Events

Changing Habits with the 5 Second Rule

My Vision

I decided to create my morning routine habit after listening to an audiobook called the “5 Second Rule” by Mel Robbins. My relationship of 3 years just ended and I was unemployed due to my relationship stress and poor health. I was still living with ex-partner and it was beyond uncomfortable at times. It had me in a depressive state and I barely wanted to get out of bed. I planned to be productive with my day and applied for jobs but it would end with me being on a youtube binge all day, wondering where my day went. I was in desperate need of strategies to get myself back on my feet.

After the book, I decided that I would wake up as soon as the alarm went off. I knew that I needed some way to be accountable of building this habit so I chose to write about it each day.

I envisioned myself getting up as soon as the alarm went off and getting myself together. The way you would see people in movies doing it by stretching and getting on with their day.

The process

I had to be honest with myself about my bad habits. To combat my autopilot I left my phone away from my bed. I knew that my half-asleep brain would turn off the alarm and go back to bed if I slept with my phone next to me. I wore socks and warm pajamas so I didn’t make excuses for being too cold to get up. My alarm sound wasn’t obnoxious so I wouldn’t be scared out of bed. I put rain sounds on to help me sleep faster.

That morning

The alarm went off and it took some time to turn it off. I heard myself saying, “What if I just try to go back to sleep and ignore the alarm? Eventually, it’ll stop on its own.” I thought about my ex-partner next door and didn’t want to disturb his sleep so I got up.

I sat on my bed wrapped in my blanket after the alarm was off. My brain was complaining that it was still too cold. I heard it say “I just need to sit here and close my eyes for a second… I’m meditating.” How ridiculous did I sound? I was lying to myself to keep from fully waking up. My ego and super-ego were battling each other. I thought to myself, is this what mothering myself looks like? It’s hilarious!

Then, something pretty amazing happened. I cleaned the kitchen, drank tea, took vitamins (I usually forget), journaled, meditated, washed laundry, ate breakfast, dressed (I’m normally a pajama all day person), and addressed my goals. The awesome thing is, I didn’t have my phone on me the whole time! It was difficult and my brain was pushing me to check my phone every couple of seconds. I felt like an addict going through withdrawal.

What I learned

My brain has a habit of doing the easy thing, which leads to instant gratification. I know the battle is ongoing but I’m aware of how I feel and the important thing is that I don’t allow my emotions to drive my actions. It’s only the 2nd day of this journey, but I know that if others are able to get through worse things, then I’m able to get through this. Each day is a new day to win the war over myself and my past.

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