The Power Of Small Habits


In Atomic Habits, James Clear writes about the power of small habits in our lives. One piece of advice he suggests is the two-minute rule. He says that anyone can build a habit by starting with a two-minute version of the habit. This rule means that a person will do an activity for only one hundred and twenty seconds. After that time, they must stop. Over the course of several weeks, they will establish the beginning ritual of the habit. Then they can increase the duration of the activity. Clear writes, “One of my readers used this strategy to lose over one hundred pounds. In the beginning, he went to the gym each day, but he told himself he wasn’t allowed to stay for more than five minutes. He would go to the gym, exercise for five minutes, and leave as soon as his time was up. After a few weeks, he looked around and thought, ‘Well, I’m always coming here anyway. I might as well start staying a little longer.’ A few years later, the weight was gone” (James Clear, Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones [New York: Penguin Publishing Group, 2018], 164–65).