Meditation is a life-enhancing practice, there’s no doubt about it! But as any meditator will tell you, it doesn’t do you much good to meditate on weekends when you have time, and leave the rest of the week to its own devices.
Consistency is the key to success in any new skill… especially meditation because taming the mind is an ongoing process and the mind is very tricky – it will try to con you into believing that meditation is a waste of time, and that you don’t need to do it.
You may have days where you feel very uncomfortable physically, or your mind won’t stop racing, or you feel agitated – but if you give in to these discomforts, and meditate only when you feel like it, then your results will be few and you won’t enjoy meditation very much.
The real satisfaction comes in overcoming your mind’s desires to maintain the status quo – and mastering your mind and body through meditating.
When you create the habit of meditating, you will achieve much greater success – and experience more joy in the process – than you would with a once-in-a-while-when-you-feel-like-it kind of practice.
Developing the habit of meditation will help you create the discipline needed to adopt other beneficial habits, too.
Here are some success tips that will make it easier to create sustainable habits without a lot of upheaval and disruption to your routine.
1. First – remind yourself, NO UPHEAVAL. You are not making big changes to your routine because I guarantee you’ll slip back into your old habits at the first sign of overwhelm, difficulty, or even if you’re just having a bad day! Don’t think of a new habit as life-changing but rather life enhancing. It’s the icing on the cake, not the cake! It’s a tiny, fun new thing that you do because it feels good.
2. Be consistent. Choose a time of day that you don’t feel rushed and you can squeeze in 5-15 minutes of meditation. Plan on meditating every day. The duration is less important than consistency.
3. Pick an activity to link your new habit to. For example, if you enjoy having a cup of tea in the afternoon, and that activity brings you pleasure, attach your new meditation habit to it to stimulate the pleasure centers in the brain. Meditate after you’ve had your cup of tea, and the brain will very quickly register a reward for having tea and meditating! It’s important to make the new habit pleasurable and hooking it to an already-delightful part of your routine makes things much easier.
5. Commit to 5, 10 or 15 minutes – whatever you can honestly commit to, without fuss, without excuses, and without stress. That means, every day you will meditate for 5-15 minutes no matter what. Remind yourself that even if you’re having a terrible day and you’re feeling angry, agitated or frustrated, even a few minutes of meditation will make you feel better. Do not allow yourself to give in to any excuses (remember, that’s your mind trying to trick you into keeping things just as they are). Instead, focus on the many reasons why meditation is the feel-good thing to do.
6. Finally, commit to 21 days of developing your practice. 21 days is long enough for you to start to get used to this new practice – you may not completely create a habit in this time, but you’re well on your way. If at the end of 21 days you find that meditation isn’t working for you, don’t quit! Do yourself a kindness and try a different approach.
- Maybe a different time of day would work better for you (even getting up a little earlier can be a good option, because meditation is so relaxing that you won’t miss the “lost” sleep)…
- Perhaps a different meditation space would inspire you more
- Try a different meditation position
- Try a different existing pleasurable habit to link meditation to
- You can even try meditating for less time than you originally started. If you meditate for only 3 minutes, but you do it every single day, that’s still better than meditating once a week!
These easy tips will help you make meditation a part of your everyday routine with no stress, no upheaval and no bother!