Can five seconds change your habits?

By Jo Cordell-Cooper*

I RECENTLY returned from a weeklong intensive study of health and fitness coaching in Maroochydore as part of my ongoing personal and professional development.

It’s a place where personal trainers at the top of their game come together to learn the most cutting edge of techniques to assist people in moving forward in their health and fitness.

We gain insight and inspiration from each other, as well as come away with a few “must read” books.

My personal favourite is a written and auditory book titled, “The 5 Second Rule” by Mel Robbins. And it’s a life changer.

Mel Robbins stumbled across this technique after finding she was anxious, depressed and not really functioning well as a parent, partner or employee.

She was addicted to the snooze button and always running late – her kids were always late for school and she was procrastinating over just about everything including exercise and eating well.

It struck me as a worthy topic for an article.

Why do we put off for tomorrow something that enhances our health right now?

On every level, general exercise and healthy eating bring about immediate health benefits.

If this dilemma resonates with you, you’re going to love this book.

After seeing an ad on television late at night where she saw a rocket being launched into space with the traditional countdown – five, four, three, two, one, blast off – Ms Robbins decided then and there that’s how she would launch out of bed in the morning.

To her surprise it worked not only then, but with every other behaviour that she wanted to change.

Imagine if you were contemplating going to aqua aerobics and it just started to rain (I really do not know why attendance to my aqua boot camp is so low on rainy days).

Instead of sitting on the couch and turning on the television, you did your own launch – five, four, three, two, one, blast off – into the car and off to the pool.

Could it be that simple?

Mel Robbins has found that it is that simple and there’s a bunch of psychological theories around why it is that simple.

Ms Robbins now travels the world demonstrating how the five second rule works and how it can be applied to those who procrastinate or routinely talk themselves out of choosing healthy behaviours such as going for a walk.

It can be applied to many parts of our lives, but especially for the exercise procrastinator.

*Jo Cordell-Cooper is the owner of twice award winning Active Solutions and Health Network and founder of not-for-profit Tasmanian Iconic Walks. Contact via phone 0409 862 206 or email

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The Glenorchy Gazette is your monthly community newspaper, reaching over 24,000 homes and businesses in the Glenorchy municipality. It is the product of Nicolas Turner, Justine Brazil, Ben Hope, Simon Andrews, Tobias Hinds and guest contributors, with support from advertisers.

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