“Ten minutes a day can write a book”
This was the soundest piece of advice I have ever received; without it I would not be a published author. I spent many frustrated years of my life complaining and making excuses about not having enough time to do all the things I wanted to do. (If that sounds like you, check out my latest piece in the Journal.ie). There was always so much I wanted to do, so much latent potential, so much I knew I could achieve, Why couldn’t I get started?
One day many years ago I visited a friend, she sat and listened to my frustrations and complaints and then shrugged her shoulders and said, “Ciara, ten minutes a day can write a book”. These words sparked a fire that has never gone out.
I now write daily, writing has become part of my life and part of who I am. The more I write the better I get. I don’t always write for just ten minutes, when I wrote my book, there were times when I spent hours writing. But it was the ten minute concept that got me started and definitely what kept me going.
When you stand at the starting line with the plan to write a book it can be very daunting, a huge project, where to begin, how to begin? Begin with just ten minutes and you will no longer be overwhelmed. Everyone can find ten minutes in their day, hell even I could stop moving and thinking and planning for ten minutes to write.
What could you achieve in ten minutes?
What one things would you like to bring into your life right now that would make it better? happier? more fun? calmer?
Maybe you would like to start writing or meditating. Is it time for you to start exercising? Have you been talking forever about learning guitar or piano, art or gardening? I’m sure there is something you would like to do more of if you only had the time?
If you start a regular habit of ten minutes, this won’t put too much pressure on you to start and it is more likely that you will continue.
The Ten Minute Rule
Follow these five tips to increase your chances of success
1. Plan the time
Try to do it at the same time each day. Don’t just expect to fit it in somewhere, life doesn’t work like that. If you do it every morning before breakfast or every day at lunch time you are more likely to do it everyday. If you leave it up to fate you will find yourself disappointed at the end of the week when you haven’t managed to fit in your new habit as expected.
2. Use a Trigger
Psychologists recommend using a trigger when it comes to forming new habits. A trigger is something you do right before you do your new habit. It could be making a coffee before you sit down to write or drinking water before meditating, whatever the habit, create a trigger which will help your body and your brain to ease into the habit.
3. Don’t plan to do more than 10 minutes
Sometimes we get over enthusiastic and we jump head first into creating a new habit, we are impatient and want to do it all now, so we head out for a 30 minute run or we write for an hour non stop and then the next day we tell ourselves we must do the same. Roll on day 4, you are exhausted and time deficient. You are more likely to simply opt out, rather than only do ten minutes. Stick to the ten minutes for a least a week before increasing the time. Or if you are determined to do more, commit to at least doing the ten minutes even on the days you don’t feel like it.
4. Record your Progress
Have a calendar or chart where you can mark off the days you have completed. It will help to encourage your through the difficult days. Each week you will see how great it feels to have completed another week.
5. Acknowledge and Celebrate
And when you have ticked it off on the chart, make sure you acknowledge what an achievement this is, you have stuck with it, you have created a new habit and are probably well on your way to a more successful you. And now comes the fun bit; time to celebrate your aaaaamazing achievement. Treat yourself to something nice and continue on your road to success.
Photo credit: Procrastination II by sixteen05design
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