If you’ve been reading Just a Girl and Her Blog for very long, you know it’s no secret that I’m a bit obsessed when it comes to goals, habits, and productivity. Managing my time can be tough, so I’m always looking for little tips and tricks to help me get things done and accomplish my goals. Today I am so delighted to have my friend (and sister-in-law!) Beth Anne from Brilliant Business Moms here to tell us about the 10 minutes that changed her life when it came to accomplishing her big goals.
Along with their blog and podcast, Beth Anne and her sister Sarah have written a productivity eBook for moms called Time Management Mama and recently launched The Brilliant Business Planner to help mom-preneurs make the absolute most of their time. They really know their stuff! But you don’t have to take my word for it– here’s Beth Anne!
How 10 Minutes Can Change Your Life
6 months had passed, and as I looked at the calendar, I groaned in discouragement. What happened to the half-marathon I was going to complete? What about the blog I planned to start? I had so many big goals and lofty plans, but I made little progress accomplishing them. Life just got busy, and immediate needs trumped my bigger dreams and aspirations.
This was my story just a few years ago: Constantly dreaming big and constantly feeling let down when life got in the way.
These days life feels even busier as a military spouse with a little one to care for, but somehow, I’ve accomplished several of my big goals in the last 18 months. I completed two half-marathons, started a blog and podcast, wrote a book with my sister, and created a business planner from scratch. I’m no superwoman, so what’s my secret?
It all comes down to 10 minutes.
I commit to spending at least 10 minutes per day working towards my biggest goals and highest priorities for the year. Some days, I spend far more than 10 minutes, but the trick is to make your goal easy and attainable.
Build a habit first, and your 10 minutes will snowball into 20, then 40, then perhaps a few hours each day making those big dreams happen.
For many of you, finding just 10 spare minutes will feel like a miraculous feat. Your life is filled with Girl Scouts, swim lessons, volunteering, and a million other things. You’re incredibly giving and the go-to girl for so many people. But I bet if you asked those you loved the most if they could give back to you with just 10 minutes per day, they’d say “yes, absolutely! Go for it motivated mama!” (Ok… except the baby. The baby would say, “maaah ma mmfmsfmmmphhhhh” But I promise that’s baby talk for, “you’re amazing, mom! Go get ’em!”)
Decide on your big goal, share it with those you love the most, and commit to spending 10 minutes per day making it happen.
We’ve created a habit tracker to hold you accountable. Every day that you make forward progress on your goal, give yourself an X, checkmark, or a fun sticker. You got this!
As you start to see a chain of X’s forming on your habit tracker, you won’t want to break it. It’s so motivating to see the progress you’re making on your big dreams.
Why Just 10 Minutes?
I can hear the questions forming in your mind, “Beth Anne, how will I possibly write the next Great American Novel with just 10 minutes per day? Surely, it’s going to take a lot more than that!”
You may be right, but the secret to succeeding is building the habit first, and eliminating all of the big barriers that could stand in your way.
What are you dreaming about these days? Maybe it’s starting a blog, founding a non-profit, or writing that novel. Whatever your big goal is, chances are the thought of making it happen feels a bit overwhelming.
I well remember the early days of getting our podcast and website set up. There was so much to learn. The whole thing felt like a confusing maze where each question just led to more questions! There was a lot of boring, technical work involved, and quite honestly, there were many days when I just wanted to shelf the project and move on to something more fun!
When we’re faced with a huge, near-impossible task, it’s often tempting to quit before we even get started. We put off the hard things for tomorrow. But by telling yourself, “Just 10 minutes. I only need to make 10 minutes of progress on this today” you eliminate the overwhelm. That huge mountain in front of you looks more like a speed bump. You can totally do this! One speed bump at a time. (Or one page at a time for the novelists among us! …I can’t wait to read your books!)
I guess I can handle 10 minutes, but…
my workspace is awful, my shoes are too tight, and my kids are too loud.
Another key to success in accomplishing big goals is creating the right environment. Again, it all comes down to eliminating every possible barrier and making those 10 minutes seem like a guilty pleasure instead of a chore. Find a way to create a pretty workspace – even if it’s just a corner of your closet. Get those new running shoes, and use ear-plugs and soothing music if you have to! Make those 10 minutes happen.
Lest you think I’m the only person in the world who made things happen with this simple little trick, I have to let you in on another secret. I learned this trick from a published author!
When Caroline Starr Rose’s boys were little, she was a full-time stay-at-home mom. She had big dreams to get her books published, but she had very little time to devote to her craft. Caroline told herself that if she got to write for just 10 minutes per day, she would be satisfied.
If she had set a huge goal of writing 4 hours per day, Caroline would have easily gotten discouraged and given up on pursuing her dream. Instead, she turned those 10 minutes per day into 4 book deals! Yes, it took her a lot of time and commitment to make that happen, but those 10 minutes per day changed her life, and I’m convinced you can change yours with just 10 minutes too.
Here’s how to make the most of your 10 minutes:
- Decide on the big goal you’d like to focus on for the next few months.
- Commit to working on that goal at least 10 minutes per day.
- Tell someone about your commitment so you’re more likely to follow through and gain support.
- Design your environment to make the follow-through easier. (Put out your running shoes the night before. Brew a cup of your favorite tea while you sit down to write. Put a motivational quote over your workspace that says, “Don’t Give Up!”)
- Track your progress each day with a habit tracker.
- Look back in amazement at all you’ll accomplish in the next year with just 10 minutes per day. You can do this!
How will you use your 10 minutes? I’d love to hear how you’re using your habit tracker and celebrate with you on your progress! Feel free to tag me on Instagram @brilliantbizmom and show me what you’re up to!
~ Beth Anne
Beth Anne Schwamberger is the younger, quirkier half of the Brilliant Business Moms Podcast, where she and her sister Sarah interview mom entrepreneurs who structure their lives around meaningful work and time with their families. She and Sarah are co-authors of the book, Time Management Mama, and creators of the Brilliant Business Planner.
We all can carve out 10 minutes, right?! Let’s do this! (Don’t forget to pop over and snag your habit tracker!) Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom with us, Beth Anne, and thank YOU for stopping by today! Have a wonderful week!
Oh and PS… Beth Anne’s sister and Brilliant Business Moms business partner Sarah is the latest addition to the Building a Framework expert interview series! Along with her many other talents, Sarah is a very knowledgable CPA, so if you own the Master package, be sure to login and check out her interview all about blog accounting!