It’s not easy changing habits. It takes time, persistence and awareness. But there is a shortcut to habit change that virtually guarantees your new good habits will stick. It’s called the 20 Minute Rule. The 20 Minute Rule involves a simple three-step process. Here’s how it works:
- Define any new good habit you wish to adopt.
- Devote 20 minutes a day to that new good habit.
- Set a goal of 30 days repeating that new good habit.
The new good habit could be:
- 20 minutes of jogging
- 20 minutes of lifting weights
- 20 minutes of self-education reading
- 20 minutes of developing a new skill
- 20 minutes of thinking positive thoughts
- 20 minutes of pursuing a new goal
- 20 minutes of listening to inspirational podcasts
- 20 minutes of watching a TEDx video
- 20 minutes of helping your spouse with home chores (laundry, dish washer, make the bed, clean the house, etc)
- 20 minutes of mentoring someone
- 20 minutes of volunteer work
- 20 minutes of networking
- 20 minutes of developing a side-business
- 20 minutes of doing home-improvement projects
- 20 minutes of reading to your children
- 20 minutes of writing, painting, learning chess, etc.
After 30 days that new good habit will begin to form. A synapse will form. That synapse will get the attention of the basal ganglia, the brain’s senior executive in charge of habit formation.
Thirty days will not create the habit, but it will lay down the neural infrastructure (brain cells talking to one another, forming a synapse) that is prerequisite for all habit formation. Once a habit is forged, your brain will want to continue engaging in that new good habit.
The brain loves habits. Habits save the brain from work. But it does take repetition and time in order to get brain cells talking to each other. Thirty days gets the conversation going inside the brain. After 30 days, the new good habit will begin to form and it will get much easier to engage in it.
Once the new good habit sticks, then you can move on to the next new good habit, following the same three-step process. In the course of a year it is possible to add three or more new good habits using this three-step process. In a few years you will have created dozens of new good habits and your life will begin to change for the better.
Adopting good habits are like snowflakes on the mountainside. You hardly notice the cumulative positive effects these good habits have on your life on a daily basis. But over time these good habits will create an avalanche of success event. When success hits, it appears to the untrained observer as if that person became an overnight success. Of course, what the untrained observer does not realize is the fact that that success was the byproduct of years and years of doing certain things every day that created the avalanche of success event.
Start your future avalanche of success event today. Adopt just one new good habit. Stick with it for 30 days. Baby steps. That’s the secret to success!