We’ve all been there. You decide on a New Year’s resolution and don’t do anything about it for the rest of the year. Most of us, including myself, get stuck on the ‘taking action’ part, which is why I’ve decided to focus this blog post on a simple tactic that can help with this cognitive conundrum. It’s called the five second rule (no, not the one where you drop food on the floor and pick it up within five seconds to continue eating it). This is a very simple idea with powerful results. First introduced by Mel Robbins, here’s what the five second rule is all about:
“The moment you feel yourself hesitate (when you know you should do something) start counting backward 5-4-3-2-1, then GO. The Rule is a proven, form of metacognition. When you use it, you shift mental gears, interrupt your habit of overthinking and awaken your pre-frontal cortex – making change easy. The rule acts as a “starting ritual” that breaks bad habits and triggers positive new behavior change.”
Seriously folks it’s that simple. Just a simple backwards count and your brain gets rewired to start taking action. I’ve tried and it’s a great technique that has helped me with this blog. Writing articles is time consuming and there are many moments when I’ve self sabotaged my article idea. This tactic has helped me take immediate action without ruminating for too long on whether the post topic is interesting enough for my audience to read.
To learn more about Mel Robbins’ idea and technique I’d suggest you watch her TED talk or read her book. In the book she covers interesting topics such as how one moment of courage can change your entire life or how to stop doubting yourself and take action on your dreams.
Lastly, taking action is key because as Mel Robbins says ” If you have the courage to start, you have the courage to succeed.”