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The 20-second rule principle

The 20-second rule principle

The 20-second rule is a simple principle for promoting positive thinking and habit formation. It helps you break obstructive habits and develop new, positive habits.

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🧠 Understand the principle

The 20-second rule is based on the idea that humans naturally seek a path of least resistance. If you want to establish a new habit, you should make it as easy as possible to start - ideally, it should take no more than 20 seconds to begin the activity. For example, if you want to read more, put a book on your nightstand so you can pick it up right before bed.

🎯 Choose a positive habit.

Think about what positive habit you want to develop. It could be something that helps you think more positively, like writing in a gratitude journal every day. Or it could be a habit that contributes to a healthier lifestyle, like exercising regularly.

🛠️ Remove obstacles

Think about what's stopping you from developing this habit. For example, if you want to exercise more, but the gym is too far away, this could be an obstacle. Try to remove or minimize this obstacle by exercising at home, for example.

⏱️ Make it reachable in 20 seconds

Design your environment so that you can start the new habit within 20 seconds. For example, if you want to drink more water, put a filled water bottle on your desk so you can drink anytime without having to get up.

🔄 Repeat it every day

Repeat the new habit every day. It usually takes about 21 days to establish a new habit, so be patient with yourself. Remember that it is normal to miss a day now and then. The important thing is that you start again the next day.

📈 Track your progress

Keep track of your progress. For example, you could keep a habit tracker in your calendar or diary. Not only will this help you see how far you've come, but it can also be motivating to see your progress.

🎉 Reward yourself

Reward yourself when you successfully implement your new habit. This could be as simple as congratulating yourself, or you could give yourself a small reward, like a delicious snack or an extra break.

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