HOW TO CREATE A MEDITATION HABIT
Discover the insider secrets to fast track creating any new habit.
The easiest way to create habit is to choose to do it.
I know that probably sounds stupid, but it’s amazing how often we try and create a habit, when we haven’t really bought into the change we want to make. We are doing it because somebody else tells us to or we think we ought to.
The easiest way to create a habit is to really understand why you want to do it (that’s why we covered it back in the ‘Getting Started’). Then all you need to do is create a rhythm in your day; a routine; something that will remind you to do it and something that will help you celebrate the fact that you did. It also helps if you keep track of the progress you are making.
The 3 steps to a new habit:
- Inspiration is what gives us the idea to get started.
- Motivation really gets us going.
- But it is routine and consistent efforts that, together, create the change.
Ancient Sanskrit (the language in which many of the ancient meditation practices were originally taught) has a special word for this consistent effort: abhyasa. Without abhyasa, even the most enthusiastic student is unlikely to see tangible progress. So motivating yourself to make your meditation time an integral part of your daily routine is crucial for achieving the results you are looking for – and learning to meditate.
Abhyasa – dedication; commitment; despite distractions.
Or… doing it even when you don’t feel like it.
You won’t make progress on your meditation journey without it.
Think of an example in the past where you have motivated yourself to do something – and to keep going with it.
How did you motivate yourself?
What worked for you?
What didn’t work?
How did you remind yourself to keep going?
What kinds of incentives worked?
How did you create and then establish the change in your routine?
How could you apply that to help yourself with your meditation practice?
Could you spare a moment to share your thoughts on this over at the forum? How do you remind yourself to meditate? http://www.clarejosa.com/forum/28-day-meditation-challenge-online-course-1/how-do-you-remind-yourself-to-meditate/
Apply what you know works for you and then, over time, as your skill improves, you’ll find you really start enjoying your 10 minutes of meditation. You’ll find yourself looking forward to it. You’ll crave it, as your space and quiet time. And if you miss it, you’ll feel it throughout your day. When you get to that stage, the meditation is then driving itself.
Once you have created the rhythm – the routine – the change becomes a habit.
An easy way to create the meditation routine is to do it at the same time, in the same place, each day. Then your body and mind come to expect it. And if you need to set yourself a reminder – be it an alarm or a piece of paper on the fridge door – do it! It’s ok.
Creating a new habit is as much about remembering to do it as it is about the new techniques.
Picking the same point in your daily routine to meditate gets you anchored into the rhythm. If excuses and interruptions are getting in the way, deal with them! You can – you know you can. Nothing is impossible!
For example, if you have a habit of buying a doughnut every time you walk past the baker at 11 o’clock in the morning, your body and mind become conditioned to expect it. Your body and mind will even give you signals, to remind you to go past the baker if you forget to on a particular day.
It is the same with meditation.
If, at the same point in time in our routine each day, we go to the same place, sit in the same way and say to ourselves, “This is my meditation time,” it doesn’t take long before your body and your mind start remembering how it’s going to feel. They’ll remember that it feels good and they’ll start nudging you to meditate.
Feeling irritated is often the signal – so be aware of this! You’ll notice if you have a day when, maybe, your meditation time has to move, your body will start to get ready for it at the time you used to meditate.
Millennia of meditation students have discovered that knowing how to meditate isn’t enough. It’s knowing how to create the habit that makes the difference between a ‘nice idea’ and a strong, sustainable meditation or mindfulness practice. That’s the key aim of the 28 Day Meditation Challenge.
So the rhythm, the routine and the habit are what create a long-term meditation practice – and that is what will get you the results you are looking for.
In the world of psychology and NLP, this is known as anchoring. It’s an incredibly useful technique. If you’d like to find out more about it, here’s a bonus article: How To Use Anchoring To Help You Remember To Meditate.
If you have any questions at this stage – or lightbulbs you’d like to share – here’s a link to the week 2 discussion thread:
I really hope you enjoy your meditation today.
Day 12 Affirmation
I choose to take actions that support my meditation habit.
P. S. Tomorrow we’ll be looking at how to handle feeling too tired to meditate!
P.P.S. The key links you need for week two are:
Week 2 Meditation: