Five Minute Actions

The Power of the Five-Minute Action

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 ridiculous. 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 article as an example. It was once on my “shortlist”, but it was not my “one thing.” Until the day it became the ONE THING I had to do. 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 some photographs to go with my blog post.

Before I knew it, I had chosen pictures that represented different aspects of taking a five-minute action. Then, I came up with several headings. I wrote my first paragraph. And an ending. Before long, I had written half the blog. All it took was committing to taking one five-minute action.



Movement rotation

How Five-Minute Actions Work in Training

I have used a variation on this idea with personal training clients, too. If you’re having trouble committing to doing an entire strength workout or going for an hour-long walk, commit to taking one 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 start warming 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 didn’t want to stop.

Try it, it really works.

Will Five-Minute Actions Work with Anything?

I challenge you to find something that does NOT have any five-minute actions associated with it.

Can you take five minutes to schedule an hour of quality time with your spouse or child? What about emailing a workout buddy who will help you stick to your 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 so 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. Remember, you’re not looking for perfect, you’re simply trying to move forward.