no time because you are one inspirational lady!


    Nea | Self Improvement Saga November 17, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    I like the idea of the rule of 5. I think I need to apply this to adding more fun in my life. Thanks for the post…now I’m off to work on that list.
    .-= Nea | Self Improvement Saga´s last post…Inspirational Words- Living Life =-.


    Farnoosh November 17, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    Wow, this was really interesting – here I was going through a fantastic post and about to leave a comment when I see you mention ME of all things at your closing . So a triple thank you Tess, for being you, for taking care of yourself and for the kind mention. Sweet write-up. Stay healthy and well!
    .-= Farnoosh´s last post…Listening to my Readers- Launch of Blogworld ebook and the Newsletter =-.


    Patricia November 17, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    I love these simple things that can change your mind, your outcomes and your life without having to burn down the barn….nice job…good sharing.

    I hope you don’t mind but I submitted your name to the Wellness Group for their spring 2011 luncheon as the keynote….I shouted it out from the floor so I hope you got at least 50% of the votes! :)


    Katie November 17, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    Very cool. Five swings. Get my belly trimmed down.
    1. eliminate all refined sugar
    2. up the veggies & fruit (one green smoothie a day)
    3. walk everywhere and everyday at least 30 minutes
    4. do ab and weights workout every other day
    5. 8 glasses of water daily

    There, swing at that!
    .-= Katie´s last post…How to Be a Girl =-.


    Suzie Cheel November 17, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    I like this and is i keep it simple and only have five things on my daily project lists i might be closer to achieving some of my dreams:)

    What not even a square of dark chocolate?
    .-= Suzie Cheel´s last post…Suzie’s Oprahgeous Dream =-.


    Betsy at Zen Mama November 17, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    Tess, I love this idea. I’ll have to think about it! We’ve had a very busy few weeks and are taking a vacation to my parents in Arizona (Sedona). It will give me some for reflection. This is one of the things I’ll think about! Thanks for a great post!


    Ande Waggener November 18, 2010 at 12:48 am

    This is really interesting. I’ve never heard the rule of fives. My mother always talked about bad things coming in threes, so I guess it makes sense that good changes can come in groups of five. :)

    And what do you know? I just started these five changes this week:

    1. Rebounding daily
    2. Do 2 min exercise bursts once per hour
    3. Do 15 minutes of toning/breathing exercises
    4. Visualize my ideal body
    5. Do energy releasing on blocks to removing excess weight

    .-= Ande Waggener´s last post…Does Self Focus Hurt Relationships =-.


    Zeenat{Positive Provocations} November 18, 2010 at 4:39 am

    HI Tess,
    This is a fantastic concept. I love how simple yet powerful it is. The rule of five is a sure shot winner in all aspects of life. I am just about to make a list of resolutions/goals I have in mind for 2011 and this rule of five will certainly come in handy. Plus I might just borrow a few of your rules too ;) I need to add 4 & 5 to my list.
    Thank you fro sharing your experience with this amazing concept.
    So Much love,
    .-= Zeenat{Positive Provocations}´s last post…Celebrating the Miracle of YOU with Gratitude =-.


    Evita November 18, 2010 at 6:10 am

    Hi Tess

    I am just so inspired by your personal quit smoking story and the 5 things you did! Way to go Tess and inspire us all!

    And what I loved the most about this post, is how you explained what a miracle is! YES to that!

    As for me….I will need more time to think about my answer… but you gave me a good reflection theme!
    .-= Evita´s last post…Everything in Life Involves Choice =-.


    Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord November 18, 2010 at 6:48 am

    Tess! I didn’t know you hurt your knee. Man, that’s just icky but I’m glad you realized how/why it happened (and knees represent “forward movement” in life… maybe, from a mind/body perspective, you were trying to do too much too fast?). I like the idea of five, and am not sure what mine would be right now, but I really enjoyed reading other people’s! Thanks for the encouragement & inspiration, and please rest that knee.


    Keith November 18, 2010 at 9:15 am

    Hello Tess!

    First, I’m so sorry about your knee, however I know how bold you are so I know you’ll be getting that healed up!!

    I love your energy in this post! Sharing from your personal experience makes the truths and advice you share so much more powerful. You determination, boldness and kindness inspire me so much. Thanks for that.

    The Rule of Five is a great method Tess. Now you’ve got me thinking of how to apply it. =)


    Angela Artemis November 18, 2010 at 9:55 am

    What a great simple method to achieve our goals! I’m a mortgage loan officer and I do adhere to the principal of 5 chops a day – which is why I’m still in the business and 50% of others are not!

    I’ve just completed what I’d call a “monumental task.” I sold my house on Monday and moved! I’m going to take it easy the rest of the year. My only goal is to work on my free ebook to have it ready for Jan 2011 when I celebrate Powered by Intuition 1st birthday! I’ll use the 5 chops method to get the book written.

    Thank you for always inspiring us and pushing us further!
    .-= Angela Artemis´s last post…Rewire Your Brain- 7 Days to A New Positive You =-.


    Angelia Sims Hardy November 18, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    I have a forest. :-) But I bet you want me to start with one at a time.

    I had problems with my IT band when I was running. Yoga helped a lot. I think it’s time for a little batting action.

    Thanks Tess..for the inspiration today.
    .-= Angelia Sims Hardy´s last post…The Shadow in Me =-.


    Living the Balanced Life November 18, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    Great post Tess! My first time here! I am a new member of the A-List Bloggers Club and so glad I came across your blog!
    So many people find life change to be overwhelming, yet you have put it into a perspective that we can do.
    I am kinda like Angelica, I have a forest, but I need to focus on the things I most want to affect. My health is one, as well as getting my blog going full force. Then I want to begin on my own e-book. Another focus I have is helping my adult daughers understand blogging and the potential if could hold for them.
    Yep, you got me to thinking, that’s for sure! I’ll definitely be back!
    .-= Living the Balanced Life´s last post…My Story Part 1-My quest for a balanced life =-.


    Andrea DeBell - britetalk November 18, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    Hi Tess! I love the idea of 5 things a day to create miracles. Your story was engaging and inspirational. You got me thinking about what would be my 5 things to work on. Let’s see:
    - Cut sugar from my diet.
    - Read daily at night without falling asleep after 5 mins.
    - Work on my foundation project each day.
    - Read my spiritual books every morning without falling asleep after 5 mins.
    - Crank up my daily yoga practice.
    This was a great exercise. Loving blessings!
    .-= Andrea DeBell – britetalk´s last post…Top Four Belief Hacks to Transform Your Life =-.


    Peggy Nolan November 18, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    Five things…you’re on!

    Be a leaner me by February 28, 2011 (the day hubs and I are reunited for his 2 week r/r leave!)

    1. Enjoy my ONE cup of coffee every day

    2. Make 3 excuses at least 3 days a week to go to the gym to either walk or run 2-3 miles.

    3. Commit to three Thai Kickboxing classes each week (except the week I’m in Spain…)

    4. Drink 6 glasses of yummy, delicious water every day

    5. Start each morning with 10 Sun Salutations…rev up the metabolism from the get go!
    .-= Peggy Nolan´s last post…Dear Deployment =-.


    Hilary November 19, 2010 at 5:39 am

    Hi Tess .. enjoy your break .. your new home and the fives .. that abound around us .. happy days Hilary
    .-= Hilary´s last post…Hanging Hooke =-.


    Karl Staib - Work Happy Now November 19, 2010 at 11:29 am

    I never heard of the rule of 5 in this way. No matter. I love the concept. When we take action on what matters to us that’s when life changes for the better.

    I want to grow my blog. Here are my commitments:
    1. Write five guest posts.
    2. Interview five bloggers a month.
    3. Reach out to five new bloggers a month.
    4. Leave a comment on 5 new bloggers a week.
    5. Reach out to five readers each month.

    Thanks Tess! I needed to create this plan.


    joe Wilner November 20, 2010 at 6:27 am


    This is a great philosophy to apply to staying focused. I think maintaining the proper focus is the main aspect to making any change happen. Applying this rule seems like it could make change more realistic and lasting. I think making change last is the hard part, but by following a system that helps prompt behavior it makes it much easier. Thanks!


    Mark Brown November 20, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    Thank-you for sharing this rule of five. I never heard of it before, this is a very good method.


    J.D. Meier November 22, 2010 at 10:19 am

    > a shift in perception
    That’s powerful stuff.

    I used to wonder why changing the way we see things, changes everything. Now I realize it’s because it reshapes our attitude, which shapes our thoughts, which shapes our feelings, which shapes our actions … it’s a domino thing with cascading impact … where we can spiral up, or spiral down … and it all starts with how you see it.
    .-= J.D. Meier´s last post…Energized Differentiation Separates Brands from the Pack =-.


    Rand November 22, 2010 at 11:41 am

    As yesterday’s storm cleared out and the sun began to show, I went to be with “The Peace of Wild Things”. They were there along the flood control chanel…herons, egrets, ducks, terns, pelicans, and the like. As I walked I could see a family of about eight people far ahead of me. Eventually I passed them, went to the end of the jetty and came upon them once again on the return. They were this very young group of Russians. They were all in happy conversation, the kids were scampering about…ecept for this twenty some old mother. I asked her if she were Russian and she said “Yes how did you know?” I proceeded to tell her about my 1984 adventure in the forest…about engaging and seeking out common ground back then with her people. She said those were the “early days”…she did not remember very much, and has been in this country for most of her life.

    I was there making a difference! You can never, never, take that away from me!

    I really feel good about myself.

    God! I love the Russians and their genuine passion!


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