Thursday Prompt: Baby Steps–5 Minute Goals

Thursday Prompt: Baby Steps–5 Minute Goals

On Tuesday I blogged about the small percentage of people who are willing to do what it takes to be successful. Today’s prompt focuses on tiny steps toward becoming one of those successful few, especially for something tangible like writing a novel.

This year my writing group started something that I love. We each set yearly goals, and each quarter we review them together to see where we’ve succeeded and where we need work. This is great because when I’m accountable to my group, I’m much more conscientious of whether I’m improving or slacking. Specific, measurable goals, in my experience, are essential to sustained progress and long-term success.

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I’ve recently started reading The 26-Hour Day by Vince Panella, which is based on the idea that if you divide each day into five-minute pieces, you can see how much time you waste. You can also see that you DO have five minutes to devote to a given goal, and that by spending only five minutes a day, five days a week on that goal, over time you will become proficient at whatever you’re trying to master. 

My point isn’t to micro-manage every single five-minute interval of each day, rather to pull out a chunk or two to accomplish something you’re excited about. Not having time is the biggest excuse I hear for not pursuing creative goals, even if those goals are essential to a dream career. But everyone has five minutes.

Today’s writing prompt is simple. Answer these two questions:

  1. What is your long-term creative/artistic goal?
  2. What’s something you could do for five minutes each day to improve your chances of reaching that goal?

So, for me:

  1. I want to be a traditionally published author.
  2. For five minutes each day, I can commit to reading published books.

That might seem like a weird goal, but I’m pretty consistent at writing. However, even though reading is essential to good writing, I’m terrible at it because it always feels like a luxury I don’t have time for.

Of course this doesn’t answer the question, how long will it take me to write a novel if I only work on it five minutes each day? I have no idea, but any progress is good progress, right? Because when you can measure your progress, even if it’s five minutes worth, it’s something you can feel good about. Besides, I’ve found that once I start a project, I usually get excited about it and end up spending more time than I’d planned.

Now it’s your turn! We’d love to hear from you in the comments! Tell us:

  1. What is your long-term creative/artistic goal?
  2. What’s something you could do for five minutes each day to improve your chances of reaching that goal?

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