I absolutely love self improvement, and I try to read as much as possible on the subject. I am always looking out for new ways to optimize my life, even if they are just tiny improvements. One thing my friend told me about that I absolutely love, is the 20 second rule.  

The 20 Second Rule

The 20 second rule is all about creating new habits and making them stick. I for example like to go to the gym everyday, even if its just for a light jog and stretching. In fact that’s one trick I use if I don’t feel like going, I tell myself: just go to the gym and stretch! Then you can reward yourself with a nice sauna. Once I'm there I usually start enjoying it and put a full workout in anyways. But that little mind trick made it easier to go because I take all the pressure off myself.

But, if that doesn’t work, it might be the fault of the 20 second rule. It says that any habit that takes longer than 20 seconds to start is a lot harder to do. So if you sit at home and you think of working out, you should have everything planned to just put on shoes, grab your bag and leave. If it takes more than 20 seconds – packing your clothes, a towel, some water, a protein shake – its a lot harder to do.

So I make sure to always pack my bag the day before, have enough water ready, and just make all the little habits easier to stick to.  

20 Second Rule for Negative Habits

But that’s not all – you can use the 20 second rule for cutting negative habits, too. Say you wanted to quit smoking or eating sweets, two things i have personally done. If you keep cigarettes, a lighter and some candy everywhere in your apartment, no wonder why you can never quit! Its too easy for your brain to start the bad habit, so if your willpower gets too low, you just cant resist. So to make it easier, just throw all that stuff out! It will be a lot easier to resist getting some sugar if you have to get up, get in your car, drive to the store, and buy the candy.

runner sunset
Credit: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net