I’d like to ask you to join me and a few of my friends in making a little New Year’s commitment. This is an experiment in errorless learning, a study in consecutive approximations, a method of slicing rather than lumping.

Choose anything in your life that you want to alter, no matter how big or little, and start working on it in 15 minutes or less every day. Choose one item at a time and do just a little bit of it every day.

Dog Trainers and Owners:

I started doing around 10 repetitions of different actions with my tiny dog right before leaving the home a few months ago. It just takes 2 or 3 minutes, it makes him happy to go back to the back room where he lives when no one is home, and it makes me feel better leaving the house knowing he was so delighted to go back there, perform some tricks, and then receive a chewy to enjoy in his bed. It’s become a habit for me and him, and he can’t defecate in the den while we’re gone since I just lock the door when I leave.

People Who Own Homes or Apartments:

Another tiny habit I started was to clean or declutter a small section of my home for 15 minutes every day. I didn’t allow myself to work for more than 15 minutes during the first month to six weeks, even if I wanted to. That was the conditioning time when I learnt that I was always “allowed” to stop after 15 minutes if I wanted to. Now, I normally work longer hours, but if I feel the need to leave after 15 minutes, I do so. “Any reason” might include “just don’t feel like it.” I committed to 15 minutes, but I didn’t commit to another minute.

What was fascinating was that after a few months of working for 15 minutes a day on these little domestic activities, I began to look forward to it. I’m not joking. I’ve always despised housekeeping. My home was a catastrophe ten weeks ago, thanks to our whole family being active and creative. We had a never-ending laundry pile with cat fur on every surface. Today, it’s far from ideal, but my home is gradually becoming brighter, airier, and less cluttered. To top it all off, I no longer fear housework since I know I can easily stop after 15 minutes if I choose.

For People Who Are Obese:

To begin, just write down what you eat every day for a month to become conscious of it. Don’t go overboard by weighing everything or asking cooks for ingredients. It’s entirely OK to write something like “Fajita Taco with the Works” or “Broccoli Cheddar Soup and Salad with Bleu Cheese and Croutons.” Writing these material down assists in weight reduction for many persons who have excess pounds. Many dieticians believe that individuals who keep a food diary are the most effective dieters.

Instead of going on an eating plan that is drastically different from what you regularly eat, the next step is to start by altering one simple item every day. Rather of switching from Burgers and Fries to entirely low carb or exclusively raw vegetables, start by removing half of the fries. For one month, get the tiny fries instead of the giant ones. Alternatively, for one meal a day, get a side salad instead of fries.

This is a diet plan for folks who wish to lose weight and keep it off. When you strive to reduce weight, you can only do it by altering your behavior, thus your actual weight is only a byproduct of those changes.


I know a writer who mostly writes nonfiction but longs to create fiction. She has resolved to write fiction for 15 minutes every day in order to establish a fiction-writing practice.

What can you do in a few minutes a day to boost your satisfaction of your job or hobby? My husband is a musician who also has a day job, and he often takes up his guitar in the early morning before the rest of us are up. When I was actively playing guitar, I would often take it up at the end of the day and play two or three songs. This helped me to keep my fingers in condition, to feel creative, and to realize that I don’t need to practice for 4 hours a day if I don’t have 4 hours a day. For most of us, 15 minutes each day is plenty.

But, more importantly, 15 minutes every day is a LOT! You can actually get a lot done in 15 minutes a day. It all adds up. If 15 minutes a day is too much for you, 5 minutes a day will enough. The first step is to get over the resentment of completing the work or the guilt that prompts you to do something else instead. Fifteen minutes of crocheting will not result in your life breaking apart around you as a consequence of your laziness, and you will finish up with a useful product. Cleaning for fifteen minutes will not result in the horrifying buildup of animosity you learnt as a youngster. It just takes fifteen minutes.


Set a timer for 15 minutes that you may attach to your shirt. Commit to doing one activity for 15 minutes every day for one month. I’d love to hear how things go for you!

If the adjustment you choose is causing you worry, make it smaller rather than greater. What do we say when our dogs don’t follow our shaping instructions? Maybe we’re combining? Perhaps our estimates are too large.

I wish you a prosperous new year. Please let me know if you decide to make tiny adjustments in your life. I’d love to hear about your success!