5-Minute Rule for Daily Habits

Want to start a daily habit and make it stick with ease? Start small. Come up with a minimum that you can guarantee every day. Four of my daily habits follow the 5-minute rule. If five minutes is too much of a commitment then start with one minute. Ten seconds also works.

Meditation

Even though I’ve been meditating daily since July 2017, my commitment is only five minutes. In 2019, my minimum was 30 minutes. I missed that mark 17 times. I decided to lower it for 2020 because I wish to meditate for an hour or longer several days this year. I managed this feat only twice in 2019.

I meditated for 13,505 minutes in 2019. That’s an average of 37 minutes per day.

Running

I’ve run at least one mile every day since X. This translates to a minimum of 6-9 minutes. I typically run for 1-3 miles, have run 4-7 miles 6 times, and ran 10 miles on Thanksgiving Day in 2019. I wasn’t a runner before 2019. Listening to David Goggins’ audiobook Can’t Hurt Me transformed me into a runner.

I ran a total of 41 miles in 2018 and 430 miles in 2019. I started a daily habit on April 27 but missed a few days in May, June and July. I haven’t missed a day since July 22, 2019. That’s 181 days in a row.

I’m providing these stats to show you the power of committing to running one mile (6-9 minutes) per day.

Yoga

I’ve been practicing yoga nearly daily since the end of 2017. When I first started, all I cared about was being able to touch my toes. Every day for a few months I did the Touch Your Toes session from Nerd Fitness Yoga. Suddenly, I was able to touch my toes. This was only the beginning.

Today, I practice yoga immediately after I run. For several months in 2019, my minimum was 20 minutes per day. That worked well but just like with meditation, I want to engage in longer sessions on some days. I’ve never completed a one-hour yoga session but plan to change that any day now.

I practiced yoga for 8754 minutes in 2019. That’s an average of 24 minutes per day.

Push-ups

While push-ups have been part of my pre-run warm-up routine for a while, I made this a daily habit on January 1, 2020. Although five is my minimum, I always do several more. If my minimum was 50 or 100 push-ups, then I’d be more bound to skipping days. With that being said, I just now had the thought to set my minimum to 5 minutes. I mean, why not?

Writing

I’ve been blogging on and off since December 2009. I started writing daily in December 2019 and committed to the daily habit on January 1, 2020. I always want to write for much longer but doing so is not a high priority at the moment. I want to stick to the habit so five minutes is an ideal minimum for me. Soon enough I’ll be writing for a minimum of 10 hours per week.

During the first 18 days of 2020, I’ve spent an average of 15 minutes per day writing. I wrote for at least 10 minutes on 11 of the 18 days.

What’s your minimum?

Choose your own minimums. You know you best. Ensure you can guarantee it every day. For the habits explained above, five works well for me. One minute or ten seconds also works.

It ensures I engage with all these habits on a daily basis. I also have a printed out habit tracker from the book Atomic Habits. I may buy the Clear Habit Journal soon.

Start.