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Two-Minute Trick to Keep Resolutions

What influence would you like to have or change would you like to see in yourself or the world around you this year?

Odds are good that whatever influence you want to have on yourself and others this year will require you to form some new habits. In his book, Atomic Habits, James Clear makes an intriguing suggestion regarding forming new habits that he calls “the two-minute rule.” To implement the two-minute rule, take the habit you want to develop and shrink it down to something that you can do in just two minutes. I know it sounds ridiculous, but stay with me. Start with a two-minute version of your commitment to begin establishing the habit, and after a week, increase the time/intensity a little bit. Repeat the process until you’ve fully engaged the habit. For example, you could reduce running twenty minutes a day to putting on your running shoes and running to the end of your street and back, or you could reduce writing a page a day could to writing a single sentence a day. Initially, the goal is for you to do the simplest version of the new habit that you will actually do consistently and then increase it.

This approach has several advantages:

  1. Many people start trying to make a full-scale shift right away and burn out quickly before they can completely establish the habit. The two-minute rule helps avoid this.
  2. Even small activities done frequently establish in your mind that you are the kind of person who (runs daily, writes daily, etc.).
  3. It’s a lot easier to optimize an established habit than it is to start a new habit. It’s better to get the habit started and then improve it.

To learn more about this and other strategies for making your habits work for you and not against you, I highly recommend James Clear’s book, Atomic Habits. It was a game-changer for me.

We look forward to supporting you in living your best life in the year ahead!

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