E015. Full Transcription - Sensibly Happy Podcast

Hello, everybody! You are listening to the 15th episode of Sensibly Happy podcast. This episode is about how you can improve your life in only 15 minutes a day.

You have probably asked yourself: “what makes one person more successful than another?” And this is a really valid question. Because if it’s something which we can control, we can use it in our daily life and be more successful as well. I’m convinced that there are some reusable ingredients of success. In this episode we are talking about how you can improve your life in only 15 minutes a day. This episode will give you the answer, motivation, and a lot of useful ideas to help you achieve success. And foremost, you’ll get the universal technique which is easy to carry out and is powerful in results.

The 15-minute technique

Hello, everybody! And welcome to the 15-th episode of the Sensibly Happy podcast!

Today, as always, we speak about practical ways to reach happiness. We will check out how 15 minutes a day can change your life.

Do you have that feeling or understanding that you should do something, that you should achieve something, that you should explore, or get to the next level in something to improve your life? Of course, I don’t speak about activities that require onetime efforts, like speaking with someone or buying something. I’m talking more about improvement in your life. I’m talking about making a difference, about becoming someone else or a more skilled and better person than you are right now.

Don’t you have that feeling or understanding what you should change in your life exactly? And of course, you’ve got that idea a month ago, or a year ago, or five years ago. You still keep that idea in your mind, but you don’t have time for it! You’re always busy, you have some urgent tasks to do, or you just procrastinate without understanding how to start those changes in your life. Sometimes, you’re trying to dedicate time for it; like, “On this weekend, I will spend several hours to learn something new or start practising.” But again, new urgent tasks change your schedule and ruin your plans.

How do you feel every time after postponing that important thing? Don’t you blame yourself for not moving forward? Don’t you compare yourself to others who move faster than you? You shouldn’t blame yourself! All you need is to have the proper tools and approaches to start implementing your plans. And one of the best techniques is to dedicate some fixed time on a daily basis. And it looks like 15 minutes a day is a good start. It’s a reasonable number to have noticeable changes in your life and not feel too much pressure.

Are 15 minutes enough?

Ask yourself how long you’re going to postpone your plans for self-improvement, and how long you’re doing this already. And then think about the numbers: 15 minutes a day is more than 90 hours per year. That means that spending those 15 minutes of activities today, in one year, you will spend 90 hours for your growth in the direction that you feel is important for you.

Why does the 15-minute approach work for us?

What is so important in those 15 minutes? Where’s the biggest power hidden? The biggest power is in regular habits. By doing something every day, you make it a habit. And by having such a habit, you need to spend less or no effort to start doing it every time, to start reading, creating, practising…

There’s one more interesting outcome from doing it constantly. If it’s a creative or mental work, your brain will continue to process the information, or ideas, constantly, on a subconscious level. You will surprisingly have new findings during the day just by setting your brain in the right direction!

Choosing your first goal

How to choose your first goal to apply that 15 minutes technique? How to choose activities that can improve your life? You probably already know what you should do or what you should achieve. But if you don’t, recall your thoughts about not having time for something very important: what do you postpone all the time? Or what do you feel is the most important thing for you? Your health, relationships, your work… Think about it for a while.

What to improve in your life?

But if you’re still confused by the question, “What goals should I choose?”, I want to list some ideas that you can choose from, or those ideas can help you make some shift in your priorities. Here’s the list of ideas, of different skills, different activities that you could occupy yourself with by dedicating 15 minutes a day.

1) Language

During 15 minutes, you can study vocabulary, you can study grammar, you can listen to something in that language, you can train yourself by writing exercises, and so on. If you feel that language is an important part of your job or your relationships, 15 minutes a day would be really helpful for you!

2) Knowledge

Knowledge about something to change your profession, for instance, or to get to the next level at your work. You can read books, you can watch YouTube videos, or you can speak with experts on the subject matter.

3) Physical activities

There’s a one really good article, which is called “The benefits of 15-minute workouts that will blow your mind” which was published on womenshealthmag.com. There are topics like “Burn more calories”, or “Live longer”, or “Manage weight”, “Stay young”, and so on.

4) Meditation and other training

If you feel that this is something that helps you to be calmer during the day, to be more self-confident, or to be more focused, 15 minutes a day will definitely help you with that!

5) Analyzing and planning

If you feel that your days are not stable, you’re constantly switching from one task to another, cannot focus on something important, then it’s a really good practice to plan your day and then analyze what went wrong during the day, and how you can improve the next day using planning. What is most important for the next day? And how to schedule those most important activities?

6) Reading books

If you really want to read books, but you don’t feel that you have enough time, you don’t need to spend 2, 3, 5 hours at ones to read a book. You can spend 15 minutes a day, and that will be enough to read a book in several weeks.

7) Creativity

If you feel that you are a creative person, or you want to be a creative person, you can practice music, writing, or drawing. You can do it with your own resources and knowledge only, or you can spend some of your time to read about it or watch different videos about it.

8) Analyzing yourself

You can explore yourself by analyzing your emotions or thoughts during the day. You can analyze the causes of those emotions or thoughts, or you can change them.

9) Working on your finances

If you know that there are issues with your budget, if you know that a part of your money is spent in unknown directions and you’re struggling to live for a month on your current salary, or you want to save some money, but you can’t, then budgeting and daily monitoring of your expenses is a really good filler for the 15-minutes technique.

10) Skill improvement

If you know some gaps in your skills, you can improve them! Those could be communication skills, time management skills, or any other type of skills that could make you more productive and effective.

11) Making decisions

Do you know that there is a skill that helps us to make better decisions? And by applying that skill, you can have better results based on decisions made. And your 15-minutes daily technique could be applied to make different decisions. For instance, where to go for your next vacations, or should you change your current job, or what to do with your relationships?

No matter what, if you think that there are a lot of different decisions that still need to be made in your life, but you are not confident in making those decisions, you can, first of all, understand what are the techniques to make decisions. And then you can make those decisions one by one.

How am I using the 15-minute technique?

Do I use this 15-minutes approach in my life? To be honest with you, I didn’t use that approach before I started ABS workouts. But after I started to work on my ABS, I realized the true power of that approach. And it really worked for me, because two months after starting ABS workouts, I noticed significant changes in my muscles.

Also, before starting this podcast, I realized that I didn’t have a rich English vocabulary. And I installed an application on my smartphone which helped me to study new words, and 15 minutes a day helps to learn three-four words a day. That means that in a month I learned 100 more words.

Also, I spend 15 minutes a day to monitor my Sensibly Happy activities: in Google Analytics, on Instagram account, on Facebook account, and so on. So, spending 15 minutes a day lets me understand where I am with my podcast right now.

Where to find the time during the day?

Where to find those 15 minutes? We know that we are busy, and our day is already planned. So where to allocate those 15 minutes?

Actually, there are two approaches: the first of them is to get up 15 minutes earlier in the morning; and the second approach is to allocate those 15 minutes by removing redundant time spending from our life.

More ideas on how to allocate that redundant time spending you can find in another episode of my podcast by the number 007 – “Good things about being a control freak.”

Consistency is the key to success

There’s a one really important thing about having that 15-minute approach in your life – you should be consistent. This is something similar to the situation when you try to get to the top of the hill which is covered with ice. If you keep moving constantly, you’re getting closer. But if you stop for a while, you start sliding down and ruin the previous efforts.

Organizing the environment

How to organize the stability and effectiveness of the 15-minutes technique?

First of all, you already know about the resourceful part of the day; each person has its own resourceful part: for someone, it’s morning, for another person, it’s evening or midday. And of course, if the goal you’ve selected is really important for you, it’s really good to use those 15-minute activities in that resourceful time of your day. And it’s a really good approach to have those 15 minutes at the same time every day. Your brain then gets used to it. And right at the beginning of the time it overly sets up for those activities. This is the same as eating every day at the same time: when the hour comes, your body starts to generate digestive juice.

The second thing to keep in mind is that it’s really important to prepare the environment once and not spend time every day for preparing it again and again because we want to spend those 15 minutes with maximum effectiveness. And for that purpose, it’s really good not to spend two, three or five minutes every time to prepare the environment.

One more tip: if it’s something like physical activities, it’s really good to have some breaks, for instance, three days of workouts and then one day of break. We need those breaks to regenerate our muscles. But please, don’t take breaks just because you have weekends or holidays. Be consistent! The holiday is not a reason to make a break. Because after such breaks, it’s hard sometimes to return on the previous pace.

Moving to the next level

Should you always work with those 15 minutes, or there is the next level? There is the next level. By having those 15 minutes as a habit makes you feel that it really improves your life. I mean that after some time, after a week, a month or two, you will have some significant results in the sphere that you’ve selected for those 15 minutes. And that brings you joy from the process. And after some period of time, you will be ready to increase the time you want to spend daily on it. That could be 20 minutes, 30 minutes, or even one hour. And of course, after increasing that time, you will have better results. If you do two things, 15 minutes each every day, you can also receive better results.

Extra tips for more productivity

Here are some additional tips that could help you to make that 15-minute approach more productive.

First of all, it’s really good to reward yourself for completing those activities every day, or after each sub-goal, because rewards will give you more motivation to do that. But please, don’t use, for instance, food as a reward when you try to lose your weight.

The second thing, you can change the chosen activity at some moment, you don’t need to stick to it for years. But at least you should give it time to see some results. Because most likely those results will not appear in one-two days. By starting something you commit for some period of time, at least 10-14 days, to see some results. And then, if you have those results, you can be more motivated to continue doing this, or you can switch to some other activity.

Please, keep one important thing in mind: after accomplishing something with the 15-minute approach, you will get more energy, more belief in yourself, and more inspiration to do something and achieve something. Every small challenge will give you motivation and energy to accept and accomplish a bigger challenge. Start from small, do it constantly, and with the time you will have big results.

Your task for the next week

  • First of all, decide what you want to accomplish. Write it down and write your motivation. What does it give you? How will those results change your life?
  • The second thing, plan those 15 minutes: In what part of the day would it be? Is it possible to get that time and remove all the distractors? What will you do in those 15 minutes exactly? Are you sure that those activities will approach your goal? And if you’re not sure, please think twice. What will you do in those 15 minutes exactly to get closer to your goal?
  • The next step is to set up a reminder on your smartphone. And please, do not postpone it when it rings.
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