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How to Start a New Habit in Just 25 Minutes

man and woman sitting on brown wooden bench

We’ve all been there. Sometimes we make a resolution to get rid of the pile of books at our bedside or learn a second language or even learn how to cook. After a few weeks of progress, maybe even a month if there’s enough willpower, the goal quickly fades as the rest of life takes over.

People make the biggest mistake when it comes to creating positive new habits. They make it dependent on their willpower. Willpower is great, but it won’t last you for months, years, or even decades. You need a plan that includes baby steps and keeps you accountable. That’s what 25 minutes is for.

Why 25 minutes exactly?

We have read blogs and read stories about people who can master a language by reading three hours per day or reading one book per week. For those of us with work, family, and social lives to balance, 3 hours is impossible. It is possible to take 25 minutes at maximum.

It’s possible that you have already seen articles about 25 minutes – this is the Pomodoro technique recommendation.

How to start with your 25-minute blocks

1. Choose a time

We’re going first to set aside a time today or tomorrow to dedicate ourselves to our goal. For 25 minutes. It can be done in the morning to get it out of the way, or “eating a fog,” as Brian Tracy would call it. Some people will squeeze it in during breaks or right before bed. You can choose a time and set your alarm now.

Not when your kids are home, when your mom calls you for a chat, or when your children are asleep. To make it easy, you need to create as little friction as possible.

2. Choose your goal

It is important to choose one goal as your starting point. Our brains are more adept at focusing on one goal at a given time. You won’t be able to do five different things in 25 minutes each if you don’t want to fall into the willpower trap. Keep it simple.

3. Find out what you are looking for

Make sure the chair and desk are ergonomic. If you have a clean kitchen, you should choose a day when your family has likely cleaned up from the night before. If you have any tips or tricks that will make it easier, write them down and start to plan your week.

4. Get started!

Start reading/learning/planting/drawing! Keep going until the timer goes off. It’s possible that you have spent less than 25 minutes setting it up. That’s OK! You now have the energy to continue. All you have to do now is to schedule your 25-minute session for tomorrow, or whenever you want to.

5. Select your structure

We now get to the next point. It’s helpful to keep a visual reminder of your habit blocks for 25 minutes so you don’t forget. It doesn’t matter how you do it, but we advice monthly lists with boxes. It takes time to build a structure.

Our habits might be a bit different from yours. Your weekly allowance can be in 5 squares, not 7. This is because you have the option to take 2 days off your 25-minute time. You’ll feel awful if you don’t follow your plan. However, allowing yourself some flexibility can make it easier to bounce back after a few sessions.

Once you have your structure in place, bluetack the structure to a location where you can see it. For example, on your wardrobe mirror.

Continue to color in your boxes/tick off your list/however, you created the structure in step 4. You may find that you are unable to manage 25 minutes a day for three days, or 25 minutes for seven days. That’s okay. Continue coloring! Give yourself a pat on your back if you can last more than 25 minutes. Don’t overfill the boxes. This structure will keep you going every day.

You’ll be able to see all the coloured-in boxes after a month. It’s amazing! You can do this in 25 minutes five times per week if you follow my method. That’s more than eight hours in a month. And nearly 100 per year!

6. Evaluate

You might notice changes as you put aside 25 minutes every day. You might need to find different resources or your original goal of three months seems too ambitious after only a week. Use your 25-minutes to restructure, rethink and revise whether or not you want to keep the goal.

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