What if I told you that you could have everything you wanted? Would you believe me? If you’re like most people, you’d probably respond with skepticism or, at the very least, hesitation. But the concept I’m about to share with you in this article (as well as the proof to back my claim) will dispel any doubts you may have. I want to introduce you to The Two-Year Rule. At this point, you may be asking yourself…
What is the Two-Year Rule?
I want to share a personal story with you…
Prior to jumping on the self-improvement bandwagon, my primary aim in life was to be a rapper. Yes, a rapper. There was a time when I was occupying various venues throughout my city, performing for and entertaining audiences with rhymes and rhythms. I recorded hundreds of songs, performed hundreds of times for thousands of people, and I even owned a home recording studio.
However, the one aspect of rap that I wanted to master was the art of freestyling. For the uninitiated, freestyle rapping is the process of making raps up on the spot—no rehearsal or preparation—about things in the environment.
Putting in Your Reps
I made a commitment to practice the art of freestyle rap every day for a minimum of one hour. It didn’t matter if:
- I was sick as a dog
- Got laid off from work
- My girl left me
- An emergency came up
- I was exhausted, etc.
Every day, I got that one hour of practice time in, no matter what. This is what self-improvement author and speaker James Clear refers to as “Putting in your reps.” You can’t shortcut success.
You have to put the time in, and more often than not, the time is going to be boring, monotonous, and uninspiring.
There were certainly plenty of times I felt that way as I developed my freestyle abilities.
But I remained persistent. And soon, a new world began opening up to me. I noticed I was able to engage my audience in ways I hadn’t been able to do previously. Moreover, opportunities started coming out of the woodwork. I began performing at:
- School assemblies
- Summer camps for kids
- Charity events
- Birthday parties
- Nightclubs, etc.
The more I barrelled through and “put in my reps,” the more doors of opportunity opened up for me. And in two short years, my life had completely transformed. I didn’t do anything special here; I just decided what I wanted, put my head down, and went to work.
And that’s how you…
Force Life to Pay the Price Asked
Let me ask you a question…
And while you can argue why this is the case and throw around a bunch of statistics, one major reason stands head and shoulders above the rest for the average person’s lack of achievement: A lack of persistence. Persistence is how you force life to pay the price you’re asking for.
But the next obvious question is: How do you solve the problem of a lack of persistence? With the two-year rule.
What is the Two-Year Rule?
The two-year states that whatever your aim is, a minimum of two years of consistent effort is required to begin seeing desirable results. My Hip Hop story is a perfect example of the two-year rule in action.
And the crazy part is that’s only one example.
I have applied this principle to numerous areas of my life, getting similar results every time, like clockwork—it’s uncanny. Here are a few other examples where I applied the two-year rule in my life to great effect:
How the Two-Year Rule Changed My Life
- Health and fitness: I made the commitment to start exercising every day on December 30, 2020. This challenge set the foundation for me to run marathons, start training in martial arts (Brazilian jiu-jitsu), and in only two short years’ time, I got in the best shape of my life.
- Brazilian jiu-jitsu: I began training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu on July 7, 2021. And after two years of consistent training, I traveled throughout Asia, training at some of the world’s best martial arts academies, earned my BJJ blue belt, and even started teaching at my local gym when I returned to Canada from my training in Asia!
- Dating: I grew up as a clueless wonder when it came to women, dating, and relationships. However, when I was 19, I decided to fix this part of my life. So I hit the streets to overcome my fear of women by approaching them whenever and wherever I could. And after two years of consistent effort, I landed my first girlfriend. We dated for a year and a half, and I still, to this day, see that experience as the starting point of my self-improvement journey.
- Writing: In April 2019, I started a journaling practice. At the end of each day, I would sit down and write out my thoughts. I didn’t think much of it at the time. However, that simple journaling habit led to me starting my first self-improvement blog, writing my first book, and eventually transpired into a very fulfilling writing career that I still enjoy to this day. And the timeframe of this transformation? You guessed it, only two years.
How Does The Two-Year Rule Work?
Think about what you want to improve; if you could fix one thing about your life (career, income, health and fitness, etc.), what would it be? Once you’ve decided, you now need a new discipline, a habit you can begin practicing every day. The power of the two-year rule lies in consistency.
With this being the case, the habit in question must be something that’s both easy and sustainable. You will quit before seeing any favorable results if it doesn’t meet these criteria.
- Want to become more self-aware? Start a journaling practice and write for 5 minutes every day.
- Feel like you need to become better with money? Read/learn/study personal finance every day.
- Trying to improve your social skills? Make it a habit to meet and interact with at least one new person every day.
Once you choose the aim and the practice, you then need to take action—every single day.
There is Power in Consistency
Consistency is the key to applying this principle successfully. As a result, It’s crucial to develop the habit of showing up every day. In fact, consistency is the backbone of goal achievement. For this reason, nothing will ever take the place of the self-effort required to move the needle on any goal in your life.
Here are a few things you can do to help develop more consistency:
- Find an accountability partner: It’s much easier to follow through when you have someone else to answer to other than yourself.
- Download a habit tracker: Habit trackers are excellent options for keeping pace with the new habits you’d like to develop toward the accomplishment of your goals.
- Use a to-do list: Don’t underestimate the power of simply writing down your daily objectives. This simple practice is responsible for my strength of consistency and self-discipline.
Why Most People Will Fail With the Two-Rule
The sad reality is most will not make it two years—or any substantial length of time toward their goals for that matter—because they lack the essential quality I mentioned earlier… persistence. The key attribute for success in any endeavour is persistence. And that’s what the two-year rule is designed to help you with: develop persistence.
Here’s the hard truth…
If you can’t remain persistent toward your goals for as long as it takes to achieve them (which in many cases will be years), then you don’t deserve to have those goals. Plain and simple.
Life has a strange way of holding onto the things of value. And only gives them up to the people who deserve them from their constant and unrelenting persistence. And the two-year rule is how you facilitate that.
What’s Next? Use the Two-Year Rule to Achieve Your Goals
It is my belief that we can have anything IF we’re willing to pay the price. There’s no such thing as something for nothing. So if you decide you’re truly going to commit yourself to your goals, there’s hardly anything (except a lack of persistence) that can get in your way. And that’s where the two-year rule will come to your aid.
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