One of the most common excuses I hear from people when facing a needed or desired change is a (perceived) lack of time. Many of us believe the false narrative, for example, that in order to get in shape, we must work out an hour a day. We often get overwhelmed with the how before we even start and never begin, we try once or twice, feel like it’s too much and quit, or we sign up for a gym membership or a class that may not be an ideal fit, go once or twice, and then give up on exercise altogether. Does this sound familiar? We can apply these “reasons” to just about anything that we are striving to improve…diet, self-care, work habits, work-life balance, etc.

I have a patient that got a Peloton bike and never used it. When I asked her why, she expressed that she didn’t have the 20-30 minutes per day to commit to it, so I challenged her to get on it for 5 minutes a day and she did. She built endurance and excitement in those daily 5 minutes, now rides for at least 20 minutes a day, and has lost a lot of weight in 3 months.

Have you ever committed to a specific diet but on day 3, you eat something off-course, and then from there, you just abandon it altogether and go back to your prior eating habits?

Do you have some “all or nothing” practices and thinking in your life? This black-and-white thinking is a quick way to lead to procrastination, excuses, quitting, and never reaching your goals and desired outcomes.

So what do you do when you want and need change but it feels impossible?

What if I told you that all you need to make an impactful change in your own life is a consistent 5 minutes a day? One study discovered that if you’re 1% better every day of the year, you’d experience 40 times improvement by the end of the year. 40 times!

One way to be 1% better each day is to commit 5 minutes to yourself. My challenge to you is to commit 5 minutes to one of the following: exercise, diet, self-care, work habits, or work-life balance. Can you give 5 minutes a day for the next 90 days to one of those? I believe we all can!

What if you miss a day? I have more good news! Another study showed that when people did 1% better for 5 days a week and missed 6 weeks out of the year, they were still 10 times better than when they started. That’s still a huge improvement!

You don’t have to commit to extremes that do not fit within your lifestyle. 5 minutes is all it takes. I want you to write down your 5-minute, 90-day commitment, share it with us, and then check back in 90 days from now and let us know how it’s going!

Below are just a few ideas to incorporate your 5-minute, 1% changes…

Exercise – Take a 5-minute walk outside, do as many jumping jacks or push-ups as you can in 5 minutes, run up and down some stairs for 5 minutes, or stretch for 5 minutes

Diet – Select 5 foods that are not serving you and don’t eat them for a month. My suggestions…wheat, soy, corn, dairy, and refined sugar.

Self-care – High-five yourself in the mirror, write down your strengths and qualities, write a gratitude journal each day, and meditate.

Work habits – Spend 5 minutes before starting your work to visualize what you want to accomplish. Write your week’s goals and review them each day.

Work-life balance – Put your phone on silent and in another room as soon as you arrive home, charge your phone in a room separate from your bedroom, establish boundaries with your work, and keep them.

These are just starting points to give you ideas. We can’t wait to hear how your 1% changes your life!

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