I recently learned about the 5 Second Rule. Have you heard of this one? No, it doesn't involve dropped food. It's a concept created by motivational speaker Mel Robbins that states "if you have an instinct to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill it."
Robbins says "If you do not take action on your instinct to change, you will stay stagnant. You will not change." Of course, we know this is true, but how do we get ourselves to act?
As Robbins explains, research shows that 40% of our day is spent on repetitive behaviors. We're on autopilot and our actions are based on habit. Some of these habits are helpful (brushing your teeth) some not so helpful (scrolling through Facebook). When our day is full of unhealthy habits or habits we are not actively choosing, life can start to feel out of control.
Robbins says "by taking actions that make you feel in control of your life, your life will literally begin to change in every single way. As you use the Rule, you cultivate what researchers call an “internal locus of control,” which means that you believe you have control over your outcomes and future success. "
I decided to start using the 5 Second Rule. When it occurred to me to reach out to an old friend, instead of letting the thought evaporate, I sent her a quick email. When I thought about fixing something that was broken, I got up and put it down on my to-do list. When I considered going to virtual boot camp, I opened up my dresser drawer and started putting on my workout clothes. I had to admit, it seemed to be working.
As the last year has taught us, much of life is out of our control. But our own behaviors and reactions to life need not be. When we act on our good instincts, we build our belief in our ability to create change in our life. This creates a positive feedback loop. Our positive actions lead to a greater belief in ourselves which leads to more positive actions.
So, the next time you have a thought about a positive action in your life, physically act on it within 5 seconds. Give it a try and let me know how it goes! You can read more about Mel Robbins and the 5 Second Rule at melrobbins.com.
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Erin Becker is the owner of PICK IT UP, a
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