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How Changing Just 1% Of Your Day Can Completely Transform Your Life

Gary Jansen
March 14, 2018
Gary Jansen
Written by
Photo by Liam Grant
March 14, 2018

Each of us shares at least one thing in common: We all have at our disposal 1,440 minutes in a single day. What we do with that time, however, is what ultimately makes us different.

As a life experiment, what would happen if you took just 1 percent of those 1,440 minutes, just 14 minutes and 24 seconds, roughly 15 minutes a day, and consciously tried to change your life? You can keep the other 99 percent of your day to do what you have to do—eat, sleep, go to work, take care of the kids, attend school, drive your sister to the doctor, surf your smartphone. Just 15 minutes. What would happen?

How to take action.

At the time I had always wanted to be a writer, but I never wrote a single word. I was scared to take action, and I was afraid of failure. But once I started thinking about this idea of micro-shifting, I realized I could take something daunting like writing a book and break it down into bite-size pieces. Once I did that, I didn’t feel so intimidated anymore.

So even though I had a high-pressure job as an editor, a wife, a son, and a long commute from the suburbs to the city every day, I got serious and committed to writing for 15 minutes every day. I did this consistently for one year. It was tough, and a lot of times I wanted to give up. And most of what I wrote was garbage. But in the end it didn’t matter. I was building writing muscles by making the time and being consistent.

And you know what? I ended up writing a book on something I was really passionate about—prayer and spirituality. It ended up getting published, which led to writing more books down the road. And along the way, I ended up becoming an editor to one of my writing heroes, none other than Deepak Chopra.

Now, suppose you want to pray or meditate more, but the idea of micro-shifting 15 minutes of your life sounds daunting. Maybe that’s too much time. What do you do? Start off by praying for 1 minute every day. Do that for a week, and then increase it by half a minute every day for about 30 days. In very little time, you’ll be giving 1 percent of your life to prayer or meditation. Think of it like this: If you’re consistent in this practice, in 12 months will have spent more than 5,000 minutes in prayer. That could change your life.

So, what are some micro-shifts you can do in 15 minutes that can change your life? Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Create a daily ritual where you can cultivate silence, read, pray, or meditate.
  • Go for a walk or get a set of dumbbells and start lifting weights.
  • Practice an instrument. You might not become Mozart or Taylor Swift, but in one year’s time, you’ll be able to play songs on a piano or guitar.
  • Get up 15 minutes earlier so you’re not so rushed in the morning or go to sleep 15 minutes earlier every night.
  • Call someone you love.

We all know that life can be overwhelming. But making a micro-shift of 15 minutes a day to cultivate yourself or a relationship will lead to more excitement, balance, and happiness in your life. Try it, and see what happens.

Want more ideas for how to change your life? Here's how to manifest abundance.

Gary Jansen author page.
Gary Jansen

Gary Jansen is a popular lecturer, commentator, and author. He is the author of several books, including The 15-Minute Prayer Solution and Station to Station. Jansen has appeared on A&E, the Sundance Channel, the Travel Channel, Coast to Coast AM, and NPR, and his writing has been featured in the Huffington Post, Religion Dispatches, and USA Today. Currently, Jansen is senior editor of religion and spirituality at the Crown Publishing Group at Penguin Random House.