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One simple tool to stop you hitting snooze....

Updated: Nov 24, 2018

Are you are someone who hits snooze when you anted to get out of bed early?! This tool might just get you out of bed and into your zone…

The 5 second rule made famous by Mel Robbins tricks your brain when it is in the way of what you are trying to achieve. It’s pretty simple, all you need to do is count backwards from 5, i.e. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1! Mel Robbins first used this tool to get out of bed when life was proving hard and all she wanted to do was pull the covers over her head and go back to sleep. She imagined a rocket launch countdown from 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 then she launched into action!

The 5 second rule is a tool which helps you take action by getting you out of your head.

How often do you want to do something, but the moment you hesitate your thoughts kick in and come up with all the reasons you should do the total opposite?! The reason science states that this happens is that it is a safety mechanism to keep you safe from things which are uncomfortable, scary or new. Counting backwards from 5 interrupts the brains safety response mechanism in that moment, and supposedly allows you to take the action you want to take.

The science

Locus of Control a concept was developed by Julian B. Rotter in 1954, identifies a two types of people:-

1) Those with strong internal locus of control who think they are in control of their lives/outcomes/success; and

2) Those with a weak internal locus of control who think they are ruled by external forces and not in control of their lives

But how do you develop a strong internal locus of control? You take action. Proponents of the 5 second rule say that it will help you to take the action before the brain safety control hijack stops you. Not only does this create the behaviour you want in the moment, but, the theory goes, once you take action repeatedly, you will develop a stronger internal locus of control and take action more easily. I can certainly see this from my own story. Having had so many ideas and projects which I didn't start, or started and didn't finish, I had lost confidence in my ability to see things through. This led to me taking less action, instead of more, and weakened my locus of control.

Activation Energy is a term borrowed from chemistry which you might remember from school unless you were mutilating your friends Bic pen with the Bunsen burner during this lesson. Basically, the rule is that it takes a good deal more energy to start a chemical process, than it does to maintain it. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi found the same to be true in human behaviour and forming habit, it’s harder to get started than it is to maintain it once you start. The idea is that the 5 second rule allows you to get started, to take action.

It stands to reason in that if I feel that I have no control over my weight, why would I take action to change it, right? If you felt that you had no control over your career, how likely are you to make changes you want to make? You get the picture.

Try it

The moment when the alarm is beeping and you feel yourself reaching for the phone, count backwards from 5, and launch into action like a rocket off the launch pad.

Is this you launching out of bed in the morning?!

Did you use this tool? Let us know how you got on!

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