Want to get better at something? All you need is 20-seconds.
In order to get what we want, we need to create change. Ostensibly we think that change requires willpower. Willpower is necessary, but according to author Shawn Achor, "Willpower is a finite resource and can’t be relied on." In his book The Happiness Advantage, he discusses the 20-second rule, "I like to refer to this as the 20-Second Rule, because lowering the barrier to change by just 20 seconds was all it took to help me form a new life habit. In truth, it often takes more than 20 seconds to make a difference-and sometimes it can take much less-but the strategy itself is universally applicable: Lower the activation energy for habits you want to adopt, and raise it for habits you want to avoid. The more we can lower or even eliminate the activation energy for our desired actions, the more we enhance our ability to jump-start positive change."
What he is talking about is being deliberate in order to create a habit. Understanding that change is a function of motivation, willpower and action, we can use the 20-second rule to create deliberate action in order to become better martial artists.
Momentum is the mother of change. The 20-second rule is just a way of using this idea of "low activation" to kick start momentum. In order to use it, just add a small deliberate step in the beginning to activate you. Then once you've started it is easier to keep going and thus success is easier to achieve.
I use the 20-second rule all the time. When I get off work, the last thing I want to do is go to Yoga class. So I trick myself by saying, "I will just drive by and if there is a parking spot, I will stop." When I get there, regardless if there is a spot or not, I think, "Well I am here" and end up just going in.