“Even when you know you should start small, it’s easy to start too big. When you dream about making a change, excitement inevitably takes over and you end up trying to do too much too soon. The most effective way I know to counteract this tendency is to use the two-Minute Rule, which states, “When you start a new habit, it should take less than two minutes to do.” James Clear Atomic Habits
Raise your hand if you’ve built and boarded your own hype train when starting a new habit or breaking a bad one only to find yourself back at where you started a day, week, or month later feeling like a big bag of dookie (hey Alexa, will google penalize me for that word?).
Yea, that’s all of us.
I’ve quit coffee about a million times (the last cup tastes so good), taken weeks off of working out, and, as my posting history demonstrates, gone months and months without writing a single word. We’ve all been there, and as cliched as it is it’s not about how many times you get knocked down but how many times you get back up.
But this time instead of going all in we’re going to start as small as possible and master the art of showing up: Enter James Clear and The Two-Minute Rule
The Two-Minute Rule
As stated above the main premise is that whatever it is you’re trying to establish it needs to be doable within two minutes. Break it down into a bite sized piece and start there. In the book one of the examples Clear uses is running a marathon. If your goal is to run a marathon then break it into steps from “very easy” to “very hard”.
“Very Easy: Put on your running shoes
Easy: Walk ten minutes
Moderate: Walk ten thousands steps
Hard: Run a 5k
Very Hard: Run a marathon” James Clear Atomic Habits
You don’t start out by waking up and running a marathon, you start out by making a habit of putting on your running shoes.
That may sound a little silly but by limiting the commitment to under two-minutes you’re laying the foundation and reinforcing your chosen identity.
If you just so happen to always make it out the door for a walk or run, great! But even if you don’t have a ton of time that day you will have enough time to put your shoes on. That’s a win.
Establish Your Habit, Then Improve It
“People often think it’s weird to get hyped about reading one page or meditating for one minute or making one sales call. But the point is not to do one thing. The point is to master the habit of showing up. The truth is, a habit must be established before it can be improved.” James Clear Atomic Habits
Pocketing wins, no matter how small, is a huge confidence booster and key to building your momentum.
Whether it’s being a more organized person, being a blogger, or mastering the art of sales it’s always a game of inches.
Pick whatever area of life you’re trying to improve and map it out from “very easy” to “very hard”. For this example I’ll be using blogging.
Very easy: putting on my noise reducing earmuffs and opening up a google sheet
Easy: Writing for 10 minutes
Moderate: Writing for 30 minutes
Hard: Getting 20k visitors a month
Very Hard: Getting 100k visitors a month
In both running a marathon and blogging the “very easy” is the most reductive version of the desired goal.
Before you can improve upon your chosen habit you need to establish it first. Mastering the art of showing up is the first step to establishing your habit.
Now it’s your turn, get out there and master the art of showing up.