Wednesday, June 8, 2011


"What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step. 
It is always the same step, but you have to take it."
~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

As we seek to nurture the goose that produces the golden eggs, Stephen Covey suggests four areas to focus on for personal renewal:
  • Physical 
  • Social/Emotional 
  • Mental
  • Spiritual
        The key to success in each of these areas is to take very small steps each day. To begin nurturing these four areas, I’m asking you to spend five focused minutes today in any category that you know needs attention. If you feel good about your direction in one or more of these areas, continue moving forward and monitor your progress.

        What I’m asking is for you to plan five intentional minutes in your sub-par categories today. If your physical dimension is lacking, then plan to go for a five-minute walk. Right now, decide what time you will do this and mark it on your calendar. 

        “A five minute walk,” you say. “How can that help anybody?”

        The power in this exercise is that you are intentionally doing something. You are telling yourself that physical exercise is important to you and, beginning today, you are going to do something about it. There is power in commitment.  

        “If you want to move a mountain you must move it one rock at a time.” 

        If your deficiency is in the spiritual category then you need to plan an intentional five minute activity today. This could be as simple as praying for five minutes during a break at work, meditating for five minutes, reading the Bible for five minutes or working for five minutes on the Bible study that you’ve been neglecting. Again, intentionality is the key.

        In the social/emotional category, you could spend five minutes writing an email to a friend you haven’t connected with in a while. Or you could call a friend and set up a lunch date for next week. Or call and set a reservation for a date-night with your spouse. Five minutes is all it takes.

        In the mental category, the easiest suggestion is to read for five minutes. Again, be intentional and creative.

        Today is about taking a baby step to build momentum. The reason we don’t begin so often is because we feel that our effort will not yield significant results. This is exactly the wrong way to think of this exercise.

        This is about intentionally choosing to take a step in a positive direction. If you are not doing well in any of these categories, you can gain momentum in only five minutes.

        What are you waiting for? The hardest step is the first one!

        Do you have suggestions for 5-minute activities that can help us gain momentum in any of these categories? Please post comments below.


        Anonymous said...

        Another great reminder of how powerful 5 minutes can be toward our overall well-being. I think it's so easy to get caught up in the day's regularly scheduled activities and in the wake of "emergency" things that come up each day that we forget to create margins into our schedule. These margins - even 5 minute margins - can be the difference between an average every day life and an exceptional life.

        For me, I would say that I need to make sure I leave time everyday for some type of physical activity. I generally have been doing well in this category since January, but history demonstrates that this is the first thing to be sacrificed when things fall down around me.

        Jason said...

        Thanks for the comment! I like the way you phrased that - creating "margin" in our schedule. Great way to phrase it.