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How 10 Minutes Can Change Your Life

Love this idea! So excited to get started on my big goal. This time, I think I can actually do it!

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.

Great tips on accomplishing goals. I finally feel like I can tackle anything!

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:

  1. Decide on the big goal you’d like to focus on for the next few months.
  2. Commit to working on that goal at least 10 minutes per day.
  3. Tell someone about your commitment so you’re more likely to follow through and gain support.
  4. 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!”)
  5. Track your progress each day with a habit tracker.
  6. 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-bio-photo-06 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!

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33 Comments

  1. Kimm at Reinvented says:

    Amazing post, thank you so much! My first goal is to finish reading and implementing ALL of the ideas in this great new book I just bought called Building A Framework! 😉 10 minutes a day…
    Can’t wait to meet you this week, Abby!

    1. Beth Anne says:

      Kimm, I LOVE that first goal! Learning and implementing everything from Abby’s book and videos is a perfect place to start! You can totally do it… 10 minutes a day. And as you keep going, I’m sure you’ll find that some days you have more than that 10 minutes. Just start…. you got this!

  2. jamie @milestohomestead says:

    Great post. This is exactly my issue, the big picture seems so overwhelming so I never do anything about it other than think about it all the time. It’s like my spare bedroom, it is so messy that every time I look at it, I’d rather take a nap than actually clean it up and organize it. This tip seems simple enough to manage. I think I’ll try it!

    1. Beth Anne says:

      Oh Jamie, I love it! Start with just 10 minutes! You can do it! It has worked so well for me on those great big tasks. Getting started each day is often the hardest part. You got this! Feel free to give me a shout and let me know what you’re up to and how your goals are coming along!

  3. I love this! I can totally relate with sometimes feelings like I have all these dreams, but never feeling like they will become a reality because of busy schedules etc. 10 Minutes a day — I can do that! It is a start, and that is always a good idea.

    1. Beth Anne says:

      So glad you enjoyed the post, Samara! I love your recent blog post as well! Eliminating social media is huge for me. I generally only hop on in the evenings and even then, I often set a timer. Social media can be wonderful, but it can also be all-consuming. Great tips!

  4. Ellen Russell says:

    Such a great tip! And I love your goal tracking sheet- I’ve been using the one in your planner to track drawing every day 🙂

    1. Beth Anne says:

      I love that Ellen! You’re going to create amazing things by building that habit! Thanks for sharing and I’m so glad you’re enjoying the planner and habit tracker.

  5. Leah Sannar says:

    I so need this post. I am constantly feeling overwhelmed doing things I have to do and frustrated that I can’t find time to do what I WANT to do!! I’m excited to really focus and put this into action. 🙂 Love your blog by the way, I visit there often!

    1. Beth Anne says:

      Hooray, Leah! You can do it! My other recommendation is start with just one big goal at a time… make that a habit for at least 4 weeks, then maybe you can add other big goals into new 10 minute slots. Eliminate overwhelm and you can do it!

      And thanks for your kind words about our site! I’m so glad you visit there often! Have you introduced yourself in our fb group?

  6. Sarah@TheOrthodoxMama says:

    Great tips! I am (gulp) starting my first book. I have had a goal to work 30 minutes a week on it, but it hasn’t always happened. Maybe the 10 minutes a day habit will work for me. By making it daily, I think I’ll see more progress and gain momentum. Thanks!

    1. Beth Anne says:

      Oh Sarah, that’s awesome!!! I love that you just shared your goal with the world a bit too 🙂

      I agree that a daily habit may work better. You’ll see a bit of progress day after day, and that book of yours will always be on your mind because you’ll be working on it each day.

      When Sarah and I sat down to write our book, it was that way with me. As I wrote each day I was constantly coming up with new ideas and inspiration and things to research, etc.

      You got this! And please email me when your book is out! brilliantbusinessmoms@gmail.com

  7. This reminds of Shawn Achor’s The Happiness Advantage where he talks about the 20 second rule. If something takes 20 second to get started we probably won’t do it so we need to eliminate the barriers to starting an activity and then once we start, we are more likely to continue. I completely agree with just 10 minutes.

    1. Beth Anne says:

      Hey Liz, you’re so right! I’ll have to check out that book. By the way, I loved your most recent post on raising Happy Nerdy Girls. I was one of those growing up 🙂

  8. Lauren @ The Thinking Closet says:

    I love this idea – – and it’s true, 10 minutes doesn’t seem like much at all, and yet if I commit even just 10 minutes a day to the big goal that matters most, I’ll be eons ahead of where I’d be until I wait for that perfect hour or two hours. Because they never come, do they? But 10 minutes? Now THAT I can spare! Off to print all these free goodies now, too! Thanks for sharing these gems of wisdom with us, Beth Anne! P.S. Big fan of Brilliant Biz Moms here. 😉

    1. Beth Anne says:

      Hey Lauren,
      So glad you enjoyed the post! And you’re right… those big, perfect chunks of time so seldom come! (Or even when they do something unexpected tends to stand in the way….) 10 Minutes at a time…it will snowball! And thanks for your kind words about the podcast.

      Can’t wait to see what you do with your 10 minutes 🙂

  9. Frances Okoro says:

    This just got me revved up.
    I’m currently putting together my first book.it was supposed to be out July 6th but got shelved.
    Now release date is 27th July, I put together a few additional chapters and saved on my phone to send to someone for editing and today someone stole the memory card where I saved it at.
    I was discouraged and been trying to settle my mind to write again.
    Along with the chapters, everything I have penned down-articles for the last 2years + more is all gone. I prayed about it and trying to make my heart lighter…

    I will get up to working and putting words together tonight God willing.
    Even if it’s for 10minutes, I will sit at my laptop…thank you Beth Anne

    1. Beth Anne says:

      Oh Frances, I’m so sorry to hear this! What a bummer. I’ve lost pages and pages before too. It’s never fun. Here’s my hope – your newest round of these thoughts and ideas will be even better! I know it feels overwhelming but like you said, keep pressing forward…. 10 minutes at a time.

  10. I love this post. I know the truth of the statement, but this post just made me realize I have waaaay too many BIG goals and that I need to pick one to work on for now!

    Thanks!

    1. Beth Anne says:

      Hey Hanna,

      I feel ya on that one! I always have a bazillion ideas swirling around my brain. But man, it feels so good to get a big project or goal from idea to done! You can do it! I agree – pick just one big goal, tackle it and go after it like crazy, then move on. By the end of the year you’ll have accomplished so many amazing things!

      Thanks for reading!

  11. I love this idea! Definitely doing it, and working on my blog 10 minutes each day! 😀

    1. Beth Anne says:

      Woohoo! You got this, Andrea!

  12. Thanks for sharing this invaluable piece of advice. I think Beth Anne truly hit the nail on the head! It really is about prioritizing and taking small, consistent steps along your journey, whatever the goal(s) might be. I really needed to read this today – feeling very inspired 🙂

    Jelica

    1. Beth Anne says:

      Hi Jelica,
      Thank you so much for your kind words! I’m so glad this post was encouraging to you! Keep moving forward 🙂

  13. Amy Bullock says:

    Abby you have inspired me to start what has been put on my heart to do. I am going to become a blogger!! I am also trying to turn my home and office into a paperless land. I have Donnie’s e book and your blogger Framework. . I started to work on setting up my blog several months ago from a post on yours. I am also a full time Realtor, mom of 2 teens, wife, and chicken enthusiast with a flock of about 30 birds. I have been trying to get time to really get the blog set up and this post has inspired me to just take back 10 minutes of my day to work on it. I just have one complaint…I am trying to go paperless and you keep making those really cute printables. What’s a girl to do?

    1. Beth Anne says:

      lol, Amy! Abby does make the cutest printables, doesn’t she?! Congratulations on starting your blog! You got this! One step at a time.

  14. Hi Beth! I am grateful that I’ve read this post. I have lots of things in mind but don’t know where to start. Your article reminds me that I should start small, just line upon line to make my big dreams accomplished. I’ll do it!

    1. Beth Anne says:

      Absolutely, Heart! Start small… line upon line! Small is better than nothing or being paralyzed. You can do it!

  15. I adore this post! Even though I’m not a mom, I can completely relate to the whole “I have no time to get things done” thing. I’m a budding freelance writer, with a terrible secret–I have no home office!

    That’s right, I write from my couch or uncomfortable kitchen chair. I HATE it! I love the idea of marking off a part of my closet to get work done. (And love the quote!)

    10 minutes is definitely doable. I started meditating 6 months ago, and thought 10 minutes a day would be impossible. I stuck it out, and today I can’t get through my day without setting aside those 10 minutes.I think getting in the habit of working on my bigger goals for 10 minutes a day will be equally as important in a few weeks. I’m pumped to get started on this.

    Thanks for the amazing blog post!

  16. Overwhelm is paralyzing…. and this 10 minutes a day approach is an amazing solution! Thank you so much for this approach. It opens up my mind to the possibility of “I can do this !” I’m off to our extra bedroom that has become a storage room and setting my timer for 10 minutes !!!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Yay! So glad it was helpful for you, Kristine! Sometimes it really is the little things that can make such a big difference! Have a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

  17. Great book suggestion! I love this idea, much less overwhelming to look at changing habits and tackling goals this way. ❤️

    1. justagirlabby says:

      So glad it was helpful, Ashley! <3

      ~Abby =)

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