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How to change your life (in just 10 minutes a day)

Most of us have got something in our lives we want to change.

We want to change our diet, start an exercise regime, improve our working hours, our financial situation, spend more time with our kids. Maybe you just want to start taking less crap and being more assertive in the office?

Most of us have dreams of starting something new one day. Becoming the authority on a new subject, writing a book, developing a new skill, building a business, learning a new language, practising meditation, opening our own CrossFit box. Maybe you’re harbouring a burning desire for a complete career change? (Make a note of what springs to mind, we’ll come back to it later on).

These things can seem like a pretty big deal. They can seem unrealistic and unachievable. That they are going to take effort and time that you don’t have. In today’s fast paced word I’m sure you are already pretty busy, so why take on more? Why add more pressure?

Because unless you start, all of these dreams will remain just that – dreams. Until you take the first step, nothing changes. Nadda. Zip. Zero. Same old, same old, day after day.

Now, picture the future. A not too distant future where one of those dreams is a reality. Are you smiling?

Now imagine that you’ve just fulfilled a life time ambition. How awesome would that would make you feel? Are you beaming?

Great. Now WAKE UP.

All these things you dream of. You can do them. Yes – you. I’m talking directly to you.

You don’t need a grand master plan. You don’t need a crystal clear, fully worked through set of priorities. You don’t even need an app on your phone to help you (I know – shocking isn’t it). You just need to do something small each day.

Whoa – everyday?! That’s ridiculous – right?

Well, if you needed to commit 2 hours a day then yes that’s unrealistic. An hour? Yep, too much. 30 mins? Still too big an ask. But what if 10 minutes is enough? That dedicating just 10 minutes a day could kick start a significant change? That 10 minutes is sufficient to begin to make a dent in that thing you want to change, to start, to enhance your life?

Would that make you consider it? I hope so.

Over the last couple of years this practice has helped me achieve more than I could have imagined, so I can personally attest that IT WORKS!

I never thought I’d be able write a blog post a week for 18 weeks, let alone 18 months. I never thought I’d be able to come up with an idea for a book let alone write one (all be it a novice attempt). I never thought I’d be able to press, squat or bench my body weight. The point is not to show off (well – apart from the shoulder press part) 🙂 , the point is that lots of little things add up over time to become a big thing. With a full time job, a wife, 3 kids and 2 dogs life is busy! I’m sure you also struggle daily to get all the things done that you want to, and if you’re Iike me, you fail all the time.

We find a plethora of excuses to convince ourselves to put things off. We justify our procrastination even though it nags away at us. After all once we start we are hooked in and can’t ever stop, yes? NO. We need to remember that we can stop any time we want. But we can’t achieve anything without starting. [Tweet “You don’t achieve your dreams by chance, by luck, or by magic, you get them through hard work and persistence.”]

And yes eventually it may take more than 10 minutes at a time. For example when you think of starting a new business ultimately it could end up consuming your life to the point where you’d be lucky to find 10 minutes to take a crap. If you want to run a marathon, unless your name is Clark Kent and you occasionally wear your underpants over the top of your trousers this ain’t gonna happen in 10 minutes. But where to start? How to begin that journey? What’s the first step to achieving your dreams?

It’s as simple as taking 10 minutes and doing something.

  1. Don’t plan to spend 10 minutes on X, 10 minutes on Y, and another 10 on Z. This can cause confusion. Just pick one little bite size thing, do it and crack on with life with the knowledge that you did something towards your goals

  2. Need some ideas? Make a phone call. Write a few sentences. Start a mind map. Do some online research (but don’t get distracted by cat videos). Talk to someone who knows about it. Read a blog post about it. Get on the treadmill. Start to fill in an application form. Just do something!

  3. In the beginning, stick with it, take 10 minutes to do something small every damn day. Form a habit. The consistency will quickly inform whether it’s something you’re enjoying, something you continue to care about, something you are willing to spend more time on or something that you want to ditch

  4. Follow your instinct. Don’t over-analyse this process. What did you think of at the beginning of the post? What was the first thing that came to mind that you wanted to change or start? What ambition popped up into your psyche? Can you find 10 minutes today to do something small towards it? Your challenge (if you choose to accept it my friend) is to start now. To do this Today. To put it off no more. To take a small step toward something that was just a dream yesterday

  5. Where can you find this time? Spend less time on Facebook, put the newspaper down, play fewer games of angry birds, don’t watch those cat videos, get up earlier, use your commute time, attend 1 less meeting, dial in to 1 less conference call – IT’S ONLY 10 FLIPPING MINUTES! Think about yesterday – can you look yourself in the mirror and honestly tell yourself there wasn’t 10 minutes that you could have made for this?

A small investment of less than 1% of your day to start working towards a significant positive impact in your life? That’s got to be worth a punt…

So what could you spend 10 minutes on today? Now go do it!

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