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5 Minutes to Success

Doug Setter

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One of the most effective methods of getting something unpopular done or doing what you don't feel like doing is the 5 minute rule.

A case in point is this article. I really don't have the time or the inspiration or the feeling or rush of creativity. There is no guarantee that this will be accepted, promoted, published or even read, but I agreed (with myself) to write a couple of articles every week. So, I just do it for 5 minutes.

5 minutes is usually spent doing what? Channel surfing? Waiting for a list of shows to go through? Waiting for a bus? Waiting in traffic at a light? Waiting for a tea? A grocery store checkout line up?

There once was a parody written in MAD magazine about activities to do during television breaks. There were all sorts of products to make the most of the 15 second to 2 minute commercial breaks. Activities included: 3 word crossword puzzles or half-filled in games of X's and O's. The more sophisticated products included sure grip shoe soles and a hallway-mounted-hand grip for those quick sprints to the washroom. As ridiculous as it was, it just went to show how many things one could do during those short, boring breaks.

So, what about something productive, like exercise, reading a non-fiction book, cleaning out your desk, booking an appointment or spending some quality time with a family member. Even a few minutes of petting the family dog goes along way for improving the pet's trainability.

In the case of exercising, there are some days when I do it to clear my head, some days when I really enjoy it and some days I take it like bitter medicine. Most days I start off taking it like bitter medicine. It is to be expected. You are going from slow to fast, so you need to warm up the engine. The best way, is just to start moving. Of course, when you are in a sleeping bag and you have to answer the call of nature, there is plenty of motivation to get you out of the bag. Or if you have a dog that has to be put outside. I am sure that most parents never had to worry about an alarm clock when they had kids. It is a different story with teenagers.

This is where the 5 minute rule comes in. Almost anyone alive can exercise for 5 minutes. The same goes for avoiding eating the wrong foods or drinking or smoking. You can usually last for 5 minutes without eating junk food, drinking alcohol, making sarcastic remarks or smoking. This delay tactic can often work for people who are trying break a habit. Often, it only takes that short period to overcome the craving.

Getting back to exercise, if you really, really feel bad after 5 minutes of exercising, then it might not be your best day. Even then, you can often just push it for 15-20 minutes. If you still feel lethargic, then it is not one of those days for training.

The beauty about the 5 minute rule is that most of us can endure 5 minutes of just about anything boring. It is getting started that is the most important. So, stop reading this and do something useful for 5 minutes. It works.

Read more fitness tips on the download: Stomach Flattening

Doug Setter holds a Bachelor's of Food and Nutrition. He has served as a paratrooper and U. N. Peacekeeper, has completed 5 full marathons and climbed Mt. Rainier. He held a welterweight kick-boxing title at age 40. He consults clients in alcohol reduction, stomach-flattening, kick-boxing and nutrition. He is the author of Stomach Flattening, Reduce Your Alcohol Craving and One Less Victim. Visit his website:


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