5, 4, 3, 2, 1 … liftoff! It seems like such an unlikely way to get each day started, but it is exactly what CNN News contributor Mel Robbins does each morning when her alarm goes off. She calls it “the five second rule” (and, no, this isn’t the rule where my sons dropped food on the floor and, if they picked it up in five seconds, it was still good to eat). Robbins talks about how each time we are faced with making a decision, we hesitate ever so briefly. In fact, it is so ingrained in our behavior that we don’t even know we are hesitating. She goes on to explain that in that five-second window, we decide whether to accept the challenge, or find an excuse for not moving forward. We know what we should do but, sometimes, we struggle with finding the discipline to act.
As I thought about this hesitation technique, I was struck by the reality of that pause in my own life. How many times a day do I use such a moment to talk myself out of what I know I need to do, or into what I know I should not do, even if it’s only considering food choices or whether to get up from my desk and take a quick walk? It was happening, embarrassingly, more often than I would have ever believed!
Since learning about the five-second rule and applying it, I have found myself using it on several occasions. Things that I knew needed to be done, and were waiting for me to do them, magically got done. I counted down 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and found myself moving right to the task at hand. No self-talk telling me I could do it later or that I didn’t really want to do it. I just launched myself into the task at hand.
Do you find yourself hesitating when you face a challenge in your life? Do you find yourself choosing not to do what you know needs to be done? Perhaps the image of the rocket taking off at the end of the countdown will serve as a reminder that you too can take off. Tomorrow, when your alarm goes off, begin your countdown and then jump out of bed ready to take off. It may be just the liftoff you need! One small step for me, one giant step my well-being!