The 5 Second Rule

If you have an impulse to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill the idea.

  • Start by counting backwards to yourself: 5-4-3-2-1. The counting will help you focus on the goal or commitment and distract you from the worries, thoughts and fears in your mind.
  • As soon as you reach "1", take a small positive action towards your goal. That’s it.

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The 5 Second Rule

The 5 Second Rule

by Mel Robbins

5, 4, 3, 2, 1… Break a Bad Habit

To change a bad habit you must replace it with a different habit. Every habit has three parts: cue, routine, and reward.

When you silently countdown from five (cue), take a small positive action (routine), and get a pleasurable feeling of control (reward), you’ve created a new habit loop.

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Feelings are just suggestions

We usually don’t think, then act, but feel, then act. As a result, the simple reason we often don’t act at all is that we “don’t feel like it.”

With the 5 Second Rule, what you’re doing then is called psychological intervention on a very small scale: You’re changing your behaviour to impact how you feel, rather than hoping for the process to happen in reverse.

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Ways to use the 5 Second Rule
  • To push yourself
  • Become more influential at work
  • Be more productive
  • Step outside your comfort zone
  • Become more efficient at networking
  • To self-monitor and control your emotions
  • To manage, engage, motivate and encourage team members

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