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The 2-Minute Rule

By: Michael Blankenship |

“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another.” 

– Walter Elliot

Did you know the national animal of Scotland is the unicorn? In Celtic mythology, the fictional creature is connected with both chivalry and dominance as well as purity and innocence. 

The 2-Minute Rule

The mechanism behind building (or failing to build) good habits has been discussed online ad nauseum — with articles like 15 Key Tips to Develop Good Habits That Work and Building Good Habits: 10 Tips for Lasting Change.

Everyone wants good habits. 

But how do you build them? 

According to James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, the answer is to condense the habit you so desire to build into just a 2-minute routine.

Sounds crazy? 

In this clip, he explains, 

“Take whatever habit you’re trying to build and scale it down to just the first two minutes… I had a reader who did something similar to this. He ended up losing over 100 pounds. And one of the ways that he did it was he went to the gym but he wasn’t allowed to stay for longer than five minutes. 

It sounds kind of crazy but for the first six weeks, he went, he showed up, and he did like half an exercise, and then he would leave and go home. 

To most people, they hear that they think it’s kind of ridiculous — you’re wasting your time, you’re not actually gonna get in shape from that. 

But the point is, he was mastering the art of showing up. 

And a habit has to be established before it can be improved. Until you become the type of person who shows up every day, there’s nothing to optimize.”

Think about it like this. 

Before you can run a marathon, you have to train for a marathon. But before you can train for a marathon, you have to run every day (or most days). But before you can run every day, you have to get on your running shoes and walk out the door. 

That first measly step might seem silly and undeserving of our focus… but it’s the very thing that we all trip on when trying to build a new habit: showing up.

“Wait” Scales

The 48 seconds it takes you to watch this video is well worth the inspiration it provides.

“There’s always reasons to quit and there’s always reasons to keep going and the reasons you choose will define you,” Justin Prince explains to a room full of entrepreneurs. 

He continues… 

“My friends, here’s what I want you to think about. There’s reasons right now to quit your business… we could write a list. There’s also reasons to keep going in your business; we need to make that list a little bit longer. It needs to outweigh the reasons to quit. It’s like a scale. If there’s more reasons to quit than there is to keep going, you’re gonna quit.

All success is uphill, all the way. You don’t accidentally go up the hill. You have to intentionally go up the hill. If you can stack the reasons to keep going, you’ll pick those reasons because there’s more. 

There’s reasons to quit your faith, there’s reasons to quit your marriage, there’s reasons to quit your workout program, your diet program, all of it. And there’s also reasons to keep going. And the reasons you choose will define you.”

In other words, you find what you’re looking for. 

If you look for reasons to quit, you’ll find them. If you look for reasons to keep going, you’ll find them. Direct your focus where you want to go and you’ll achieve far more, far more quickly. 

5-Minute Video Of The Week

This Week’s Riddle

Here’s this week’s riddle — the answer is at the bottom of the email!

Who spends the day at the window, goes to the table for meals, and hides at night?

He’s also not a particularly welcome dinner guest.

This Week’s Journaling Prompt

Take some time to think through the following journaling prompt. 

What are you in the habit of “seeing” when you look at your life? Do you see things to be grateful for… or things that frustrate you? Why? 

This Week’s Challenge

Create a new 2-minute habit to cultivate a routine you want to add to your daily life. Anyone can do something for two minutes. And that’s the magic of using such small, sustainable habits… that have a deceptively large impact on your life. 

Riddle Answer: A fly.

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