“It does not matter how slow you go as long as you do not stop.”

– Confucius

I use this quote from Confucius all the time in Exercise Bliss, an 8-week exercise program that helps people make exercise a habit.

We start out with 5 minutes of exercise at a time and gradually build it up to 15 minutes, 30 minutes or more. But at the beginning, guess what the most common question is? “Am I doing enough?”, “Is 5 minutes of exercise enough?”.

First, what is “enough?” It depends on your goals. Do you want to exercise for health? You want to lose weight? Do you want to get lean? Run a marathon? Lower blood pressure?

Second, you’re a beginner. Is asking whether you’re doing “enough” the most important question? Because I want to argue that the most important question is: “Is this helping me make exercise a habit?”

Let’s face it – without consistency, you won’t achieve any of your goals. Any results you get will be fleeting. Without making exercise a habit, you’ll be stuck in the Cycle of Frustration, losing weight and gaining it back, repeatedly, over and over again.

You already know what happens when you, e.g., immediately jump to 30 minutes.

Yes, you’ll be doing “enough,” as you’ll be following the recommended government guidelines. But that’s for this week. What about the next week, and the week after? What about next month?

Now here’s what we forget: We’re working towards making exercise part of our lives, FOREVER.

So DECADES from now, when you reach 90 and you’ll still be in great shape and full of energy because by that time you will have been exercising for, hmm, decades – It won’t matter AT ALL whether you got to 30 minutes a day in October of 2015, in November, or sometime in 2016.

“What year was it that we went to Hawaii?”

“What year was it that my nephew was born?”

“When did I start exercise, does anyone remember? No, I want to know EXACTLY when I started following the recommended guidelines of 30 minutes a day. Year + month please!”

But wait — assuming that if you start with 30 minutes a day you’ll advance FASTER than if you start with 5 minutes of exercise day is exactly that: an assumption.

Actually starting with 5 minutes will get you FASTER results than 30 minutes a day.

You already know what happens when you immediately jump to 30 or 60 minutes a day:

You start out excited. Keep it up for a month. In month 2 you start skipping workouts. By month 3 you’re no longer working out.

A year later you decide to start again with 30 minutes a day. You keep it up for a month. In month 2 you start skipping workouts. By month 3 you’re no longer working out.

Then two years later you decide to start again…

Now compare this to starting with 5 minutes a day, or less on year 0:

You start out excited. It’s not sexy to tell yourself about your new 5-minute habit but you know better!

In month 2 you get it up to 10 minutes.

In month 3 you’re doing 15-20 minutes. (this is when your friend who immediately started with 30 minutes a day quits)

By month 6 you’ve built it up to 30 minutes a day!

A year later you’re still exercising. Sometimes for a 30 minutes a day, sometimes with 16 minutes of High Intensity Interval Training, sometimes with a 60-min hike. Exercise is no longer something you need to think about or debate, it’s something you just do.

Your friend who a year ago had decided to immediately jump to 30 minutes a day had quit 9 months ago, and now is getting started again. Please go tell her to NOT immediately jump to 30 minutes all over again! Please help her prevent having the same frustrating experience once again. You’ll actually save her time because by starting small she’ll be able to achieve MORE than by immediately jumping to a bigger goal.

Starting with 5 minutes a day instead of 30 is ONLY ONE of the tools you need to make exercise a habit. Sign up to learn all FIVE.

Immediately jumping to doing 30 or 60 minutes is only ONE of the myths that we believe in that don’t let us make exercise part of our lives. The longer we believe in those myths, the longer we’ll be unfit, flabby, tired, and risk our health. Sign up below for the habits class in HD video to learn all FIVE myths that keep us stuck in the Cycle of Frustration!

A few of the issues covered in the class:

  • Believing we need more motivation
  • Finding exercise boring (yes, that’s actually a myth!)
  • Thinking you hate exercise (also a myth!! You *think* you hate exercise, but you don’t really.)
  • Believing you can never be like the people who look great, exercise daily, and love it! (yes, a BIG myth, I used to believe that too. How wrong was I?)

Let’s put an end to the Cycle of Frustration once and for all! Sign up for the free Mini Habit Week below.