Apologies in advance as I’m about to get all motivational speaker on you.
Although, really, I’d probably be the worst motivational speaker in the world as I’m morally opposed to women’s business suits and am notorious for having to take frequent bathroom breaks.
I randomly came into possession of a personal development CD entitled “How to Write a Book”. The whole thing felt slighty serendipitous as I actually am trying to write a book. On a recent long drive I popped the CD into my car’s stereo system, and started soaking up as much book writing knowledge as possible, while Scott rolled his eyes and asked if my self-help CD was going to involve chanting.
(Although it did suggest I listen to classical music while writing, which is almost as bad.)
Perhaps the most helpful nugget of information I gathered is this: If you write just one page a day, you will have written an entire book in just one year.
It’s so simple, but I’d never looked at my goal this way before. I assumed that to make real, significant progress, I would need to dedicate an hour a day to creating the book. When you consider the fact that I work full-time, teach group exercise, and write five blog posts a week, I’m sure it’s not all that surprising that I typically don’t have an hour to spare at the end of the day. And even if I do, I usually want to spend it eating sugary cereal as opposed to doing even more work.
So, the book kept putting pushed on the back burner.
But one page a day? That takes me about ten minutes. And ten minutes a day is definitely something I can handle.
This rule doesn’t just apply to writing books. No matter the goal, many of us never reach our full potential because we spend all of our time thinking about our dreams, but not actually working towards them. I once heard someone say that the easiest way to make your dreams a reality is to complete one task a day that puts you closer to your goal — even if it takes only five minutes.
Because five minutes adds up. If you commit to just five minutes a day for an entire year, you’ll have logged over thirty hours of “taking action”. Now, just think if you upped that to twenty minutes? (122 hours, if you’re curious.)
The key to chipping away at a major objective is to do it consistently, in small, manageable segments. You don’t have to slave away for hours at a time, you don’t have to quit your job and lock yourself in a room until you’ve finished, you don’t even have to adjust your daily schedule all that much.
You simply have to take small yet consistent action on a daily basis.
Did you know the average American spends nearly twenty minutes a day watching commercials? What if you used that time to take proactive, calculated steps towards something you find important? I guarantee you’ll be astounded at how much progress you’d make in a year.
The time has come to cut the crap. We need to quit saying we’re going to do something, quit thinking about doing something, quit dreaming about doing something. We need to get up off our lazy butts and actually do it. Even if “it” only takes five minutes.
I’d love to talk more, but this business suit is making me itchy, and I need to run to the bathroom anyway.
Clearly, I’ve been drinking way too much of the self-help Kool-Aid. Seriously — that stuff makes you have to pee, like, every fifteen minutes.