10 minutes
May 1, 2015 | by Masumi Goldman
How 10 Minutes Changed My Day

Despite all of my planning, this morning wasn’t particularly smooth. My alarm clock woke me at 5:45 am. I was groggy and confused. Was it time to get up already? I’m not one to jump out of bed joyfully in the morning, but today felt unusually rough. My sleep cycle was interrupted because my husband had to leave for work in the middle of the night. (Okay, maybe it wasn’t the middle of the night, but 4 am certainly felt like the middle of the night.)

As I sat at the edge of my bed at 6 am, I realized that I had been sitting motionless, staring into space for a full 15 minutes. FIFTEEN MINUTES of staring into space!!! What just happened? I was wasting my precious “me time”! I had to get moving.

I finally willed my body into the bathroom where I washed up, and then I headed into my walk-in closet and put on my workout clothes. I had a brand new exercise outfit to wear today. (Insert sleepy happy dance.)10 minutes

I pulled my shirt over my head, stepped into my leggings and socks, and then I realized that the store tags were still dangling off of my new clothes. I briefly considered removing the tags with my bare hands to spare myself the annoyance of having to find a pair of scissors, but decided that with my luck, I would probably tear a nice hole into my new clothing if I did that.

I tiptoed past my kids’ bedroom and walked into my office to look for a pair of scissors. Please Lord, don’t let me wake the kids.

The kids stayed asleep, but my scissors were gone! What?!! Last week, the kids “borrowed” my stapler, which was never to be seen again, and now my scissors have disappeared into the same abyss?! Do they not have 8 pairs of kids’ scissors lying all over the house? Ugh. I went down to the kitchen and found another pair of scissors and headed into my home gym to work out. Finally! My morning exercise could begin.

I looked at the time, and realized that I’d managed to move at such a snail’s pace that I had killed 45 minutes in my bedroom, bathroom, office and kitchen. This was going to be an abbreviated workout.

As I stepped onto my elliptical trainer, I suddenly remembered that I received a new pair of fitness headphones to try. Might as well use them! I pulled the new headphones out of the packaging and snuggled each earbud into my ear. The left earbud didn’t feel right. I saw that the cardboard box included a little bag of extra rubber earbud pieces in multiple sizes. I pulled one out of the bag and started changing the removable earbud piece. It promptly fell off, and bounced out of sight. My home gym is not big, but I couldn’t find the rubber earbud anywhere. I actually got onto my knees and looked for a few minutes. I gave up my search and used another rubber piece instead.

I put my new headphones on with the proper-sized earpieces, stepped back onto my elliptical, and started moving.

That’s when I heard it.

“Mama…we’re hungry.”

Gah! The kids were up. I had been up since 5:45 am, and I had gotten nothing accomplished.

I almost gave up right then and there. It was 6:45 am, and it was a school day. But the key word there is almost. I didn’t throw in the towel.

I looked at my kids and told them that I needed 10 minutes. They scurried off.

In total, I exercised on my elliptical trainer for 10 minutes and 44 seconds. Was it ideal? No, of course not, but life is rarely ideal. In just 10 minutes and 44 seconds, I still managed to claim a small piece of the day for myself— for my mental and physical wellness. Although I did not exercise for nearly as long as I anticipated, I maintained structure and routine. When I stepped off that machine, I felt awake, limber, and accomplished.  I was energized.  I didn’t feel resentful toward my children because I managed to start my day by doing something that made me feel good.  It didn’t have to be an hour-long activity. Ten minutes made a difference.

If you can’t commit to long periods of time, go ahead and give yourself a few minutes to move your body. You will see that in as little as ten minutes a day, you can change your mood, your self-esteem, and your whole outlook on life.


  • Couldn’t agree more! I was way more successful when I worked out at least 12 min a day than when I started going to the gym for harder routines. Everything was fine with the longer workouts until my traveling got in the way and I did nothing when I was tired or busy. So yesterday I decided to prioritize consistency again (just posted this in IG yesterday so your post was meant to be :) perfect sign). My triggers are putting my leggings on, sneakers shirt and get my hair in a ponytail. Once I do that it’s like an instant play to my workout. :) thanks masumi! I love all your posts!

    • Masumi Goldman

      Good for you! Get that ponytail up and move! Twelve minutes every day is consistency, and that is most of the battle.

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