The Ten Minute Trick to Boost Your Self-Control

Holiday-CakeWhat do  you do when that decadent piece of holiday “cheer” is sitting before you? It can be tough to walk away. But, I have a trick to share that will help.

I want to introduce you to a dynamic secret. It is the most important and amazing self-control tool I know. It is the spark that makes things happen, the spark that gives you hope. It is called the “10-Minute Factor.” It is a dynamic component of reasoning that doesn’t suggest what you can do—it demands it (at least for a period of ten minutes).

I first heard from a man in his sixties who had at one time been addicted to drugs as well as to cigarettes. He had been in prison because he couldn’t control his habits. One day he realized that he couldn’t control them for the rest of his life—but he could control them for ten minutes. He tried this concept with his smoking. Whenever he had an urge to smoke, he would simply tell himself he wasn’t quitting smoking for good, but for the next ten minutes, he was in charge—and he was not going to smoke.

He would then get busy doing something else and not light up. He would go outside and work on something, or get a cup of coffee, or start reading, or turn on the television. He said the urge to smoke would return in an hour or so, and he would trigger his ten-minute factor again. Since implementing the ten-minute factor over twenty years ago he had never smoked another cigarette!

That story impressed me so much that I began applying his strategy to the wrong foods I had a craving for. I began sharing it with others who had made the decision to change their lifestyle of eating, as well as of weight control and exercise. And it has worked for myself and many others. So walk away from that holiday temptation (for just 10-minutes at time), and keep your mind and hands busy with more beneficial options.

At some point you are going to have to make a decision. Don’t take the ten-minute factor lightly. You don’t want to be one of those who keep sitting on a fence, simply thinking about losing weight, or developing the proper eating habits, or starting to exercise (someday). This is a tool that will allow you to do something about developing your lifestyle. To decide today to exercise, to lose weight, or to stop eating the wrong foods is a process.

It takes about two months to be able to substitute one good food for a harmful one. The nice part is that down the road you will enjoy the new, healthy food the way you enjoyed the old, damaging one. The day will come when you could not care less about eating a bite of a harmful food that is so dear to you today. In fact, you will look back and believe that food was not all that good to begin with.





“Cake” photo courtsey of apolosia at