Bill Gates is quoted as saying, “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.”
I love the new year. I love the fresh start and the feeling of limitless possibilities. It can be tempting to over shoot in our New Year resolutions. Charlie Munger was a friend and business partner of Warren Buffet, and had the theory that everyone should work for themselves for an hour a day. Instead of just investing time for other people or organizations, an hour a day should be set aside to create something for yourself. As a mom with 4 little kids at home and one about to be born (tomorrow!), I feel like an hour is a bit ambitious.
Maybe 5 minutes? Maybe 5 minutes total, because sometimes 5 consecutive minutes can be hard to come by. What if we didn’t attempt to change our whole life in one year? Instead we focus on starting a habit. We find 5 minutes a day to set a trajectory for our year. Will it get us to total victory by 2017? No, but we are laying ground work and building habits that will change our path. Let us not despise the small things.
How about we set goals so small we can’t fail? Goals that take 5 minutes or less a day. So to lower the bar even more (remember baby is coming tomorrow!), let’s just pick one. After a month or two of feeling victory after victory from achieving our tiny goals, we could add 1 more. Here a few that I already have and a few that I recently added just for some tiny goal inspiration.
Heath: drink 1 green smoothie a day. Now this isn’t to replace a meal, or at a certain time of day. I just have to add one at some point. Start to clean up I can make one in less than 5 minutes and even have a little smoothie station in my kitchen now to help me get going.
Fitness: 1 minute of exercise, 5x a day. I can never seem to find 5 uninterrupted minutes for this, so I try to carve out 60 seconds. I will do squats, lunges, bicep curls, jumping jacks, etc. for 1 min, then move on to what ever child crisis has occurred in the last minute. Because that is almost a guarantee.
Personal Finance: Use a budgeting app. I started using “Good Budget”, it’s free and I can log our daily transactions within 2 or 3 minutes. Add in another 1-2 min to remind my sweet hubby to add his and we are set.
Personal Growth: Read one blog post a day. There are a few blogs I like to follow, and each are really short. 2 minutes to read something thought provoking and challenging, 1 min to contemplate.
Reducing Stress: 1 minute of deep breathing up to 5x a day. My house can have a “full” feel to it. It’s small, busy and noisy. That 60 seconds is the difference in me acting like “crazy mom” and a slightly more mild response to toddler tantrums. Sometimes I hide in the bathroom to do this. Beings I’m 40 weeks pregnant, I have to pee all the time anyways. Mom multitasking right there.
What ever your big goals or plans are for 2016, the most important step is starting. 5 minutes might not get you 100% of the way there by next year, but your will have set a new trajectory that you can build on. Success builds on success. So set your wins small and as they start to pile up you will maintain the motivation way past February. Note: another app I have been enjoying is HabitBull. It’s also free and will let you track if you track up to 5 habits, plus it will take less than 5 min to set up for your new habit.