Five Minutes To Power Up Your Life

Are you short on time?  If you’re like me and most people, there is not enough time in a day to do it all.  If I had more time (or the energy to stay up all night), I could do it all and finally feel at peace that my plate is not permanently overflowing.  With extra time, I’d do it all: work out, get fit, eat healthier, keep up with filing, play with my kids, and so on.

But if time wouldn’t stretch out, then it was time to look at it from a different perspective.  I couldn’t beat it, but could I use it differently, using minutes I’d have spent doing mindless stuff, like checking social media?  I realized that mindless stuff ate away a lot of minutes through each day.  So, could I use a few of those minutes for something that mattered, that I truly wanted in my life?

My a-ha moment: I could use 5 minutes here and there and do something that mattered instead of parking it “until I had time”.  So I started listing simple things I never had time for, things I could squeeze in 5 minutes, and realized what an impact this could have on my life.  This is what I want to share with you today: 5 minutes to get to something that you want in your life, instead of postponing it until later.  Let’s get started.

Fit in 5 minutes?  The power of a mini workout.  Stand up and do slow squats for the next 5 minutes.  Aim for 5 seconds down, until you almost sit, and 5 seconds to fully standing up, about 6 squats a minute.  Do as many as you can, keeping them slow.  After 5 minutes, you’ve done about 30 squats, a significant dent in your “someday” exercise routine.  You’ve strengthened your legs and hips, and doing this a couple of times a week, just 5 minutes?  You are working out and getting fitter.  That’s the power 5 minutes can have on your life, right now, and every day.  Now choose your 5 minutes today: how will you use them?

Take 5: identify some of the things you’ve been putting aside and that you can do in five minutes or less.  Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Fitter in 5 minutes: do squats, push-ups, jumping jacks or jumping up and down (way harder and more efficient that you might think!).  Powerful.  And yes, fitness-wise, it counts.
  • Calmer in 5 minutes: stand tall, close your eyes and breathe slowly, 5 seconds in, 3 seconds hold, 5 seconds out, 3 seconds pause.  Focus on counting slowly as you breathe.  This is mindful breath. It counts as meditation, too.  Do this breathing for 2 minutes, anytime you can; repeat at bedtime.
  • Healthier breakfast in 5 minutes: instead of stopping on the way to work for coffee and pastry, make a smoothie with a hand blender. Pop in yogurt (or milk, kefir or soy milk), fruit (such as berries and banana). Push start button, blend.  Drink right away or pour into portable cup, and drink on the way to work.  Done.
  • Quality time in 5 minutes: have a mini chat with your kid or partner. Snuggle up. Hug or hold hands. Smile.
  • Quieter space in 5 minutes: de-clutter one area.  Just pick up things out of place and straighten whatever you can in 5 minutes. Stop. Sit. Enjoy.

Time won’t magically appear.  Those 5 minutes will happen if you make them happen: reading about it this one thing; doing it is another.  Make it happen, by choosing one small thing, and do it instead of waiting until you have time or find the perfect day.  Use 5 minutes  to power up your life.

What can you do in 5 minutes, today? Think of something you never seem to have time for, and do it for 5 minutes.  Whether it’s filing papers, meditating, cleaning the bathtub, scheduling coffee with a friend, writing in your journal, paying bills, or exercising…  Five minutes make a pretty good dent in most tasks, and will inspire you to get going.  The whole point is to get started, to feel unstuck, to feel good that you’re doing something that matters.

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