Ever look at those early risers and ask yourself WTF? How are they so motivated in the morning? Or see those people achieving so much in their lives, and think must be nice to have such luck! Or see an athlete achieve world records, and think, they must have amazing genes?
I sure have had thoughts like that… A LOT in my life. I explained away all of my possibilities by putting other people up on a pedestal. Told myself I don’t feel motivated. I don’t have such luck. Or must be nice to have good genes. Every time I had a thought like that, I gave myself an excuse to stay stuck in a rut, to quit, to lower my own expectation of myself.
The thing is though, deep down inside I didn’t want to quit. I actually really wanted more out of life. I wanted to set bigger goals and actually achieve them. So, after quitting on one goal, I’d set another one, only to repeat the negative talk about myself and to find all the reasons why others could achieve things and I couldn’t. It was a vicious circle.
Along the way, I read a TON of personal growth and development books. Went to see people like Tony Robins live and in person. I even started therapy, hoping a therapist could fix me, tell me some magical secret that would blow my mind and immediately have my motivation return - to stay, trigger a dormant “good gene.” Or wave a magical “better luck” wand. I journaled. I made vision boards. I did so many things, but still I felt stuck, thought ythat everyone else was better at staying motivated, and just all around had better luck then me.
One thing I did right, was I never fully quit on myself. I fell down a million times. I quit specific goals along the way, but I always tried and tried again.
Along the way I had heard a few times, that motivation is not a permanent resource. Everyone loses motivation. Discipline is the key to success. Athletes, successful business people, goal achievers, the thing that sets them ahead is Discipline. They do what needs to be done every day, even when they don’t want to. That’s what sets them apart. This concept made sense to me, but I could never figure out how people become disciplined? How do you create a habit of discipline vs a habit of giving up when you don’t feel like it? Maybe disciplined people have a special gene?
Then along came the 10-minute rule…
Can you say game changer?
The hardest part of any task (that you don’t have the motivation or desire to do) is getting started. Am I right? You know you should go for a walk. You promised yourself that this was the year you were going to read more. Heck this was the year you were going to do all the things you said you were going to do, for the last 10 years. But ugh….. it’s cold outside. You don’t feel like reading. You’re tired and just want to go to sleep. You will 100% do that task tomorrow… you promise!!! (Yep, I’ve promised myself a million things that I have failed to do.)
Well here comes the game changer, 10-minute rule. Every time you hear yourself say, I don’t want to, or I should but; Set a timer for 10 minutes. Then do said task for 10 minutes. Just 10 minutes. Then after 10 minutes if you still really don’t want to do it, you can quit. No guilt. No problem. Commit to 10 minutes and see what happens.
The cool thing is, it’s that action of 10 minutes that will create the energy to keep going. The action is what creates motivation. Motivation doesn’t create the action.
Ask any runner, what is usually the hardest part of a run? Most will say the first mile. It’s after the first mile that they find their groove. The legs loosen up, the lungs settle down, the mind stops saying no, and before they know it, they’re ½ way through the run.
I’ve heard writers say, they key to writing a book is to write every day. Most will say that the first few minutes of writing is junk. But once they are writing for a few minutes, the story starts to fall out onto the page. They discover stories they didn’t even know they had in them. Stories that may never had come out, if they hadn’t sat down and just stated writing.
I heard about this amazing 10 minute rule, while in a vision board workshop, at the beginning of another new year and my mind was actually blown! I’ve been implementing it as often as I can, and it’s truly been a game changer. This blog would still be unwritten, if not for implementing the 10-minute rule.
I challenge you to try it out for yourself. I find too often we set big, lofty, scary goals, and then when we don’t achieve it right away, or we aren’t striving for it with perfection, we quit. As soon as the motivation falls the to the side (and it always does) we give up. The great thing about the 10-minute rule, is nowhere does it say 10 minutes of perfection, or 10 minutes of pure joy, or 10 minutes of utter happiness. It just says 10 minutes. The motivation, joy, and success actually come after the 10 minutes. But the 1st victory in achieving anything, is 10 minutes. Celebrate it! Even if you decide to quit after 10 minutes, celebrate the fact that you showed up for 10 minutes. Give yourself the grace and love that you deserve. Anyone can do anything for 10 minutes!
So, as it turns out, it is not motivation, luck, or good genes, that will get you to your goal. It really is that scary word discipline. But it also turns out that disciple doesn’t have to equal scary, it can actually equal freedom. And developing discipline is as easy as a 10-minute commitment. Take the pressure off of yourself to be perfect. Don’t stress about not having enough time. Take a deep breath, tune in to yourself, see what it is you want, and what it is that you’re avoiding. Then implement the 10-minute rule each time you don’t want to do something and watch yourself move towards that elusive goal you have in your life.