Using the Five Minute Rule to Achieve Your Fitness Goals

Photo by Bruno Nascimento on Unsplash

Do you have a fitness related goal that you’ve been meaning to get started with, but somehow, haven’t been able to make happen? A new goal is often very scary. It can seem messy and almost impossible when you don’t have all of the answers right now and a perfectly designed roadmap. Often times, it is this fear that keeps us from even starting whatever it is that we’ve been dreaming of doing. If you have a new goal that you’d like to start on the path toward achieving, but you’ve been afraid to do it, then you could try implementing The Five Minute Rule.

The Five Minute Rule is a strategy used by cognitive behavior therapists to help their patients overcome procrastination often caused by fear and anxiety. The premise is simply to start doing whatever it is that you want to do, but only agreeing to do it for five minutes and five minutes only the first time. Even if something seems scary and impossible, we can convince ourselves that we are strong enough to handle it for such a short amount of time, and once we’ve given it even that very small amount of time, we will have started to build up the confidence and motivation to do it again, but maybe next time it’ll be for 10 mins and then 20 mins...

As you read this, you may be asking yourself, “What can I possibly accomplish in five minutes?”

Well, let me first point out that this is the procrastinator within speaking, and then I would say, more than what you would have if you wouldn’t have committed any time to it at all.

Moreover, you will have taken your first step toward accomplishing your goal, which is actually a very tremendous amount. Besides, what do you have to lose? Five minutes? If you have a fitness related goal that you’ve been sitting on, give this a try and let me know how it works for you.

If you’d like to learn more about The Five Minute Rule, check out this article by Dr.
Bonoir in Psychology Today.