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Christian Union
January 1, 2019
Qwynn Gross

Have you ever made a New Year’s Resolution and broken it? Have you ever set goals and then realized by the end of the year they remain incomplete? If you are anything like me, I’ve done this too many times. When I wrote my resolutions and goals in the past, like many of you, I had every intention to complete them, but life got in the way! Before I knew it, the year was drawing to a close and I had little if any progress.


I made a decision to find a better way to handle the personal life change and goals that I wanted to achieve. Noted leadership author Dr. John Maxwell introduced me to a solution called, The Rule of Five. The premise is to do five things consistently towards my goal everyday. As an example, think of one goal as a large tree that you would like to fell but all you have is a single axe. You won’t chop the tree down with one blow, but if you take five swings at that tree every day, the tree will soon fall. Most successful people have a regimen that they follow on a daily basis which allows them to realize their goals.

What would happen if everyday you did the five critical tasks that related to your future? How much could you accomplish? You will realize that you could accomplish quite a bit!

Here are some simple steps that I have taken to realign my life for greater productivity.

First, determine who you want to be. We spend too much time thinking about what we want to do instead of really finding out who we want to be. Who do you want to be at the end of this year? If you settle the “who” question, then the “what” question becomes easy. Do you want to be a better wife, mother, daughter, or entrepreneur? Maybe you want to be healthier, happier, or debt-free. We can learn from noted author John Grisham’s story. He was a successful lawyer but he was not fulfilled practicing law. He enjoyed writing so he set a new goal in his life to become a writer.

With a new goal for your life, secondly, identify the five assignments you should do each day to be the person you aspire towards. If you are trying to remove a tree, the tool you use matters. If you were to hit a tree with an axe blade consistently, the tree would fall. If however you were to hit the tree with a baseball bat consistently, that tree would never fall. In same way, selecting five relevant tasks each day is important to reaching your goal set. To begin, allow for the discovery process. Meaning, adjustments may become necessary as well as it may take time to adapt to change, and that is okay. Dr. Maxwell’s five assignments are: read, file thoughts, think, ask questions and write. From this process he has written over 73 books that have been published around the world in many languages!

Success is possible for you too if you will intentionally allot time to work on your five. We often complain that we are too busy, but there is only one person who really sets our time, we do! We may have demands on our time, but generally we set our schedules outside of our work commitments. If we would just make small adjustments each day, we would see progress. Once John Grisham decided that he would be a writer, he made one simple adjustment. He came to work one hour early and set a goal to write one page per day. That’s it. Today, he no longer practices law but he has sold more than 300 million books. This achievement came from a 60-minute investment.

Lastly, consistency is key. Every day, complete your five. Human nature is such that we become defeated at the first sign of failure. When you start out, you may only accomplish 2 of the 5. Don’t stop! Keep moving forward until you can successfully complete all 5 every day. When I say “every day”, I really mean “every day”! Whether it is a weekend, vacation, or holiday, do your five. Your future depends on it.

Since you will live in the future, you might as well live in a future that you plan. Live life, don’t regret it. You are only five steps away from the rest of your life being the best of your life!

Qwynn GrossD. Qwynn Gross is a Christian Union ministry fellow at Princeton University. She began a vibrant relationship with God after a missionary trip to Toluca, Mexico, in 1986. She has worked in various administrative ministerial roles and has provided leadership to several areas of ministry including worship, small groups, and intercessory prayer. Qwynn is the co-founder of Hope Cathedral in Jackson, New Jersey.

She is known as an inspiring and practical teacher and has created several resources as well as authored books on spiritual devotion: A Pattern for Prayer, A Guide to Consecrated Living, and Teach Me To Pray. She is a conference host and a sought-after speaker at women's conferences, workshops and retreats. A graduate of Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina, Qwynn is married to Trevón, the lead pastor of Hope Cathedral. The two have three children: Trevón, Jr., Dianna, and Sarah.
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