Tuesday, December 24, 2013

10 Minutes

I have the words "Ten Minutes" on the chalkboard above my bed. These two simple words have changed the way I see myself and life in general. For years I've had big plans of things I'm going to do. Books I'm going to write. Weight I'm going to lose. Skills I'm going to learn. But I always seem to get overwhelmed by how much work it takes to actually achieve these goals. And I always say that if I can't dedicate myself fully to my goal, than it's not worth even trying to achieve anything. In short, I give up. Pretty quickly.

The "10 minutes" idea came into my life after I started learning guitar. My father recommended practicing at least 10 minutes per day. Mostly because my fingers had not developed the strength or calluses needed. But I started thinking about how 10 minutes per day didn't seem like much. I could do that. I can do anything for that amount of time and I know I have at least ten minutes that I could spend each day. Each day I play, at least 10 minutes and most of the time longer. I've also started writing at least 10 minutes per day. Often longer, but at least those few minutes.

And I've realized that breaking my goals into small manageable chunks makes all the difference for me. I don't feel odd about writing when I'm only doing 10 minutes. I don't get self-conscious and stop writing. I don't worry about if the writing is award winning. I just fill those 10 minutes and by the time they are over, I'm normally full tilt into something I've been meaning to write. I've been strength training for at least 10 minutes a day. Everyone can strength train for ten minutes. In fact everyone can dedicated ten minutes to almost anything.

Suddenly things don't seem so insurmountable. I feel like I can achieve all sorts of things, in just 10 minutes per day. And those are minutes that I always feel I have available to spend. If I told myself that I'd be writing for an hour, my mind would say that I don't have that kind of time. I'd talk myself out of it before I even started. But my brain never balks at 10 minutes. I have that kind of time. And using this one little trick, this one little thought, I'm starting to feel better about those goals. Suddenly I might be able to achieve things.

No comments: