Have you ever started a new, healthier diet with great enthusiasm, only to find yourself back to your old eating habits within a few weeks? Or maybe you want to exercise thirty minutes a day. You really want to do it, but somehow you never get started. Change, including healthy lifestyle changes, can be difficult. With the Ten Minute Rule, you can meet your healthy lifestyle goals, ten minutes at a time.
Why Do We Struggle With Our Health Goals?
Getting started can be the hardest part of accomplishing a fitness goal. If you think about it, fitness goals – getting regular exercise and eating healthy foods – require us to start over and over again. Walking thirty minutes once won’t accomplish much for your health, nor will eating one salad or one apple. We have to re-commit to our health goals every day, and that regular commitment is what many of us struggle with.
We tend to put off tasks that require physical or emotional effort, and fitness goals require both. Worse, our brains tend to exaggerate negative aspects of a task, or even turn positives into negatives. We can turn a pleasant event, like a walk in a park, into a negative. We can convince ourselves we’re too tired to walk, or that it is too cold, or too hot or . . . you get the idea.
Whether you’ve committed to eating more vegetables or you want to start your day with a yoga routine, meeting your health goals takes effort. The rewards of a healthy lifestyle far outweigh any temporary discomfort, of course, but try telling your brain that.
Make A Small Commitment With The Ten Minute Rule
With the Ten Minute Rule, you commit to an action that you’ve been avoiding – a walk around your neighborhood, for instance – for just ten minutes. You might not be able to imagine exercising for an hour, but committing to ten minutes, with a promise to stop after ten minutes if you really want to, is . . . doable. You can walk or run or do yoga for just ten minutes, or you can take ten minutes to cut up some vegetables for a snack or make tomorrow’s lunch.
The really great news is, once you get started, you’ll usually keep going for longer than ten minutes. The yoga routine that seemed like too much effort while you were lying in bed looking at your alarm clock, for example, actually feels great once you start doing it. Making this small, manageable commitment to yourself helps you start – and that’s the most important step.
If you’re struggling with your fitness goals, give the Ten Minute Rule a try. And, for those days when even ten minutes seems like too much, try committing to eight or five or even three minutes – whatever it takes to get you moving. Those minutes will add up. For more about meeting your fitness goals, see our article on making healthy lifestyle changes that last. Good luck!