Last week I talked about habit change and techniques you can employ to make to be successful.
Today I want to talk about an easy mechanism that can help you stay focused in just 5 seconds.
I joke with my husband when he’s driving in traffic (his nemesis) to use the protocol the Honeymooner’s Ralph Kramden was taught by his doctor in a very funny episode. When he got steamed, he was told to recite the line, “Pins and needles, needles and pins, it’s a happy man that grins.” Then smile to himself and say, “What am I mad about?” He claimed it worked and the anger would dissipate.
His wife and friend were ecstatic. However, quickly thereafter he’s given some bad news and although he tries, it all goes to pot.
But his doctor was on to something. I recently learned about a scientifically proven technique I’m going to make, I mean ask my husband to try.
According to Mel Robbins, the author of the 5 Second Rule, counting down for 5 seconds “is a form of metacognition, which means that it’s a way of tricking your brain in order to achieve your greater goals. The Rule allows you to beat your brain at its own game and distract it from the ways that it tries to sabotage you.”
It’s grounded in control. When you feel out of control, you lose function of a part of the brain called the prefrontal cortex (the part that’s involved with decision making, planning and working toward goals).
When you take control, you are in control and less likely to get off track. The 5 Second Rule says to countdown 5-4-3-2-1, and by doing so you are taking a measured action to exercise control. Voila! Your prefrontal cortex is engaged.
“By taking actions that make you feel in control of your life, your life will literally begin to change in every single way. As you use the Rule, you cultivate what researchers call an ‘internal locus of control,’ which means that you believe you have control over your outcomes and future success.”
Check out her video for to hear the full explanation and see it in play.
This is a great way to break patterns, and it is S-I-M-P-L-E as pie.
So next time you’re feeling sabotaged or distracted from achieving goal, trying counting backwards from 5 to 1 to disrupt the pattern. It may not work overnight, but over time you will see results. Small changes, right?
Marjorie, Chief MOJO Maker™
Make 2019 the year of self-compassion. Join us for our next Montauk Retreat, May 31-June 2.