Use the 5-Second Rule and Move Mountains


I’ve just recently read “The 5 Second Rule” by Mel Robbins and frankly, I feel like I’ve found a gold mine. Since finishing it, I’ve shifted from being a serial snooze bar junkie to a hop out of bed the second the alarm sounds to start my day.

Here’s the methodology…in order to push through the brain’s resistance to change or lack of motivation, you simply countdown backwards from 5 to 1. It’s as simple as 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1 – GO! And take action!

Her argument is that we will never be motivated to do things that are difficult, but necessary, in our lives. When we think about that less than appealing task we go into uncomfortable emotions like fear, worry, uncertainty, etc. Then the monkey brain will take over creating wonderful excuses why it is acceptable to us not to do that nasty task. So when you countdown, your monkey brain gets to count (it’s happy) and when you get to “0” you have nowhere else to go but take action!

Funny enough, this technique also works when we have exciting goals we want to achieve and may be intimidated or nervous to begin. When the inspiration to start the task, before any hesitation happens, and dial the phone, begin to write the email, start writing, or whatever task will take you closer to your big goal.

Our brains are wired to continue to take action once we have begun a task – it’s called the commitment and consistency principle. Basically, once we make a decision or choice to take action towards something, we continue to take action that is consistent with that choice. And this is how this countdown process enables us to overcome emotional hesitation and create the results that are really important.

While it’s incredibly simple, I think it’s going to take some finessing to perfect how I use it through the day to attack those things that are not as fun to do. But, given that I have an additional 50 to 60 minutes each day (the time I used to snooze), I think I’ll be able to naturally accomplish more.

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