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The five-second rule. No, I’m not talking about the rule that allows you to drop food on the ground and pick it up within five seconds, and it’s still good to eat. That’s something a lot of kids do, and a lot of you adults probably do too.

I’m talking about something totally different. I’m talking about a methodology that Mel Robbins brought to the mainstream. She’s written several books, she’s done tons of Ted Talks, and talks with interviews on podcasts, all around the world. If you haven’t had a chance to see Mel, I highly recommend it. Go to YouTube, she’s got several interviews that go in depth in the five-second rule, and her story. Very inspirational. Truly someone who’s living the Author of Your Own Story lifestyle.

But let me break it down for you. First of all, the five-second rule is a simple technique to interrupt patterns. It’s a pattern interrupt, and the reason it works is that it causes us to focus. When we focus, we activate our prefrontal cortex, which actually allows us to make decisions. The way it works is simply counting backward. Five, four, three, two, one. What you want to do is you catch yourself in a pattern. This could be any pattern, right? This could be the idea of your alarm goes off, is one commonly used. Your alarm goes off, you’re like, “Ugh, do I really want to get up? It’s nice and warm in here.” Too late, right? Motivation doesn’t exist at that point. It’s too late. You start rationalizing all the reasons why you should stay in bed. “My beautiful wife, it’s cold outside. I’ll get it tomorrow.” All these things come about.

Your body’s adapted to moving to the most comfortable space possible. That means your body is adapted to keep you in comfort. Anytime you have discomfort, anything that takes you out of your comfort zones, your body is actually … Your physiology is actually made to bring you back there. It’s made to say, “Hey, no, no, no. Alarms will go off, let’s not do that.” You as somebody that is listening to the Daily Growth Hacks, and living the Author of Your Own Story lifestyle, and on this journey, you know that success and change live outside of your comfort zones. How do you do this? Well, the five second rules a really easy and simple way to do so.

Simply what you do is your alarm goes off, and you count backward. Five, four, three, two, one. Make your decision, launch. Then you get out of bed. As soon as you get downstairs and you decide you’re going to the gym, and if you all of a sudden you say, “Oh, geez. I don’t know if I really want to.” Five, four, three, two, one. All right, cool, decision process.

What this does is allows you to be in the driver seat of your choices, the driver seat of your decisions. Now, you can do this also with food. It’s a common thing that we used in the personal training field, our pattern interrupts around food. Subconsciously we eat all day, and business owners especially, hey, I know you, ’cause I’m one of them. Is, that we grab snacks. Anything around us is going to be gone for most of us, right? It’s the stress eating, the nervous eating, anxiety, and the next thing you know you look down, and all the foods gone. Even if you have healthy snacks, you’ve eaten them all.

By doing this, is catching ourself in a pattern, right? Catching ourself in that moment of just doing something automatically, and then counting back. I’m reaching for a snack, and I count back. Five, four, three, two, one. And I go, “Do I really want that?” No, I’m just really thirsty, dehydrated. Why don’t you just walk around, or call somebody, or change tasks? The five-second rule really helps this pattern interrupt.

Now, these patterns have happened since our childhood. Often times they run the show, right? They can happen as triggers, they can happen as other patterns. Again, our body is protecting us. What we’re doing is … It’s not only our body, our psychology, and everything inside of us is protecting us from fear, right? It’s protecting us from danger, I should say. What it’s doing is saying, “Look, this comfort, we’re out of comfort here. I don’t know. That’s not such a great thing.” Or, “Doug’s hesitating, he doesn’t normally hesitate. He’s very decisive. If he’s hesitating here, there must be something wrong. Let’s backpedal, backpedal.”

What the five-second rule allows you, is right before you’re backpedaling, catch yourself and go, “Five, four, three, two, one. Okay, why am I doing this? You know what? I need to focus. I need to film a Daily Growth Hack, so Billy doesn’t get mad at me that I’m always giving these to him at the last minute,” you know? It’s part of living the Author of Your Own Lifestyle. I love this hack. I love what Mel has done. It’s simple, and she basically just gives it away to everybody out there, and I love that even more.

Now, I do recommend her book, and I love her YouTube talks when she’s talking to other channels. I have not had a chance to meet Mel. Mel, if this comes your way, I’d love a chance to talk to you, and just thank you for really giving this back. And also for you making that decision to change your life. Mel has used the five-second rule to completely do a 180 in her life. I’m not going to give away her story here because she tells it so eloquently several times in other interviews that she’s done. I want you to use that five-second rule.

Here’s your task, here’s your choice, right? Take this five-second rule, and use it at least 10 times in a day. Use it first thing in the morning, and each time you’re making a major decision. Often times as business owners, and a lot of you are business owners, what I want you to do is when you’re going down to do a task. Maybe it’s your email comes up. Count back, “Five, four, three, two, one.” Is that the most productive use of your time? Now, with that five-second rule, you now have the choice, the opportunity to be in control and decide what’s the most important for you. This puts you in the driver’s seat and allows you to make these micro choices throughout the day.

Look, part of the Author of Your Own Story journey, and part of the reason that successful people get to where they are is one, they play big of course. But it’s the micro decisions they make on a daily basis consistently that really move the needle. This allows you to put it in the driver’s seat. This is one thing that’s going to accelerate you to get where you want to go, right? Do I want to sit down on the couch and catch up on America’s Got Talent? Yeah, it sounds great. Five, four, three, two, one. “Is this the best thing for you Doug? Ah, no. Actually, there’s a couple of other things I actually really would rather do, and I’m really just going towards comfort. I’m going to do this later.”

Anyway, these are just examples. I love, I love, love, love Mel’s technique, of course, the five-second rule. Just see how this works for you in your life. I’d love to hear your feedback. Also, remembers as always, share this with three people you think could benefit from this. Three people and start a conversation that matters. Build your tribe. It’s really important, I’m going to keep saying it ’cause I want you to do it, and I want the best for you. That’s it for me today. Remember, go out and be the Author of Your Own Story.


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