The 2-Day Rule: Building Better Habits with Consistency

When we start something new, we usually start with great intensity. We show up every day and try to get to the end as quickly as possible. After a while, we inevitably miss a day. We get sick, are tired, or are unable to show up. After a missed day, it’ll be harder to get back. This is where most people’s dreams die. To avoid this, you need the 2-day rule.

Let’s have a look at the 2-day rule, its benefits, and how you can use it to build better habits.

A sum up of a post about the 2-day rule. The sum up includes the rule, the benefits, and how to apply it
The 2-day rule

What is the 2-day rule?

The 2-day rule is a simple guideline to help you build better habits. The rule is: Never skip 2 days in a row of a habit that you’re trying to change. It urges you to show up even when you’re tired or not feeling it. The only exceptions to the rule are when you’re sick, or other activities make it impossible.

The rule focuses on consistency and not intensity. This means that you can reduce the intensity or duration of your habit on days when you are tired or extra busy. This might look like:

  • Run 10 minutes instead of 60 minutes
  • Read 1 page instead of a chapter
  • Write on sentence instead of one page

It doesn’t matter how much you do, but that you do something. That’s the point of the rule.

Related: How to increase consistency with the 5-minute rule

Why the 2-day rule is great for changing habits

The 2-day rule is great for changing habits and creating progress. There are several benefits to following the rule. Here is the 3 most important.

Consistency is key

Consistency is key to any great change in life. Whether it’s changing habits, getting in shape, starting a business, or becoming a top student, it’s all down to showing up consistently and doing the work. Intensity does have its place in achieving great things. But it’s useless if you can’t do it regularly.

You probably won’t lose weight by eating in a calorie deficit and working out once a week if you eat like shit the other 6 days. And the same goes for anything else. Consistency is key to any change.

Small wins

A small win is the feeling you get when you do something small that aligns with your intentions and identity. You’ll get a consistent stream of small wins when you show up consistently. These victories can build confidence, motivation, and, if you accumulate enough, the feeling of being unstoppable.

Helps you see excuses for what they are

Most people have an excuse for almost anything. They tell themselves they’re too tired, busy, unable, or lack the right environment to do the things they dream about doing. But do you know what 99% of this is? Excuses. These excuses are what stand between them and what they want to do.

With the 2-rule day, you’ll find a way to work around the excuses. It’ll help you realize that there always is a way to do what you have to, no matter how difficult it might look. The more you practice this, the less value excuses will hold.

How to apply the 2-day rule to building habits

The 2-day rule is simple yet effective for building better habits. Here are 4 things you can do to ensure a positive outcome.

Make sure that you don’t miss twice

The first thing is quite simple but can’t be avoided. Make sure that you never miss your habit 2 days in a row. Don’t let one missed day destroy your progress.

Related: What happens when you miss a day?

Ask yourself why you missed a day

Often when we miss a day, we have an obvious answer. We were tired, sore, didn’t have time, or something else. We look at this at a surface level and accept it. While missing an occasional day isn’t a reason for concern, consistently doing it is.

When you consistently miss a day for the same reason, it’s time to look at what’s behind it. You might have been tired but why? Did you sleep enough? Did you have time to recover? Are you trying to do too much?

When you do this, you can understand what’s behind the reason for the inconsistency. When you understand this, you can adjust and improve your plan.

Use keystone habits

Keystone habits create a ripple effect to other habits in your life. When you develop one of these, you’ll automatically begin to break or form other behaviors to support the keystone habit. This makes them the driving factor behind significant personal growth.

Related: The best habits for self-improvement

Remember consistency beats intensity

The purpose of the 2-day rule is to be consistent. It doesn’t matter how much you do. All you have to do is show up. As this gets easier, you can begin to consider the intensity.

Related: Stay consistent with the 2-minute rule

Finishing thoughts

The 2-day rule is an effective yet simple rule that can help you create better habits. The rule is: Never skip two days in a row.

The rule helps you create consistency. This is crucial for changing habits, getting in shape, starting a business, or anything else you can dream about in life.

Remember, consistency beats intensity.

What to read about next:


How to build good habits

How to break bad habits