“The scariest moment is always just before you start.”
When a woman who had lost more than 100 pounds was asked what she did when she felt like taking a pass on an exercise session, here’s what she said, “…whenever I don’t want to work out, I have a little negotiation session with myself. I tell myself that I’ll work out for 15 minutes and then renegotiate. Ninety percent of the time that 15 minutes of activity breaks down my resistance.” The speaker called this strategy, “The 15-Minute Rule.”
My friend and mentor, Rob Gilbert, first featured this approach in his wonderful motivational booklet, Bits & Pieces. Rob is a big proponent of this rule and he talks about it a lot on his great Success Hotline (973.743.4690). I’ve used it many times since I first heard it and it’s really been helpful in completing projects. “It’s the start that stops most people,” Rob is fond of saying — that’s so true, isn’t it?
Starting can be scary and it can feel overwhelming. But if we commit to just 15 minutes of working on something, it instantly becomes more manageable. We’re just dipping our toe in, but we’re taking action — and that’s what’s important. It’s taking action that breaks down our resistance and gives us the momentum to keep going once that 15 minutes is up.
Why not apply The 15-Minute Rule to something that you’re finding it tough to tackle and see what happens? You might end up becoming immersed in your work and getting into a flow that takes you much farther than you thought possible. We never know how far we can go until we decide to go far.