One of my projects this year is to complete a certificate course through Precision Nutrition focused on rest, recovery, and resilience. Such a course couldn’t come at a better time. Hopefully, it will be chock full of wonderful nuggets to share with my loyal readers. The idea of taking some five minute actions to get yourself moving perfectly matches the other ideas I’ve introduced over the last month.
Tips for Getting Unstuck: a Review
To review, on New Year’s Day, I wrote about keeping it simple and good enough (kisage). By doing so, we give ourselves permission to make mistakes, to develop a growth mindset, and to eliminate the need to do things perfectly.
Right before Christmas, I shared the importance of finding joy in the smallest of pleasures. We can get so busy that we take things for granted. By slowing down, we can appreciate the small things that bring us great joy. After all, we remember moments, not days.
And a month ago, on December 8, I described how to focus on doing one thing to get unstuck. That way, you can keep in mind your highest priority for the day, even if it changes from one day to the next. It helps us avoid overwhelm and prevents us from getting mired in long to-do lists.
The Idea Behind Five Minute Actions
How can taking a five-minute action help? It creates a tiny bit of positive momentum that helps you get unstuck. You’re probably thinking, “But clutter busting my house will take weeks, maybe even months.” Or maybe, “That’s insane. I can’t prepare to climb Mt. Rainier in five minutes.” And trust me, I’ve said it myself: “There’s no way I can even think about writing a book in five minutes.”
I hear you.
BUT… what five-minute action COULD you take that will get you one step closer to your goal?
Let’s use this week’s blog post as an example. I started thinking about it several days ago. It was on my “shortlist” yesterday, but it was not my “one thing.” Today, it was my ONE THING. Yet, I still couldn’t get started.
Finally, I reminded myself to pick a five minute task. It could be anything. I chose to look for a few photographs to go with my post.
Before I knew it, I had chosen six pictures that represented different aspects of taking a five minute action. Then, I wrote my first paragraph. I came up with some headings. Before long, I had half the blog. And all it took was committing to taking one five-minute action.
How Five Minute Actions Work in Fitness
I have used a variation on this idea with my Body Results clients, too. If you’re having trouble committing to doing an entire strength workout or going for an hour-long walk, commit to taking a five minute action.
Set out your workout clothes. Fill your water bottle with ice. Call a friend to meet you at the trailhead. Walk to the mailbox. Show up at the gym and get warmed up. By setting your intention and just starting, you overcome inertia and create positive momentum.
You can even promise yourself, “If I’m not feeling it after five minutes, I can stop.” Nine times out of ten, by the end of five minutes, you’ll keep going since you’ve already started. Similarly, with the example of working on my blog post, after five minutes I couldn’t just stop. Try it, it really works.
Will Five Minute Actions Work with Anything?
I challenge my readers to find something that does NOT have any five-minute actions associated with it. Your homework, should you care to participate, is to find a goal that is important to you and figure out several steps you need to take to get it done.
Can you take five minutes to schedule an hour for quality time with your spouse or child? What about emailing an accountability partner who will help you stick to your workout goals? Could you commit one five minute block of time, every single day, to work on your manuscript? Would it help to have a guide service send you information about a climb that you could post on your fridge or at your desk for motivation?
Anyone can find five minutes. The key is to do this consistently. Move forward, even if it’s just a small five minute action every day. They accumulate, and sometimes they grow into larger blocks of time. Before you know it, you’ll have made a sizable dent.
If you are unable to break your goal down into smaller steps, post a question on my blog and I’ll help you figure out what step you need to take to get some momentum. Remember, you’re not looking for perfect, you’re trying to get unstuck. The blog post is complete, and all it took was starting with a five-minute action.