How to Find Your Motivation to Lose Weight in Just 5 Minutes

by Suzanne Hiscock
Trying to find the motivation to lose weight?  Motivation is such a tricky thing!  Just Do It! Nike tells us.  Even Yoda gets on our case with, “Do or do not. There is no try.”  If only we could be Jedi-mind-tricked into losing weight.

But most of us feel like a rubber band when we try to make changes. Every time we try to make a positive change in our life, we snap! right back to where we were.  And it hurts.  It hurts bad.

And then, you get tired of trying to make the changes you know you need to make to lose weight because nothing seems to work.

There can be lots of reasons for this (information overload and analysis paralysis come to mind), but here’s what I think:

Change and transformation are skills you need to learn, just like anything else.  But nobody shows you HOW to learn and work on that skill.

Until today... 

Here's What I'd Like You To Try

I would like you to put on your scientist hat and try a little experiment with me, especially if you feel stuck or have a fear of failure.  What I want you to do is to choose a five-minute action to do each day for the next two weeks.

(This is the exact same habit I coach my clients on in  my weight loss program.)

The key here is for YOU to choose a 5 minute action that makes sense to YOU and that you feel you are ready, willing and able to do. 

I can’t tell you what to do. Even as a coach, I wouldn’t tell my clients what to do.

Because if I told you do to 5 minutes of meditation a day, and you’re really, really not into meditation, you wouldn’t succeed, right? Maybe you’d try for a few days but then you wouldn’t be motivated. (There’s that word again!) 

You’d stop doing it.  And you’d wonder what’s wrong with you.  You’d wonder why you can’t just motivate yourself already and meditate!

But like I said, change itself is a skill you need to learn.  You can’t just say bam! I’ve changed!  It takes time.  It’s a habit like any other habit.  And the only way to learn it is through imperfect action. 

Yup, imperfect.

Realize You Can't Be 100% Consistent All of The Time

Did the word “imperfect” trigger you a little bit?  It can trigger some people, especially if you think everything comes down to all or nothing.  That you either get it right 100% of the time or you get 0% .

But 100% some of the time won’t help you reach your goals. It just won’t. But a constant 80% will get you there every time!

What if you’re at 50% right now? Or even less? You eat some healthy meals but most meals aren’t so healthy. What do you do then?

You do a little bit each day to bump up that percentage.

That’s what the five-minute action can do for you.  You’re bumping up that 50% to 51%, and so on, as you develop your “change” skills.

And sure, one day you might go back to 50%. But that’s okay,  You’ll know how to start bumping that back up again.

See, here’s the thing:  Change is NEVER a straight line.  It’s all over the place!  You zoom up, fall down, get up, take a few steps back, zoom ahead again.  Or take it slow. Whatever. It’s YOUR journey!
What I want for you is to take action.  Any action. Even a five-minute action.

The first step can be a bit scary, too, because you think, "What if I can’t do it?  What if I fail?"  You know what? Nobody’s perfect.  Nobody gets it 100%  all of the time.  Your arms will not fall off.

Remember this: 

Just start wherever you are.
Use whatever you have.
Do whatever you can.

So, my challenge to you to help motivate you to reach your weight loss and fitness goals -- or to do anything -- is to pick ONE five-minute action you can do for the next two weeks.  Keep track of it, too! 

It can be the same 5 minute action over and over again, or it can be a different action each day.  Or somewhere in between.  YOUR choice.

How to Decide on a 5 Minute Action

What’s the first thing that popped into your mind when I said pick ONE action? That could be your five minute action right there.  Funny thing about our mind, it usually knows what’s good for us if we just get out of its way.

Another way to generate your own ideas is to grab a pen and paper and write down all the ideas that come to mind when you ask yourself:

I really need to….
I would like to change…
If only I could….

Still Stuck?  No problem!  As a coach, that’s what I’m here for...
Let’s brainstorm a bunch of ideas.  If something speaks to you, write it down. Follow your gut with this.  Your body knows what needs to be done.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

Exercise / Movement
  • Do those rehab exercises your physiotherapist suggested to help your back/knee/foot/shoulder/whatever.
  • Dance around the house.
  • Park further away.
  • Set a timer to get up off your chair every 30 minutes.
  • Take 5 minutes to stretch after getting out of bed in the morning.
  • Take 5 minutes to stretch before getting into bed at night.
  • Take the stairs instead of elevator or escalator.

  • Create a grocery list full of healthy foods to eat.
  • Plan and/or prep tomorrow’s meal.
  • Pack one fruit with your lunch.
  • Get a regular coffee instead of mocha-frappa-super-crazy-ingredients coffee.
  • Start the day with a glass of water.

  • Make a long overdue doctor or dentist appointment.
  • Floss every day.
Stress / Mindset
  • Plan out your day.
  • Take 5 minutes to stand outside and appreciate nature before getting into your car to drive to work.
  • Meditate for 5 minutes.
  • Five minutes of positive affirmations.
  • 5 minutes of fresh air/sun.
  • Take 5 minutes to find something positive about yourself.
  • Deep breathing for five minutes. (Tip: Count to 10 while breathing -- in 1 -- out  2 -- in  3: -- out  4 -- and then start all over again when you get to 10.  Lose count? That’s normal! Just start at 1 again.)

Bonus Tip:  To really make this stick, pair your 5 minute action with a habit you already do.  Drink tea in the morning? Stretch before you drink your tea. Or mMake that doctor’s appointment before a round of Candy Crush.

Motivation isn’t the problem. It's because you're being pulled in a million different directions before learning -- and practicing -- HOW to change.

With this experiment, you’re taking small steps to spark action and get yourself moving towards your goals.

Once you believe -- and see -- that you CAN change, you’ll be ready to transform other habits to help you reach your weight loss goals.

The five minute action is the first habit we tackle in my 12 month online coaching program.  If this habit resonated with you, or if you’re stuck, I can help you.  Learn more here: Weight Loss Program.
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About the Author

Suzanne Hiscock is a PN L2 Certified Master Coach, ACE-certified Health Coach, as well as an ACE-certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist. For over 20 years, she's been helping people lose weight and get fit through her website,

And she’s really TRULY SORRY ABOUT THAT. You see, she didn’t realize she was contributing to diet culture; she just wanted to help people feel better. But losing weight isn’t the way to do it. She’s on a mission to change all that with an anti-diet approach. So, pardon the dust on the floor as the website gets revamped.