“There’s one thing that is guaranteed to increase your feelings of control over your life: a bias toward action.” -Mel Robbins
Oh. My. God.
I have found a chick who gives one of the most simple techniques to creating the things you want in your life, and it’s so ridiculously simple it’s almost unreal. Her name is Mel Robbins, and after listening to a podcast she did with Lewis Howes, I was hooked on every word.
Her method is this: When you’re feeling an inclination to do something, get up and go do it within 5 seconds of deciding to do it. Count down 5,4,3,2,1 in you’re mind, and launch yourself into action. I’m kind of butchering it, but I’ll elaborate further. Mel says that there is a 5 second window we have between feeling the feeling to do something, and then our brain giving us every stupid reason why we shouldn’t go do it.
Like in the mornings when you hit the snooze button. You know you should be getting up, but then all of a sudden all of these alluring little voices start sounding off in your mind. “Come on, just stay in bed for five more minutes, who cares. Ohhh, this bed is so warm. God, these sheets are so soft, the comforter is so squishy, I feel like I’m in a cloud. What’s five minutes more, you’re going to be so much more well rested if you get another five minutes.” But then, it’s forty minutes later and you’re scrambling to get yourself together before you have to go off to work or school.
And the problem is, we do this in every area of our life. We (or at least me) constantly put stuff off. We can get really geared up to do something, get all excited about the new workout routine we are going to start, all the new recipes we will try, finally booking that ticket to travel, or getting up early so you can start on that blog you’ve been meaning to start forever. But we hit the snooze instead, thinking that that extra little bit of time doesn’t make a big difference.
But it does.
It literally makes all the difference.
Because that five minutes turns into five days, weeks, months, years… and we look around, seeing the time past on the calendar, still in the same place we were before. And we think, “What gives? I had all these lofty goals, these ambitions, and I’m still in the exact same place. I’m not closer to my ideal body, I still don’t know how to cook, and my passport is still blank (I write this as my passport is, yes, blank. But I just found out about this five second rule, so give me a break).
We have got to stop waiting for the perfect moment and stop being so f-ing terrified of failure. That’s not living. That’s being frightened of imaginary ghosts that only exist in your head. So, decide on something you want to accomplish, and do it. Don’t wait, don’t think, don’t contemplate and make check lists. Just go get that sh*t done.
If you want a hot bod. Don’t debate on going to the gym. The second you think about it, get your tennis shoes on, throw your hair up, and go do it.
You can practice this in every area of your life big and small, and use it to break habits like procrastination, anger, depression, anxiety… here are some examples of how you can use the five second rule.
-You’re out at a bar and see someone you like. Count down 5,4,3,2,1 and launch yourself into the situation. Go up to them and say something as simple as “hey”. Just get yourself out of your comfort zone of being scared of rejection. You can ask if they are single, say you’d love to grab a coffee or something sometime. If they aren’t single, then who cares. Move on to the next, there are like 6 billion people out there. Now you know and you won’t have to kick yourself later for not at least trying. You eliminate doubt and assumptions by being bold and asking for what you want.
-Say you have a habit of getting angry easily at your partner, friend, parent… the next time you feel yourself wanting to snap, count down 5,4,3,2,1 and change how you were going to react or remove yourself from the situation. The key here is to throw a chink in your habits.
-You want to get in shape but you keep putting off going to the gym. Instead, while you’re sitting on the couch throwing potato chips back and then wonder who ate the entire bag (spoiler alert, it was you), count down 5,4,3,2,1 and launch yourself off that couch. Since you’re already standing, go get your shoes on and at least go for a walk. Tell yourself it doesn’t even have to be that far, just get yourself moving. Every time I don’t really feel like getting up to go work out or go for a walk, I tell myself just to get ready and I don’t have to even go to far. But once I’m out there and the air smells fresh and I pat myself on the back for actually doing it, I end up going way longer than I originally planned.
We have to just get up, and go do what we want. We have to stop waiting so much because it literally is killing your dreams. Like smothering them slowly. This rule helps us stop being so lazy, scared, and hesitant and helps as take action before we even realize we are doing it. I definitely recommend you listen to her podcast with Lewis. She also has a great TedTalk you can watch the condensed clip here, and a longer clip here.
And, lastly, here are some quotes from Mel herself:
“Hesitation is the kiss of death. You might hesitate for a just nanosecond, but that’s all it takes. That one small hesitation triggers a mental system that’s designed to stop you. And it happens in less than—you guessed it—five seconds.”
“What Exactly Is the #5SecondRule? The Rule is a simple, research-backed metacognition tool that creates immediate and lasting behavior change.”
“You are one decision away from a completely different life.”
–Much love, Callie ❤