Home Challenge! Part 2: The “10 More Minutes” Challenge

Part 2: The “10 More Minutes” Challenge

by Erika Nicole Kendall

Credit: Robert van der Steeg

My alarm goes off at about 4:40. Perfect. ‘Cause what I usually do is groan – loudly – while I snatch up my phone and hit the snooze button. “Ugh, just ten more minutes.”

It’s just ten minutes, right? But what’s the value of ten minutes?

Ten more minutes on my run is almost an extra 100 calories that I could be burning. It’s an extra few more sets of lifting weights. It’s ten minutes I could spend skipping rope, doing jumping jacks or even just getting my morning dance on to help me wake up. Ten more minutes could be time I devote to meditation and yoga. That’s ten more minutes that I could be spending learning how to do the crane position without feeling like I might bust my forehead wide open.

Ten minutes is so valuable in fitness. It’s ten minutes… but it is an opportunity. If nothing more, committing ten more minutes to yourself (even if you originally committed no minutes to yourself) is a mental exercise – it’s ten minutes of your day where you focus solely on your body and what you need.. and you teach yourself the benefits of devoting a little time to yourself. If that means you have to stop hitting the snooze button in order to get those extra ten minutes, then you need to work on that.

For me, my ten minutes can be interrupted by no client, no barking puppy, no hungry fishies, no ultra-dramatic toddler. My little one knows “the ten minute zone.” What does she do? She sits beside me and takes ten minutes, too. It’s good for her. She needs a moment to breathe every now and again away from the perils of being a hyperemotional three year old, too.

For you, ten minutes can be a little more time to sort out your day. Grab a planner and map out your responsibilities for the day. Is that fitness? You bet – de-stressing is a vital part of being able to not only operate optimally, but it is absolutely vital to losing weight. Ten minutes can be a little more time meditating. Sometimes, giving yourself an opportunity to remember what a clear head feels and looks like can be refreshing… and it can be just what we need to become the problem solvers we need to be.

Ten minutes can be an extra half mile, 3/4th of a mile or mile on your run… depending on how fast you move. It can be more distance on your bike. It can be more time swinging on a pole and trying to perfect that upside-down flip. Taking ten minutes more for ourselves can be an exercise in… simply taking time out from our day for ourselves and disassociating from everything else demanding something from you. It’s an exercise in making me a priority… and can prepare me for taking twenty minutes. It can prepare me for taking an hour for me. Ten minutes can be whatever you want it to be, so long as you make sure that you have that time available.

So, this week’s challenge is simple: just as it is so easy to take ten more minutes to sleep, take ten more minutes, each day, and devote it to you. No work, no chores, no kids, no significant others, nothing – ten minutes to devote to your mental and physical well-being. Use the time to de-stress and meditate, get in ten minutes more at the gym, add ten minutes to your walk, spend ten minutes doing a few more crunches, ten minutes devoted toward building your fit booty… whatever. It’s ten minutes, but it’s ten minutes devoted to making you better. Every day.

So, to quote one of my favorite people…

…are you in… or are you out?

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ConshusMama July 5, 2010 - 10:47 AM

I have been on the weight yo-yo ever since I could remember. With a Grandmother and Mother both on Weightwatchers I couldn’t help but be put on diets at a young age, even though weight wasn’t really an issue. Now that I am a 37-year-old single mother of one super energetic 2-year old, full-time student, and part time money earner; my needs seem to continuously get put on the backburner, and my health and weight are taking a serious hit.

I don’t know how I found you, but your blog has been a real motivator and it has helped me find ways to make me a priority again.

This article was the most inspirational of all. So many times I nix my plans to take that walk or get off the bus a stop earlier because it always seems like I never have enough time, but I DO have ten minutes. I can always find a way to add ten extra minutes. This may just be the opportunity I’ve been looking for!

Love your work, Madame. Keep it up!

Erika July 5, 2010 - 10:53 AM

Your comment brought tears to my eyes – it’s amazing the things we can devote ten minutes to… this time, give those ten minutes to you. 🙂

Pamela Monique July 5, 2010 - 11:17 AM

I am in. I think I deserve to have 10 minutes to myself to pray, workout, or read a good book. I am a single mother of four and I need to have some time to myself to relax and get my thoughts together. I think I am going to do 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes before I go to bed.

Erika July 5, 2010 - 7:38 PM

Beautiful! I love it! 🙂

Rita July 5, 2010 - 6:20 PM

I’m definitely in. I lost those precious minutes months ago when I started getting prepared to go back to school for another degree and with school on the horizon, this a perfect time to reclaim my 10 minutes!

Erika, you’ve done it again girl! Thanks booski!

Erika July 5, 2010 - 7:42 PM

I love it! And YES – I’m all about education over here, LOL!

Sonja July 5, 2010 - 7:16 PM

You know I finished (and kept going) the last challenge and I will do the same for this one! I lost 2.4 pounds last week when I weighed in!! So am pumped up and I will keep on keepin on!! Thanks Erika!

Erika July 5, 2010 - 7:42 PM

YES!!! Progress! You’re gonna make me do a backflip! LOL!

Eunice July 5, 2010 - 9:10 PM

Awww, I love this challenge! My bf is the queen of the snooze button. He needs to read this!

As for me, I’ve been training for races for the past few months. Today, I took 10 minutes to give myself a pedicure. It had seriously been at least a month. They were looking pretty busted and needed some love. It was 10 minutes for ME. And now I’m happy. 🙂

Erika July 6, 2010 - 12:23 PM

See, now THAT sounds like ten minutes *I* need to take. Barefoot running is NOT friendly to the soles, no matter how friendly it is to the soul, LOL!

Ladi Ohm July 6, 2010 - 12:12 PM

I’m definitely in… I’m always letting work get in the way of fitness… staying late to get things done, then I end up missing classes at the gym I want to take… welp, this week I’m leaving the office with enough time to get to the gym 10 mins early… I AM GOING to kickboxing this week 🙂

Erika July 6, 2010 - 12:22 PM

Trust me – I’m self-employed, so I understand letting work take priority, but ten minutes more for me? I can justify that!

I LOVE IT! Sounds like you are planning in advance. Get it in!

Ilana October 30, 2010 - 7:46 PM

I’m in

Surabi June 13, 2012 - 9:35 AM

I found your site on facebook from and am so excited. i have been on the diet for years and due to a lot of health issues not related to weight, i have been very discouraged. now i am getting excited though with this new blog. thanks and keep up the great work.

Kamy September 18, 2012 - 6:33 PM

Hey your blog keeps me motivated. My goal is to go from 153 to 128 . I have been doing an extra ten minutes of workout and meditation. I started my journey in july 17th but I have been in a plateu for about a month. I finished my monkey bar training but I did not lose a pound. I want to keep on going until i reach my goal.

Charlese July 5, 2013 - 10:45 PM

I’m in. I’m usually ‘a little” late to whatever is first on my daily agenda which means I’m rushing through the things I like about mornings (bible study, journaling, prayer, breakfast). That dang snooze button! 10 minutes might help that. Super excited!

Ashley January 3, 2014 - 3:17 PM

I tried this today when I woke up. But I was nervous my super energetic 1 yr old would jump me or something but he didn’t. He sat down with me and after 10 mins he gave me a hug. So now we are with the 10 mins. Thanks 4 the inspiration!

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