How To Change Your Life One Minute at a Time
This isn’t rocket science. I am not a scientist. I can’t help you if you are unwilling to be helped. But what I can tell you is that you can change your life one minute at a time. It’s not hard. I did it. I promise you that you can too.
This simple plan is made up of bits and pieces from four books I absolutely love:
- The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM) by Hal Elrod
- The Slight Edge (Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness) by Jeff Olson
- Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear
- The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy
I didn’t go back and reference any of the books when I wrote this. This is not traditionally “backed by science” in the way that everything pretends it to be. It’s my own plan, based on reading, as well as tons of trial and error, that changed my life several years ago.
One Minute at a Time
This is all you have to commit to. Tell me how much time you have each day that is absolutely free. Ten minutes? Great. That gives you the chance to start ten new activities that you’d like to do in 2021. Ten minutes. Ten activities. This is not that hard. You can commit to ten minutes if it would change your life, right?
Make a list of ten new things you want to add to your day in 2021. When I started this, I added simple activities that I didn’t feel like I was doing enough of, such as — meditation, reading, writing, walking, strength training, learning a language, taking a Masterclass, yoga, core work, etc. I just wanted to make sure I did them every day. You do have ten things you would like to add to your life, right? We all do. They don’t have to be simple.
Today, or tomorrow if you are reading this late at night, set aside the same amount of minutes as the number of activities you chose. You can start smaller, with five. But you should really have five at a minimum. Block the time and make sure you only allow your phone in for its use a timer.
Set yourself up so that you have what you need to do each activity on your list. Schedule each activity for one minute on that first day and stop doing the chosen activity right at one minute in the beginning. Set the timer for one minute and start.
- One minute of meditation. Find an app or something on YouTube that has a one-minute guided meditation. Or just sit in silence for one minute and breath. Right when it’s over, grab your next activity and start the timer again.
- One minute of reading. I know this sounds crazy. How far can you get in one minute? That’s not the point. Just read for one minute and then stop. Switch.
- One minute of journaling. Write down a thought spiral, something you are grateful for, rant, purge, love the page, but either way, write with your hands for just one minute straight. Stop. Switch.
- One minute of exercise. Walk downstairs and back upstairs. Do thirty seconds of pushups and thirty seconds of crunches. Do jumping jacks. Anyone can exercise for one minute if they are physically capable in some way. Stop. Switch.
- One minute of yoga. Don’t know how to do yoga? One minute will not hurt you. Start a session and pick it up again tomorrow. But start it today. Stop. Switch.
- One minute of learning a language on Duolingo or some other app. You won’t get far in one minute, but you are feeding your mind with all that it can handle in a short amount of time. Diversity of thought breeds better days. Stop. Switch.
- One minute of drawing. No matter how good or bad you think you are. Doodle. Draw. Scribble. Pick up where you left off tomorrow. Watch what it can become. Stop. Switch.
Do you get the picture? This is not hard. Absolutely anyone can do this. The idea is to start small and not overwhelm yourself like so often we do with New Year’s Resolutions. It’s just five minutes. Or ten minutes. To start.
Consistency and Adjustment
The only thing that matters is that you mark off this minuscule amount of time each day and do your chosen activities. One minute at a time. Your consistency will create several enhancements to your life over time.
By doing these activities in short bursts, you will begin to see which ones you want to do more of. Can you handle two minutes of exercise tomorrow? Did you like the book so much that you’d like to do five minutes of reading tomorrow? Block the time.
You can also decide which activities aren’t doing it for you, but don’t let that be exercise. Our bodies need to move, even if for a minute. If you chose origami and you just can’t get it to work, maybe try it for more time and if it’s still a no, exchange it or upgrade your time with something else.
You may start with ten activities in ten minutes and then transition to five activities in twenty minutes, four minutes each. And on those days where you barely have time to breathe, you still have five to ten minutes. Everybody does. Lock yourself in the bathroom if you have to. Pretend you are showering. Just block the time and be consistent.
I want you to commit a minimum of ten one-minute days to each activity before pitching it, but it’s always up to you. Work in an audiobook. A DIY house project on YouTube. You will be surprised at how much you want to continue many of these activities once you start doing them every day, even if only for a minute.
The best way to keep this going is to do your routine at the same time every day. If you can’t, you can adjust, but the consistency of your timing plays a role in how your mind and body create daily expectations. When I started this, I woke up before everyone else and did it on my own time.
When I say routine, this isn’t another morning routine post. This is personal growth, one minute at a time. If you make it a chore, you are intentionally sabotaging yourself. If someone told you that you could change your life in one-minute increments, in five to ten minutes a day, why wouldn’t you try it?
Too often people think that they don’t have enough time to accomplish anything because they feel that their timing has to be wide open. Like an hour to work out. An hour to read. Large time commitments are a black hole because once something encroaches on that block, we opt out with the excuse, well, now I don’t have enough time. You have ten minutes. We all do.
Small Increments, Big Results
You don’t have to scale this up to an hour a day to be successful. You can stay at ten minutes the whole year. Say you stay at ten activities and ten minutes a day for the whole year. Would you accomplish more than you did last year in ten different areas where you wanted to grow or learn?
Stop creating goals that you know you won’t reach. Most people are not going to want to run five miles every day, especially if you don’t like running. But what if you hate running and committed to running for one minute a day? Start small. Build momentum. Create results.
Over time, you will want to add more time to several activities. And chances are that the value you get out of the activities you choose to do will begin to add positive energy to your life. This isn’t rocket science. This isn’t hard. You can do it. You just have to do it in small increments.
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