The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins

Concepts & Exercises

1. What is the 5 Second Rule?

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3. Remember To Use The Rule

5. Tackling Fears

7. The Rule At Work

9. What Comes After The Rule

11. Habit Starters for Sustained Results

13. Gratitude & Happiness

15. Mind Hacks That Help

17. Procrastination

2. Where To Use The 5 Second Rule

4. Get Out of Bed Immediately

6. Peace At Home

8. You'll Never Feel Like

10. Anchor Thoughts

12. Getting Healthy 5 Seconds At A Time

14. Super Helpful Routine

16. Productivity

18. Depression & Anxiety

What Is The 5 Second Rule?

Years ago while going through her own anxiety and depression phase, Mel Robbins stumbled upon the 5 second rule.

The rule consists of counting down from 5 and taking action without giving yourself the option to back out of something you should be doing.

For instance, you see a pretty woman at the bar and you’d like to say Hello, 5-4-3-2-1 GO! and say Hello, see what happens, don’t let fear stop you.

There are scientific reasons this works and it’s already helped a lot of people.

When I first heard Mel turned the rule into a book I wondered how such a simple rule could result in a 200+ page book, but I was pleasantly surprised to find the science behind the book, several use cases for using the rule, and additional habits suggested to improve several areas of your life, all in the book.

In the next several modules I’ll share some of my own experiences in implementing the rule as well as exercises to help you identify when to use the rule, remember to use it, and what to do after you’ve used the rule.

Where To Use The 5 Second Rule

I previously wrote a blog post on situations where you can use the 5 second rule. In the post, which you can find here, I talk about planning out times and opportunities for using the rule. 

Do It: Write out 20-30 situations in your life where you can use the rule. Use my previously written blog post to help you identify when to use it. 

For example, I have used the rule: 

  • When I’m on the phone with a client and want to share my knowledge in a different area than my expertise. 
  • When my home in engulfed in chaos and I want to yell.
  • When my husband reminds me I’ve done something I shouldn’t and I want to give a rude response.
  • When someone cuts in front of me in line at the store and I want to tell them to get to the end of the line. 
  • When I’m nervous about introducing myself to people at a conference and I need to just do it. 
  • When I’m hungry for chocolate but need to make better health choices so I walk away. 

Remembering To Use The Rule

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In my excitement to implement The 5 Second Rule I started using it right away. The first day I used it several times and tried to stop myself before many activities. On the second day, I used it less frequently, but still multiple times. 

By the third day, I was using it for specific reasons; health, getting loud with my family, disagreeing with my spouse, etc. 

After a week I realized I wasn’t using it anymore. 

The same thing happened after I read the 5 Second Rule book (previously I had just watched a video about it). 

Do It: I came to the conclusion that I need to be more proactive about using the rule by creating habits around it. So I designed a list of activities to follow each day to encourage use. In this post (where I share my action guide for using the rule) you can find the activities I’m following. 

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Get Out of Bed Every Morning - Immediately

Did you know that hitting snooze on your alarm clock actually makes you more tired throughout your morning? 

It resets your sleep cycle and can’t break for up to a few hours causing you to feel tired. 

It’s far better to just get up when the alarm goes off. 

But how? 

Mel Robbins suggests leaving your phone/alarm in another location ensuring you have to get out of bed to turn it off. Once you are already up there’s no point getting back in bed. 

Do It: This is much harder than it sounds, especially if you don’t sleep well. So there are a few things you can do to help. 1) Get to bed earlier, 2) Ask your partner to do it with you for support, and 3) Try to build a streak of getting up at your alarm every day during the work week, and reward yourself by sleeping in on Saturday. 

Tackling Fears

Finding Peace At Home

Using The Rule at Work

You'll Never Feel Like It

What To Do After You Use The Rule

Anchor Thoughts

Habit Starters for Sustained Results

Getting Healthy 5 Seconds At A Time

Gratitude & Happiness

Super Helpful Routine

Mind Hacks That Help

Productivity

Procrastination

Depression & Anxiety

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