Five Minutes Towards Success

Five Minutes Towards Success

This Sweet Pepper Plant was given to me by the Mental Health & Well-Being Champion at my workplace. The plant came in a "treat bag" which included numerous other items designed to encourage us to spend short bursts of time on ourselves outside of work hours.

I frequently look at this plant's progress and compare it to my coaching clients (and anyone else, for that matter) who are working towards their goals. Here's why...

Start-Up & Environment

In the same way that any journey towards a goal begins, this plant needs some simple set-up. It needs to be placed into apot and it needs to be positioned where it has the best possible chance of growing. Just like us, it needs the right surroundings to give it the the best possible chance of being successful. We need to "set ourselves up" for the journey towards our goal, ensuring we are around what feels good and what we need. Just like the plant.

The plant was the first to ever enter my home - I am not very plant-savvy! I didn't even know it was a Sweet Pepper Plant until I was told. I was quite happy expecting a flower to bloom anytime soon. Nonetheless, a new experience and one I therefore would need some initial guidance with. Similarly, just like when we persevere towards a new goal or ambition, we may need some advice around how best to go about achieving it.

My plant is reliant on me giving it the foundations it needs for its best shot at succeeding. Specifically, it needs me to ensure it is situated in a good place where it can reach the sunlight. It is also dependent on me to (remember to) provide it with some water every so often. This is comparable to the support that people often find themselves needing when they are working towards their goals. We all need watering from time to time, by the right people.

Every Effort Is Progress

I water this plant every few days, spending no more than five minutes doing so. Now compare this with the journey towards your goal. Let's take learning a new language as an example. Spending five minutes each day practising alanguage (perhaps on an app, or by reading) is small but steady progress towards the end goal. Five minutes progress is five minutes progress. We don't have to get weighed down by assuming we need to devote long periods of time every day in order to achieve something.

Whilst this plant doesn't have a household to run or a social life to keep up, what it does demonstrate is that any and all effort count towards its progress. Plan logically when working towards a goal. If you managed to find 27 minutes of yourday to work towards your goal, then you certainly should not be criticising yourself that it wasn't a full hour. Progress is progress.

Enhancing The Experience

As we grow confident in our ability to reach our goals, we look at branching out, just like the plant is. The foundations are in place, we have the support we need, and we look for opportunities to further enhance the experience. Plans towards achieving goals should allow some flexibility, especially if you find you are enjoying acquiring new skills and gaining new experiences. You don't necessarily need to have a rigid pathway set in place. Reach out further by maximising the experience - and your potential.


You won't be surprised to know that when I turned the plant around, the plant and its leaves very soon after gravitated towards the window, where the sunlight would come in. The plant leant towards what it wanted - and what it needed.

Now compare this to the influences you have around you. When you are working towards a goal, positivity is key. Support is crucial - and I am not talking about people necessarily motivating you everyday and telling you, "you can do it". I'm talking about those people around you who respect you are working towards achieving something, understand why it is important to you and are not putting barriers up in your way. Whilst praise is nice, we know why we are working towards a goal. A commitment has been made. Success is in sight. We see the value of the end result and this itself is truly the only motivation we need.

Being surrounded by negative influences is something that must be avoided. Do not fall into the trap that is conversations around "what is the point?" and "why bother?" Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but negativity has no place in your life at a time where you are aspiring towards improvement. Everyone makes their choices in life. Some people are happy to plod along - which is completely acceptable. Some people strive for more, more, more - this is also acceptable. But those people who don't make the effort to better themselves and think it is okay to share their resentment towards those who are trying to improve their quality of life, are simply not needed.


Being busy is never an acceptable excuse when justifying why progress towards a goal has not been made. On the same note, when planning aside time to work towards your goal, ensure you do not pressure yourself by committing to more than what is realistically possible. Make the plan achievable and keep it desirable. If we are motivated and committed enough towards reaching a goal, then the five minutes needed to make a small amount of progress can always truly be found every day no matter what. Take control, identify your priorities and ensure your journey is successful.