I‘m pretty sure we’ve all used the five-second rule as it pertains to cookies falling on the kitchen floor. I know I have. But that’s not the five-second rule I’m talking about.
I’m talking about the five-second rule, Mel Robbins style.
Here’s the premise:
- First: “The moment you have an instinct…”
- Second: “To act on a goal…”
- Third: “You must push yourself…”
- Fourth: “To move within 5 seconds…”
- Fifth: “Or your brain will kill it.”
I heard about Ms. Robbins’ five-second rule years ago and have used it ever since. It’s a powerful tool to keep us on track to achieve our goals.
Here’s how it’s worked for me:
- Exercise: I’m not a big fan “of exercising,” but I’m a huge fan of “having exercised.” I know enough about myself to know that I need to do it first thing in the morning if I want to exercise. So, my five-second rule involved preparation the night before. I lay out my workout gear, where I will see it within five seconds of waking up. I can’t make my way out of the bedroom without being confronted by my goal of a daily workout.
- Making sure I have whatever I need to leave the house: Whether it’s for a client appointment or a grocery store run if something needs to leave the house with me, I immediately fetch it or add it to a list positioned next to my handbag. If I don’t get it or write it down within five seconds, I won’t have it when I leave the house.
- Making new acquaintances: I’m really, really good in my comfort zone. Give me a platform and an audience to talk about all things ADHD, and I’m your gal. As me to reach out to someone (in person or virtually) that I don’t know, and I become a turtle with my head stuck in my shell. Fear keeps me from doing what I need to do. When I run into these situations, I do something physical, like picking up the phone or walk toward the person. When I do that, I have momentum and inertia, and I’ve nearly convinced myself that I’ve already done whatever it is. To turn back now would be just plain rude.
- Education: I’m a life-long learner. I’m continually looking for the next thing that will make me more effective. When I hear of a new book, program, webinar, whatever, I immediately head to the appropriate website and bookmark it for review later. I also write it on my to-do list. It’s generally not practical for me to go to the website and analyze options when I hear about a new opportunity. Still, if I don’t bookmark it and write it on my to-do list, it will be gone forever.
- Maintaining connections: In this time, more than ever, it’s essential to maintain our social relationships, but that takes planning. When connecting with a friend, family member, or colleague pops into my head, I reach out within five seconds. Usually, I don’t have time to chat at the moment, so I text to see if we can set a time. If I don’t do that, days, or weeks, can pass before the moment strikes again.
Besides determining if you can eat the dropped cookie, how can you see yourself using the five-second rule?
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