2 minutes rule

I am re-reading the book Atomic Habits by James Clear. Great read !  . . and full of very useful advise.

What is really great about is its simplicity. It takes a seemingly very difficult problem, like creating a new habit, and makes it . . .  you guessed it, easy.

For example the two-minute rule of chapter 13.

when you start a new habit, it should take (you) less than two minutes to (get doing what you need to do).

The idea is as follows. Say you want to start reading more, but haven't had much luck. Try the two-minute rule. On set days during the week set yourself a goal of reading 2 pages. For example, on Tuesday and Thursday evening, after brushing my teeth I will read 2 pages. Do that for a few weeks and you will start getting into a habit of regular reading. Over time you will become a book reader and the process of getting into the reading mood on these evenings will be embedded in your behaviour. If you want, you can of course read for more than two minutes but the important point here is that the two-minute rule helps you start and makes it easy to form a new habit. You can worry later about improving it.

James Clear brings up a few other examples:

  • "Do thirty minutes of yoga" becomes "Take out my yoga mat."
  • "Study for class" becomes "open my notes."
  • "Run three miles" becomes "tie my running shoes."

Write down your own list of new habit formation and make whatever goal you want to achieve as easy as you can.

Good luck !


Until next time