Welcome to Shop Talk! While we love providing you with jam-packed, actionable posts, we also wanted to share quick, thought-provoking snippets here and there — from our brains to yours.
Often in life and in business, we’re so intimidated and overwhelmed by something that, instead of breaking it into actionable chunks, we give up altogether.
Learning a language? You’ll never be completely fluent, so why start?
Learning to code? There are too many programming languages out there and you’ll never be an “expert,” so why even bother?
Becoming a champion meditator? An hour, let alone a week, of silence sounds like hell, so why waste your time?
Feeling fit and comfortable in your body? You have too much weight to lose, so what difference will a few pounds make?
What if you were to start with a few minutes per day of French on Duolingo? Or one module from CodeAcademy each morning? Or the shortest Calm meditation each evening? (Hint: It’s two minutes.) Or an intense 15-minute HIIT workout from YouTube in the middle of your day to wake you up and burn some calories?
This isn’t all hypothetical — I (Cristina) have committed to doing about 10 minutes per day of French on Duolingo. I’ve gone from knowing about two phrases (like “J’aime Paris,” because of those shirts that everyone used to wear all of the time in middle school or “C’est la vie” because…B*Witched) to writing and speaking complete sentences and even having mini-epiphanies. (Pret a Manger, the restaurant chain? That means “ready to eat.” I know, my mind was blown too.) Meanwhile, Sara put off meditating for over a year because 20 minutes was way too scary. Committing to five minutes per day in the month of December has made it a regular part of her routine now.
The point? You can see very obvious improvements with a daily habit of just a few minutes.
Choose your “time of least resistance,” and get started. We cover this in The Solopreneur Sanity Handbook: It’s the amount of time that you feel able to commit to following through on without much resistance. It’s not a shortcut; it’s a firestarter. Think to yourself: Am I willing to work on this blog post for 15 minutes? If that feels like too much but 10 minutes seems doable, you’ve got your time of least resistance. If 45 minutes at the gym feels completely overwhelming, ask yourself if 35 minutes seems more manageable. Yes? Do that.
And if your time of least resistance is 30 seconds (say, enough for one new word per day)? Bam — start there.