For me, M5 stands for what I call my “Mel Maisel Mindset Motivation Method.”
That’s a mouthful, I know, but let me explain.
I’m a bit of an introvert and I absolutely hate making phone calls. I tend to put them off until I can no longer get away with the delay. I much prefer face to face communication. These days, the closest I can get is Zoom calls. At least there I gain visual feedback to enhance the capacity for a real relationship in the interaction. Even those conversations can be exhausting. I try to manage my online time to preserve energy for other more pleasurable, and solitary, tasks.
There are plenty of other examples of things I want to have done, but I’d just rather not have to do them. The problem is nothing gets done without the doing.
While it’s obvious to have done something, you first must do it, that’s more of a challenge for some than for others. Motivation comes in short supply when we are feeling tired, overwhelmed, or just a bit timid.
That’s where M5 comes in.
The Mel Maisel Mindset Motivation Method can help get me going when I’m avoiding an activity that needs to get moved to the “done” column from my never-ending “to-do” list. M5 is my take on a combination of a few strategies I’ve learned from others to provide the motivation needed when I have trouble getting started.
The first M stands for Mel as in “Mel Robbins.”
If you know Mel Robbins’s work, you’ve probably heard of her “5-second rule.” This motivational strategy turned her life around when she found herself in a major funk. In her book and talks on the subject, she shares how she was drinking too much, unmotivated at work, and having trouble getting out of bed some days. Mel would hit the snooze alarm over and over to avoid having to face the day.
As she tells it, the countdown to a space launch on TV (10, 9, 8… blastoff!) turned the tide for her when she hooked onto the countdown as a way to get herself going. She started counting “5, 4, 3, 2, 1, GO” to get herself out of bed in the morning. She discovered that this tactic really worked for her. It didn’t allow time for her to talk herself out of action. Since then, her technique has proven successful for many thousands of others as well.
The second M stands for Maisel as in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”
If you’re a fan of Mrs. Maisel, you’ll understand the “Maisel” motivation technique in my formula. The character is in her third season on Amazon Prime as a housewife turned stand-up comic. Before Mrs. Maisel goes on stage to do her comedy routine, she leans down to her “vertically challenged” manager, Suzie, for a check of her lipstick. They then look each other squarely in the eyes and say in unison, “Tits up!” “Midge” turns on her heels, bounces up the steps onto the stage, and delivers a confident, and often bawdy, routine that spares no one’s dignity including her own.
I like the Maisel technique for situations when I, too, must present to the world as fully competent and confident in myself and in my message. It’s a humorous twist on my mother’s similar chiding, “Head up. Shoulders back.” While my topics are much more fit for general audiences, Mrs. Maisel’s strategy gives me the chuckle I need to declare that I’m “ready” without taking myself too seriously.
The third M represents “Mindset”
In his recent book, The Changemaker Mindset: How Innovation and Change Start with Inner Transformation, author and speaker, Ilja Grzeskowitzk, explores all the ways that our mindset influences our ability to make a change in our own lives. His chapter on the “7 Second Rule” echoes Mel Robbins’ rule with a couple of extra beats saying, “Whenever you feel an impulse to do, say, or implement something, you have seven seconds to physically take action. By doing this repeatedly, we can “reprogram our unconscious automation from ‘procrastination’ to ‘action.’” In my experience, most of us seem to need that kind of occasional reprogramming.
M’s 4 and 5 are for “Motivation Method”
Whenever something is difficult, it helps to have some instruction in how to get it done. Motivation may be one of humankind’s most recurring challenges. We seem to need tricks and tips to keep our motivation high, especially when the reward for our actions isn’t immediate. That’s where I’ve found the M5 method useful. When I need the extra “oomph” to get me going, there it is. Here is a method for quick motivation without external rewards or punishments. A simple countdown does the trick.
What about you?
Do you have things you’d like to do, but suffer from a sense of dread and foreboding? Do you want to have done them, but moving yourself into action mode is a challenge?
Do you put off cleaning the house, practicing your instrument, or sitting down to meditate? Do you intend to have 10,000 steps on your Fitbit by the end of the day, but you have trouble making yourself get out of the door? Is that phone call you need to make becoming a source of guilt and consternation?
Of course, this method is in no way a replacement for medical or therapeutic treatment for those with clinical depression or anxiety that requires the attention of a professional. But for those of us who sometimes find ourselves lacking the inertia to get going on the little things in life we want to have done, it can help.
Do you have a list of things you would like to do before you die?
Five, 4, 3, 2, 1, Tits Up!
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