Just Five Good Minutes

February 4, 2024

Jeff Galloway, noted marathon runner himself, has coached many people. In fact, he’s been credited to have influenced the majority of people today who cross the finish line of a 26.2-mile course. His run-walk interval technique has given a freedom to people training and participating to run the specific interval then enjoy the permission to walk before the next interval. It’s quite brilliant and has been proven to provide very good results. (For information see www.jeffgalloway.com)

Along with his interval methods of helping people get into the joy of running, Jeff Galloway is also known for his help in overcoming training obstacles. In a recent blog, Jeff addressed the days when you don’t feel like training. Instead of procrastinating to the point where you just blow off your workout, his advice was to “just give it five good minutes.” His reasoning is that when you get into five minutes in training you will start to feel good, and you’ll do what you have to do. In other words, the automatic negative thoughts (ANTS, if you please) that are causing you to procrastinate can be overcome by simply saying to yourself, “just five good minutes and see how I feel.”

What a great application to anything to which you find yourself procrastinating: “just five good minutes!” The hard part is just getting started and that is overcome by the simplicity of five good minutes because anyone can do that.

You might speculate as to whether Paul had something like that in mind when he wrote:

1 Corinthians 9:24–27 (ESV) — 24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

The entire training regimen may seem overwhelming, but practicing self-discipline is a bite size piece that can get and keep you moving ahead.

Luke 9:23 (ESV) — 23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

The words of Jesus may seem more than you can chew at first, so begin with self-denial and watch how that progresses.

1 Timothy 6:6–8 (ESV) — 6 But godliness with contentment is great gain, 7 for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. 8 But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.

Philippians 4:10–13 (ESV) — 10 I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. 11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Contentment is a wonderful virtue that is commended in the Bible. It’s amazing how large it seems to take on being content in all aspects of life as we should. It can be overwhelming. However, if we learn to be content in the small areas of life, relying upon the strength of the Lord Jesus Christ, we’ll also learn to be content in other areas of life.

The “just give me five good minutes” principle is appropriate in all our spiritual disciplines. When we try to fulfill patterns of prayer from the Puritans we normally fall flat on our faces and feel we can’t pray at all if we can’t pray for two hours or more. However, we can focus on praying for five minutes. That may not seem like much but if you’ve been discouraged to the point of procrastination and even avoiding personal times of prayer the “just give me five good minutes” may be all you need to get back or begin the discipline of personal prayer.

How about daily Bible reading? It’s quite discouraging to hear how few Christians read their Bibles daily. I’m not talking about subscriptions to “the verse of the day,” but rather dedicated time to read entire passages of scripture. People say they just don’t have time, so they procrastinate to the point they get accustomed to putting it off altogether. But wait! Just give it five good minutes and see what happens.

Whether it be times of prayer, Bible study, or whatever discipline you are having trouble getting started, the “just give it five good minutes” is a great tool to get you moving. How many other things are you putting off because you feel it’s too large of a task? Experts say that if you break down what you need to do in bite size pieces you are more likely to complete it and whenever you seem to hit the wall and don’t feel like moving forward just think of the words from the coach who said, “just give me five good minutes and then see if you want to quit or keep going.” More than likely the good you feel from the progress you made in those five minutes will keep you going forward rather than turning back.


Bob Brubaker, Pastor