How much can 5 minutes a day affect you?
After all, when you scroll on the social media feed, half an hour could easily have passed and you’d still be scrolling. While you’re on the couch after a long tiring day, 5 minutes will feel too short to relax. When you are engrossed in your work or an interesting book, 5 minutes would have easily flown by.
However, there are many things that could happen in 5 minutes too. It could change a person’s life. It feels longer than usual when you are rushing for time. And, it is definitely more precious when you are spending it with someone you care about or doing something that matter to you.
5 minutes a day could help you achieve your goal and change your life.
If you have been thinking about getting started in something but feels too daunting to get started, be it learning a new language, starting to paint or even your new business:
Start with 5 minutes a day.
There may not be much that we can do with just 5 minutes in a day, but it need not be a huge task.
In fact, the action could be so small that it’s so easy to do and feels silly to not do.
A new word a day takes less than three minutes to read and understand.
A stroke of the paintbrush takes less than a second.
Registering for a new website takes less than five minutes.
Over a period of time, you would have compiled and consolidated so many little tasks that they come together into picture as a milestone.
The Key Is In Breaking Resistance and Taking Actions
It’s easy to think that we can fork out 5 minutes a day, until we actually try to do it.
We could easily waste 30 minutes before starting on the 5 minutes trying to get the environment and feelings right to get started.
If you are someone who has been trying to make some changes in your life, you may find yourself experiencing resistances more than ever. Whenever you want to get started, there would always be distractions, on top of excuses and justifications internally. This is because taking the first step is always hard.
And also, because it is hard to break the momentum of not taking action.
Just like someone who wants to start running after a long hiatus or for the first time, the temptation of the comfort of not doing anything. Sitting on the couch resting with interesting TV programs running is much comfortable as compared to having to do something else. For instance, leaving the couch, putting on shoes, going out of the door, getting to the training ground and breaking into sweat with the hard work)
However, you may realize that once you have taken the first mini-step, the second and the following steps will become more manageable and easier with time and practice. When practised long enough, these actions will turn into long term habits.
How to Break Resistance
One way to break the resistance is to not let yourself stop and think or decide. Maintain the flow of action and not allow yourself to slow down to contemplate whether to do or not. For instance, in the case of starting to run again, you could choose to head straight to the gym after school or work and not home. You can choose to change into your running gear the moment you reach home and head straight out when you are changed, thereby avoiding sitting down altogether or giving yourself the opportunity to say no to what you have set out to do. The continuum flow of action allows you to transition from one step to another without having to decide or go through any thought process that might jeopardise your progress.
Instead of sitting and thinking about how humongous and impossible a task can get, why not just get into action and get something out of that 5 minutes of action taking each day?
Actions equal progress. Without actions and progress, you are not going anywhere; you’d still be where you are when you look back. If you have a goal and really want to achieve results, taking action. No matter how small your action is, it will still propel you forward towards your goal and away from your current status.
The more actions you take, the further you’ll be from where you start.
Where can you find 5 minutes from your busy schedule?
If you commute by public transport to work, you can easily have many blocks of 5 minutes instead of checking social media feeds.
If you have a few minutes to spare before bedtime, 5 minutes is easy to spare before you wind down for the night.
How about waking up five minutes earlier to do what you wanted to?
We can easily have pockets of 5 minutes in our lives, but the more important concern is how much do you want to do what you have set out to do.
More importantly, you must know why you want to achieve the goal that you set.
If you find yourself still trying to put off getting started or serious lack of motivation to do anything, it might be a better idea to look into why you want yourself to do that action in the first place.
More often than not, when you are honest and clear about what you want, taking action is just like second nature to you. Deep inside, you know you want it and you know you need to take action to get to where you want to be.
If it is an expectation of yourself or from others to be of certain standard or to achieve certain goals, it wouldn’t take long to resistance to seep back in again.
Unless it is something that you want for yourself, no amount of reward or incentive would be able to motivate you to take action. Understand why you want to achieve that goal or do certain things in life.
If you are clear about what you want to achieve, then go all out for it. At least start with the mini-steps with the 5 minutes that you have allocated each day. You have to have faith and believe that you can achieve what you set out to do.
As your experience and expertise build up, you may find yourself allocating more than 5 minutes of your time each day to make space for that you truly appreciate and enjoy doing.
It is generally not surprising to see actions turning into habits and eventually being incorporated into one’s lifestyle when done long enough.
Would you want to miss out the opportunity to achieve something bigger and better for yourself because you didn’t give yourself the 5 minutes you could easily fork out?
I would assume no.
Actions You Can Take Today
Look at where you can spare 5 minutes of your time.
List down the smallest action that you can take today and tomorrow.
Commit to yourself that you will take that action, and the next the following day.
Give 5 minutes each day a try this week and see how this works for you.