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In the Year 2020, Think Two and 20

It’s the secret formula to habit change.

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TWO MINUTES AND 20 seconds. They should be your targets if you’re trying to get a new habit — be it walking, meditating or even reading more business books — to take root in 2020. Two minutes is an acceptably low target for Day 1 to start building momentum with your new habit, says productivity writer James Clear in his book Atomic Habits. As for the 20 seconds, that’s the time you should aim to cut between your inert state (like being couch-bound) and actually doing something. “If you reduce the amount of activation energy required, tough things become easy. So make new habits 20 seconds easier to start,” says Shawn Achor, author of the bestseller Big Potential. Examples could include leaving a job ready to work on overnight, scheduling an internet blackout first thing in the morning, or conversely, to make a bad habit harder to fall into, taking the batteries out of the remote control.

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