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Change Your Life in 5 Seconds

Wednesday June 28, 2023
Julia Van Huizen
1 min read

I hate getting out of bed in the morning. Even if I’ve gone to bed early the night before, every morning I still often feel like I just want to roll over, hit “snooze” and keep on sleeping.

But my dog doesn’t let me. No, by 6:45 am, he’s usually scratching at my door, begging for belly rubs and a walk.

And so, I heave myself out of bed. And you know what? It’s good. It really is. Because once I get past that initial fight with inertia, I find it easier to keep going. And I feel way better getting a great start to my day! Otherwise, I’d just fritter it away.

There’s a scientific name for this phenomenon. It’s called “Activation Energy.” Items, like a rocket require a “spark” big enough to get it going. Yes, it may take a tremendous amount of energy to get a rocket started, but once it IS started, it takes a lot less energy to keep it going.

Activation Energy works for us too. We often need a “spark”—like a whining dog!—to get us getting out of bed, going to the gym, or starting that big project we’ve been procrastinating on.

But there IS a way to override our “hesitations” to get started. Motivational Speaker Mel Robbins created the 5-second Rule, and it’s simply this: when you need that extra boost to get going, immediately count down from 5-4-3-2-1 and then: bang! Do the thing you’re avoiding. The idea is that you are outwitting your brain, which is always looking for the most pleasurable route. If you wait longer than 5 seconds, you have the chance of talking yourself out of your action, giving yourself a myriad of reasons why e.g., sleeping in, avoiding the gym, or NOT making that phone call is the preferable decision.

So, the next time you face a moment of indecision, apply the 5-second Rule. Don’t think; just do, and change your life, one 5-second decision at a time.

Reference: Transformation Academy

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