Before we get to today’s blog (it’s a good one, read on young jeti!)…

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Now on to the blog…

Yesterday, I was coaching a brilliant woman. 

She graduated from Brown, has an MBA and won an NCAA title…and her list of accomplishments is nothing compared to her big, brave heart, sarcastic sense of humor and authentic vulnerability. After taking our CWYL Program, she’s decided to launch her own business.

Sometimes she’s motivated and gets sh*t done. Other days, she feels discouraged and beats herself up.

Sound familiar?

We all have these cycles of feeling really good, productive and happy, and then going into a downward spiral of self-criticism, doubt and lack of motivation.

How can you stay happy and productive for longer, or get back on track sooner? I have a super quick and easy tool that’ll help you do just that! 

The 5 x 5 Rule.

When Jack Canfield first wrote Chicken Soup for the Soul, he and his partner really wanted to have a New York Times bestselling book. But they felt daunted by the process. There were so many ways to get the word out, it was overwhelming. 

They didn’t know how to prioritize.

Then Jack came up with the Rule of 5. He decided that every day, he would make a list of five actions he could take to promote the book. Each action was very simple, like sending an email to someone or mailing a copy of the book to a blogger. 

Jack says; “We implemented The Rule of 5 every day, doing things such as giving five radio interviews, sending out five books to reviewers, asking five network marketing companies to buy the book as a motivational tool for their sales people, or giving a seminar to at least five people and selling the book at the back of the room. All these little actions at a time add up, and the Rule of 5 led me to great success.”

By being persistent and consistent, Jack was highly successful! 

While I appreciate Jack’s wisdom when it comes to getting sh*t done, the Rule of 5 hasn’t felt like enough to me.

When I’m feeling down, I end up using these kinds of rules to be even harder on myself. 

What if I don’t get all five things done?! Sometimes, I create unrealistic daily goals and then beat myself up for not completing my “Rule of 5” or being home with a sick kid. 

Yesterday, while coaching this fabulously talented woman, I realized what was missing.

Self-Compassion.

We need to be kind to ourselves while we pursue our goals. This is what will sustain you when things aren’t going your way, you’re feeling unmotivated or you want to quit.

So I created a new 5 x 5 Rule.

Here’s how it works. To start, make a list of 5 things you’ll do today to move towards your goals or intentions. 

Remember to chunk it down! 

Next, do the Self-Compassion Rule of 5.

Try a self-compassion break with these 5 components.

  1. Mindfulness. Think of something that’s challenging for you in your life right now. Put your hands on your heart and say to yourself; “This is hard. This is a difficult situation for you right now.” or “This is a moment of suffering.” “This is ok.”
  2. Common Humanity. Next, recognize that you’re not the only person to struggle in this way. Say to yourself; “I’m not alone ith this difficulty. Other people have struggled with this too.”
  3. Loving Kindness. Treat yourself with loving kindness by repeating these phrases; “May I be kind to myself in this difficulty. May I accept myself as I am. May I be filled with loving kindness.”
  4. Imagine a Friend. Picture one of your closest friends and imagine they’re going through a similar situation or difficulty, what would you say to them? Take a few moments to write down what you’d say to a friend who was struggling like you are. Then, say those same phrases to yourself. If it’s hard for you to give yourself compassion, you can even imagine your friend is saying those words of advice to you. 
  5. Gratitude. Think of at least five things you’re grateful for in relation to your goal or your challenging situation. Or, make a list of 5 things you’ve already done to move towards your goals and feel grateful for what you’ve already accomplished. Write them down.

If you’re in a super quick hurry or aren’t crazy about self-compassion, just do Steps 4 and 5.

That alone will be incredibly helpful!

This Self-Compassion Rule of 5 can be done in five minutes. When it’s over, start to tackle your list of 5 things. You’ll be amazed how much energy and motivation you have after giving yourself some self-compassion! 

Try it out for yourself today and let me know what you think.

Congrats! You’ve just done the Rule of 5 x 5.

The reason the Rule of 5 x 5 is so powerful is because it combines outer action and results with inner work and a positive emotional experience. 

It’s the best of both worlds!

Now we want to hear from you! Let us know in the comments – do you ever struggle to be productive and then beat yourself up even more? What helps you get out of that kind of funk?

Leave a comment BELOW and let us know. 

May you create work you love, and pursue your goals with ease and joy,

Vanessa

P.S. CWYL Scholarship applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and there are limited spots, so apply as soon as possible

Apply for a Scholarship Today! 

P.P.S. If you’re at a career transition or a crossroads and you need help figuring out the right path forward, and some accountability to make it happen – Join the CWYL Early Bird List!

Not sure? Got questions?  Learn more about my upcoming Create Work You Love 3 Month Career Program for women HERE.

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