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"You are the sum of the 5 people that you spend your time with."

Jim Rohn famously coined this term after a research study based on the law of averages. "When it comes to relationships, we are greatly influenced - whether we like it or not - by those closest to us. It affects our way of thinking, our self-esteem, and our decisions.

Of course, everyone is their own person, but research has shown that we're more affected by our environment than we think. While it's ideal to be closely surrounded by positive, supportive people who want you to succeed, it's also necessary to have your critics." (Aimee Groth on business insider) Negative feedback, while delivered in a constructive manner can help facilitate the fastest growth you've ever had.

Have you ever really stopped to REALLY evaluate your 5?

I urge you to grab your journal and a pen and do this exercise with me.

1. List the 5 people you speak or interact with the most. If you're really having trouble...look at your last 5 phone calls, text messages, who you sent meme's to on social media, etc. (Don't get caught up on your phone or IG, come right back here because THIS IS IMPORTANT).

2. Do these 5 people bring you up or down energetically? You know when you leave a convo and either feel totally drained or completely motivated or uplifted. Write an arrow up or down next to each person.

2. Are these "yes" people? The type who will only tell you what you want to hear or do they challenge you to think differently or bigger? Arrow time - make an arrow up if they challenge you to think bigger, make an arrow down if they "yes man" you.

3. Do these people have equal habits to you? Are you around smokers, drinkers, gossipers, (mark an arrow down) or are you around people who focus on health, wellness, and positivity (mark an arrow up.)

Now, really look at your list. Are there more arrows up or down? Your answers are right in front of you whether or not your immediate circle needs some up-leveling. This is in no way a judgment of the people in your life. You are not better nor less than them. This is truly just blunt awareness and inventory of your surroundings.

If you've found that your people tend to be on the bring you down list, we don't suggest ditching these people, but rather going one of two ways.

1. You extend them an invitation to up-level. Invite that person on a walk, to a workshop or to read a book along with you. If they are eager to join, you know they too are seeking growth and will be open to the scenario.

2. If there is no way in hell this person will budge outside of their comfort zone, you may need to create a little bit of distance so that you can open that spot up to someone who inspires you, up-levels you, and essentially expands you. You're not cutting the person out, just creating one small boundary at whatever pace you feel necessary. If it's a 'ready to cut this person out' type of situation, my hope is that you have that hard conversation and explain why you need some distance.

Could you imagine how powerful your circle of 5 could be if they were all putting their mind, body & growth in the forefront of their non-negotiable list?

Every group needs a leader and that could be you, paving the way to shake your group up a bit by getting them to recognize that health is EVERYTHING. This is the direction you are going and you are inviting them along on your ride.

If you want to go out on a limb and create a new 5, we challenge you to reach out to those who inspire you and invite them into your environment or see if you can join them in thiers. This will be an avenue to get to know a few like-minded people better and collectively work towards growth. Awkward, maybe. Worth it, yes!

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