How many resolutions and goals have you created and eventually gave up on or life interrupted your progress?
I know this situation, first hand, all too well - and after teaching meditation to hundreds of people over the last few years, I have noticed some concepts and tools that are science backed and can help us cultivate the habits that allow us to be the best versions of ourselves.
Below are a few pointers that I've provided in the past to support cultivating a meditation practice, but it can also be used for any new small habit you are looking to implement.
We don’t need more willpower, we need more clarity.
When, where, how will you practice meditation?
Get very clear on your options for where you will practice as well as 1st, 2nd, 3rd options for when you will practice.
No plan, no action!
What are your roadblocks? Get clear on these and find ways of overcoming them.
No clarity means your new habit will be pushed aside, skipped, or avoided because of life's demands or simply because it was not prioritized in the scheduling of your day.
SELF-JUDGEMENT is one of the primary elements that hold us back.
Embrace vulnerability = follow through
Most new practices are VERY challenging!
Chang your narrative. Instead of "I am bad at this," think "I am leaning into the challenge of training my mind in order to live life more fully."
Think quantity, not quality.
Our brain needs evidence to believe we are becoming a “meditator.”
The more evidence/quantity, the higher the chances we encourage ourselves to continue.
Do NOT underestimate the value of tracking your practices!!
There will be several false starts. That is okay!
Once we have logged several practices in a row, it inspires us not to break the chain.
Tracking your practices should not be another opportunity to beat yourself up about something.
BONUS: Use the tracker below to help you track your progress on several LITTLE habits you feel will improve the quality of your life.
Reduce “friction points.”
Make it so easy you can’t say no.
1 entire week of 2 minute meditations. (follow a 5 second inhale/exhale 12x)
Week 2: 3 minute practices
Only increase length of time when practices are feeling more comfortable
Lastly, consciously look at how to enjoy the process of being challenged by this new goal instead of zooming into the final outcome! Think about the person you are becoming because of training your mind.
For more about how to follow through with a meditation practice and debunking myths about the practice, check out this blog post.
All of this because “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” - Oscar Wilde
I have to give credit to James Clear, who wrote the #1 NY Times Bestseller "Atomic Habits," for most of the messages above.
What other habits are you cultivating this year and which ones are you reducing or stopping?