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Lesson 1: Create a New Habit

Practice: Take a 5-minute Action

Start big change with tiny actions

What does it mean to “take a 5-minute action?”

This practice is about:

  1. Picking one improvement you want to make. There are endless changes to be made to move you towards your goals. Try choosing just one.
  2. Breaking that one improvement down into a very, very, very small and simple chunk. A chunk you can do in 5–10 minutes, today. If it’s helpful, you can use the 4-circle diagram below to break down your larger goal into a practical 5-minute action.
  3. Committing to practicing one 5-minute action every day. That can be the same 5-minute action that builds, or it can be something different every day. You decide what works best for your life and your goals.

For now, the specifics of what you decide to do are less important.

More important: you’re creating structure and routine. You’re building a daily practice of taking consistent, targeted action.

With that structure in place, the possibilities are endless for what your future 5-minute actions will become.

Why and how to practice

Make it easy. Choose “low-hanging fruit”: small, simple, practical, and almost guaranteed to succeed. So small and simple that failure seems silly.

Don’t start a big project or get over-ambitious. In terms of the small daily action, be careful of big imaginations. (There’ll be other places for big imaginations, too. 🙂

Each day, aim for 100% confidence that you can do the action.

With small, daily successes, you’ll create momentum to build on. You’ll build the confidence you need for more and bigger successes. And that confidence will be grounded in everyday real wins.

Ask yourself:

What’s one small action I can take today that would make me feel just a little more awesome?

What do you like and what do you need?

In coaching as in life, you’re the expert of your experience.

Better than anyone else, you know your body. You know your lifestyle, abilities, wants and needs. You know your goals.

Based on what you already know about yourself, tap-in to your own expertise to choose your daily 5-minute action.

Pay attention to how you think, feel and act. Then, assess the progress.

What patterns do you notice when you make these changes?

  • When does it feel easy to practice?
  • When does it feel the most challenging to practice?

Take what you’ve learned to adjust your expectations and find the fastest, easiest track towards your goals.

We suggest journaling about your experiences. Writing things down adds a physical element to your new habit making it more permanent for your body.

Ideas for action

If you’re feeling unsure, here are some ideas on how to get started:

  • Book a time or place to get your workout done.
  • Take the stairs rather than the elevator in your daily routine.
  • Park 5-min farther away from the door to your office building.
  • Practice a new cooking skill.
  • Start a gratitude journal.
  • Take a multivitamin.
  • If you’re recovering from an injury or illness, practice your rehab exercises.
  • Add 5 minutes of mobility and stretching to the beginning or end of your workout.
  • If you’re typically indoors, find fresh air and sunlight in the middle of the day.

Need help? Collaborate with a coach to find the plan that’s best for you.

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