The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins

Do you ever find it hard to get out of bed? To exercise? To do that thing that you know you should do… but damn, you’re just not feeling it today.

C’mon. We all have.

Each one of us has days where getting out of bed is a chore, the gym seems farther away than usual, and our general motivation to do anything more than lay in bed and watch Lord Of The Rings is nonexistant.

But here’s where the story gets sad.

Many of you don’t just have days like this, but this is your norm. Everyday, it’s hard to keep up with all the things you should do, but don’t want to do.

So what happens?

If you’re lucky, you do the bare minimum. If you’re not, you stay in bed and watch Lord Of The Rings — feeling shitty about yourself the remainder of the day.

Fortunately, Mel Robbins has a solution. And it’s dead simple.

She call it the 5-Second Rule.

What is the 5-Second Rule?

Here’s the reality with all of these things that you find yourself struggling to do: each one, no matter how small, takes courage. That’s right. Courage.

It takes courage to get out of bed when a lot of things in your life aren’t going well. It takes courage to write that paper, give that speech, or meet that person.

And here’s the more amazing thing: our life’s work is defined by these little acts of everyday courage. Which means that getting out of bed the first time the alarm goes off, making a habit of exercising, and building your confidence, can straight up change your life.


All of these tiny decisions, over time, turn into massive game changers.

And the 5-Second Rule allows you to harness the power of the small acts that require everyday courage.

What is it?

Basically, it starts with something that you don’t want to do. Let’s say the alarm goes off and you don’t want to get out of bed. Instead, you want to hit the snooze button.

Enter the 5-Second Rule.

Rather than hitting the snooze button, you quickly count down 5-4-3-2-1 and get the f*ck out of bed.

Yep. That’s it.

You can use it for everything from creating that new piece of content you’ve been putting off to exercising every day, to going on a date with your spouse.

And it’s not just fluff, it actually works.

Why does it work?

To explain why the 5-Second Rule works, let me ask you this question. If you count down 5-4-3-2-1, what’s the next word that comes to mind?

If you’re anything like me, the next pair of words are “blast off.”

Damn. That’s cheesy.

But it’s true.

And, as it turns out, since our minds naturally understand that a 5-second countdown leads to something, it actually prepares our brain physiologically for action. Meaning you can make yourself do stuff.

Pretty cool, huh?

However, it’s not going to make doing it any easier, it’s just going to help you get it done.

The other reason it works is because every decision in our life is made in approximately 5 seconds. Think about it. You decide within 5 seconds to hit the snooze button. You decide within 5 seconds that creating that new piece of content is a bad idea.

You also make positive decisions in 5 seconds. In 5 seconds, you decide to get out of bed, exercise, or spend time with your spouse.

Here’s the problem, within 5 seconds, your mind will completely obliterate any idea it finds boring, unappealing, or potentially dangerous for your ego.

The 5-Second Rule distracts your mind for those critical 5 seconds by counting down 5-4-3-2-1, and forces you to act on instinct.

Which is often what you and I need.

How to use it.

Using the rule is simple.

5-4-3-2-1 and get out of bed.

5-4-3-2-1 and write that paper.

5-4-3-2-1 and accept that public speaking gig.

Use the 5-Second Rule to change your life one small decision at a time and let me know what happens.

Interested in reading the whole book?

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