Health Now

HealthNow’s Success In Organisations: The Five Minute Rule

As we are gathering more data and feedback on the impact on businesses from offering HealthNow to their employees, we also seek feedback on how and why these changes and benefits may be occurring. We recently had an analogy conveyed that linked accessing proactive health services with HealthNow as having the same effect as the five minute rule on procrastination. It’s a great analogy, so we thought we’d share it.

What Is The Five Minute Rule

The five minute rule is actually a cognitive behavioural therapy technique to combat procrastination. You simply take the task that you would normally avoid and procrastinate, and set the goal of doing it for just five minutes. After five minutes, you’re free to stop and you’ve ‘accomplished’ that goal. Interestingly, most people find that after working on something for five minutes, it becomes very easy to keep going to complete the task. The hardest part was mentally setting the intent for the task and starting it – especially if it’s something you’ve been putting off for quite some time. Committing to 5-minutes of dedicated effort makes it feel much less overwhelming and much more achievable.

Interestingly, many people find a renewed sense of energy and motivation for the task (and other tasks) after they start doing it. They want to continue feeling this way, and the result is a boost in a person’s mood that even helps to alleviate depressive symptoms. The barrier that tells you you’re “stuck” and you’re not making any progress forwards is removed, creating a positive feedback cycle that supports you to the completion of your task.

Applying the give minute rule to our health, it appears that booking your first appointment towards bettering your health may have a similar effect – and it makes sense. “Losing weight” or “becoming a healthy eater” is an absolute mammoth of a task – mentally processing how you’re going to achieve that and then working towards all of the different parts is understandably overwhelming. So many people just don’t start. The same can be said for a long recovery journey for a chronic pain or condition, managing an ongoing mental health problem, smoking cessation, seeing a psychologist to manage trauma that may be creating anxiety in a person’s current life – all of these tasks can feel like mountains on their own.

With HealthNow, knowing that booking that first appointment comes with little obligations aside from time given that the costs are covered, it can act like that first five minutes. You get into that appointment, the treatment or recovery or rehab process is simplified, you see that it’s not so hard now that you’ve started – and you have the motivation to keep going and work towards your health goal because you’re in the flow, and it no longer feels hard or confusing or overwhelming. Plus, you have more HealthNow funds left to take the financial burden off. Once again a positive feedback cycle is established which supports you to achieve your health goals.

And once you make headway towards one health challenge? All of your other health goals can suddenly appear much easier too – or at the very least you learn that all you need to do is book that first appointment and get started.

We love learning about the way that HealthNow is positively impacting our partnering businesses. If you’ve got wins, insights or metrics to share that have arisen from your partnership with HealthNow, let us know.

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