Keeping Promises to Yourself and The 5 Minute Rule

Keeping Promises to Yourself + The 5 Minute Rule

By Atsede Scarseth

What did you learn about keeping promises or making sure people can trust your word? Most likely something along the lines of trust is earned. This doesn’t only go for your external relationships. This is also relevant for the relationship you have with yourself. Each time you tell yourself you are going to do something and it doesn’t happen, you’ve broken a little more trust within yourself. This can eventually lead to feeling like you can’t do anything which can further lead to a shame spiral. If this feels familiar, there is hope. You can begin to rebuild trust and self efficacy.

This is where the 5 minute rule comes in. You can do anything for 5 minutes. You may not complete a task that you’ve set for yourself in 5 minutes, but you can start and make progress towards the goal. This can be applied to so many areas and tasks:

  1. Cleaning your bedroom or living space
  2. Going for a walk
  3. Journaling
  4. Meditating
  5. Learning a new skill

The important thing to remember when keeping promises to yourself and using the 5 minute rule is to shed the all or nothing thinking that comes with completing tasks. Sometimes tasks or things we’ve set out to do can feel daunting and impossible to complete which is why we put them off. The mindset of ‘I need to complete this thing in one sitting’ or ’I have to do it perfectly’ can be quite detrimental if you haven’t built up the trust within yourself. A lot of times what happens when that timer is set for 5 minutes and you begin the task is, you get into a groove and want to keep on going because it begins to feel good. But, sometimes after that timer goes off, it feels like you’ve done enough and you want to stop, which is fine, because you still kept the promise to yourself. Each time you do this, you are rebuilding trust within yourself.

Goals are met with tiny steps along the way that eventually build on each other and then become big changes. Most tasks don’t have to look a certain way for them to count, what counts is taking the time to do something you wanted to and seeing that you are capable. How can you apply this to some of your goals? How have you been holding yourself back with expectations of perfection?

If this is something you want more help with please contact me at Original Path Counseling at 720-735-7444 and I can help you get started.



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