SFH #180: The Two Minute Rule

Different than the two minute morning 😉

We need to establish a habit to start the pathway to improvement. I often find that people (including myself) are so focused on optimization or achievement that they (we) tend to bypass the small ways to jumpstart meaningful expansion.

Enter the two-minute Rule. We can reduce any habit and action to a two-minute version. If you want to read more often, start with one page a day (two minutes). Want to create a meditation practice? You guessed it, sit for two minutes. Want to learn a new language? Spend two minutes on Duolingo. (That one is for me and my desire to learn Spanish).

The design is to make it so simple to begin. Once you start 'the' thing, it becomes more natural to continue. It's inertia. What we are setting up with the two minutes is the gateway to the desired new habit. It may be challenging when you think about running 5 miles, but running for 2 minutes? Easy right? Of course, you should be picking the habit or challenge you genuinely desire. It will be much easier to figure out the gateway habits that will take you from point A to point B. Easy to difficult.

It might sound a little silly to start doing activities that only take two minutes—keep in mind the intent is to master the habit of showing up. If you cannot nail showing up for several days, what hope do you have for acquiring mastery? Eventually, the easy two-minute routine consistently becomes the initiation for your new desired pattern. After that, you build on top of it.

I also love this strategy because it reinforces an identity built around the kind of person who does 'this habit.' You are taking action (even if it's the smallest) that establishes the character of the person you want to be. Sometimes we get caught up in the end goal and forget how we are looking to show up in life (or our who). I like to employ the simple to defeat the malaise of the unstarted or not finished. It's carried me through many journeys.

Whenever you are grappling with sticking to a habit, maybe pull out the two-minute Rule. It's a simple and fun way to ease into a new routine.