I gave my friend Paul a book that I love for his Birthday. It's called "The Slight Edge", I love this book because it helped me get very clear on how I want to improve myself and my life. I am always so gung-ho when I read something that gets me focused. I am someone who loves planning and making lists & writing out goals! As I list the things I want to change in my life, there are similar things that I have "focused" on before, but have had no success at long term change. I always believe that my being focused will be my motivation...but then I buy the Cadbury Creme Egg at Ralphs because it's Easter time & they won't be around forever and it's just one egg! But, that snowballs into justification after justification and before I know it I put back on the few pounds I worked so hard to lose or I gain back more than I lost. And then I say to myself, "Okay Mandy, you just need to spend more time on your Goals, they aren't specific enough to motivate me!"
Then my buddy Paul asks me if I listen to audiobooks, I said yes. So he shares a book with me that he thought was a compliment to "The Slight Edge". He gave me the audio book of "The 5 Second Rule" by Mel Robbins on Audible. I listened to the first chapter and thought, ok one of my goals is to either read 10 pages a day or listen to 15 minutes a day, so it's helping me stay on track with my goals. Well, today I listened to Mel talking about how she invented the 5 Second Rule. She spoke of a very difficult time in her life when she knew she should be making better choices, but she lacked the motivation to get out of bed in the morning and to take action and change. And how one night she saw a commercial with a rocket launch that counted 5-4-3-2-1 liftoff, which gave her the idea that the next morning to get herself out of bed and not hit the snooze button, she would do that countdown, 5-4-3-2-1 GO and she did it and she got out of bed! It reminded me of what I will do at the gym in Crossfit classes or the circuit training classes when I am completely exhausted, as much as I want to stop the torture, I rest briefly and countdown 5-4-3-2-1 and I get back to the exercise. I could relate it to my real world experience and I thought "Ok, I'll keep listening, I kinda understand how this can get me out of bed and motivated to do things, which is fantastic & I'm excited, but how can this keep me from doing things that are destructive?"
As Mel explained how our frontal cortex (I think that's what she said) works and that 5-4-3-2-1 GO is meant to keep you from thinking and talking yourself out of action...well, I heard angels singing! She also said that motivation is not the answer, it's finding a way to just shut up my brain and take action. So, those times when I'm driving home and all of a sudden Taco Bell pops into my mind and I say to myself, "Ok you can go, I'm happy or I'm sad or I deserve it for breathing air and I haven't had a bean burrito in awhile...I will be strong and good tomorrow!" Now when it pops into my head, I can say, "5-4-3-2-1 GO HOME and eat something healthy!" She says that there is this Myth that you have to be motivated, there are some things in life we don't want to do. This rule will help you push yourself to do the things that you don't feel like doing. There is a 5 second moment where your mind talks you out of doing something, a 5 second window between my instinct to change & my mind screwing me over! In the early chapters of the book, Mel said that once she created the 5 Second Rule, she made a promise to herself & she asks the reader to make the same promise, "If I knew that I should do something that could change me for the better, I promised myself that I would use the rule to push myself to do it regardless off how I felt."
So I am making that promise to myself!! Now, I am both excited and afraid to make this commitment to myself. I'm excited to get more done and not procrastinate and make significant changes in my life & my career, but if I am honest, I am scared to let go of my poor eating habits and my justifications and my "Oh just one more, I'll be better tomorrow". I will no longer have an excuse to hide my head in the sand & be weak - but, I feel strength in knowing that I am choosing to arm myself with a tool that will propel me toward my goal of losing weight and being healthy.
In the past, I have found it hard to make today matter and be motivated, that each choice I make will matter. I have found consistency in going to the gym lately, but it's not because I am truly motivated to go or that I think it matters, it's been my friends, they keep me coming back! But, I have not been able to find a motivation to lose weight & eat better, there is nothing I find in the short term that can keep me on-track and focused long term. Well, now I don't have any more excuses, I can't blame my age, my early menopause, being on the birth control pill, my big bones, my slow metabolism, my weightlifting - the "excuse" is the truth - I put too much crap in my mouth and there is nothing important enough to stop me! Well, I don't need any motivation or anything that is "important enough" - I simply need to make the commitment to myself to use the 5 Second Rule!
So, here I go - wish me luck on this journey! There is nothing to hold me back, except myself! I hope I can inspire you to read this book and start using the 5 Second Rule. I look forward to sharing my journey with you, please share your journey with me!
P.S. I used the 5 Second Rule to write this post, I was inspired to take action, so I sat down & wrote it...win number 1!
Actress & Producer.