KEEPING THE MOMENTUM GOING
The hidden secret to creating lasting change.
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Congratulations! You have made it through your first week of the 28 Day Meditation Challenge and that’s wonderful news!
I’m curious: how are you getting on?
- How has the first week been? Have you been doing the meditation every day?
- If it has slipped for a day, have you looked at your reasons why? And have you done something about it?
- How is your posture going?
- Have you got the support you need?
- Has your experience of meditating been what you were expecting?
- How are you feeling about taking your daily ten minutes for this?
Keeping your momentum going
One of the common things that can happen at this stage is feeling disillusioned, because the results haven’t been instant…
It’s a cultural expectation, wanting fast results. It’s because we have often forgotten (or perhaps never learned!) how to apply consistent effort, over time, to get the results we want.
You hear people saying, “Well, I did it for a while, but then I quit.”
Whether it’s weight loss, getting fit, learning to play an instrument, learning a foreign language or any other skill, it’s nearly an epidemic. If we don’t get fast results, we’re tempted to believe we’re failures and give up.
I call it the “Gimme now!” syndrome.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
There are examples, even in our fast-paced, instant-delivery world, of changes being made by many people who are putting in the effort, consistently, over time, and creating amazing changes in their lives.
If you want to watch a video to inspire you to keep going, even if you’re finding it tough to create your meditation habit, then here’s one you’ll definitely want to check out:
Let’s take the example of Zumba!
Zumba is a Latin dance-inspired fitness program created by dancer and choreographer Alberto “Beto” Perez in Colombia during the 1990s.
It has taken off in a way that few would have predicted, with many thousands turning up each week to exercise. It seems to bypass our natural excuses and inertia and has many ardent fans. Why is that?
Perhaps because Zumba has, accidentally or maybe deliberately, tapped into some of the best psychological strategies for reducing our resistance to change and keeping us motivated.
Here are seven reasons why Zumba works so well.
- It’s fun
- There’s no judgement
- You can’t get it ‘wrong’ (ok, not really wrong!)
- It’s open to pretty much everyone – there are no special pre-requisites
- You can do it with friends – so it creates a sense of community
- It’s regular – the classes remind you to come back, ‘little & often’, rather than doing 10 classes at once and not being able to move the next day
- People know the results will build up over time and that a single class won’t suddenly give them the body of an athlete!
Does it have to be any different with meditation?
Ok, so I’m not suggesting you leap around the room to Latin American music while you meditate (though that is an option in week 3, when we’ll be talking about mindfulness!). But we can apply all of the strategies that make Zumba work so well to our meditation practice, right here, right now.
- We can make it fun.
Do it with a smile on your face; look forward to it; allow yourself to enjoy it; don’t see it as a chore.
- There’s no judgement.
No one else is judging you; it’s not a competition; so why on earth judge yourself? (More on this in future messages!)
- You can’t get it ‘wrong’.
Honestly! (No matter what meditation teachers have told you in the past…) Your meditation practise just ‘is’. Yes, there are things you can tweak to make it more effective, but there’s no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’.
- It’s open to all.
There are no pre-requisites for learning meditation, other than wanting to do it. It doesn’t matter how fit you are, how busy you are, what your beliefs are, what your past is. Meditation is there, waiting for you, whenever you decide you’re ready.
- You can do it with friends.
Yes, meditating in a group can be a powerful experience. And that’s one of the reasons why we’ve created the online forum, as part of the online version of the 28 Day Meditation Challenge course, to help you connect with people – to create a community – so you can enjoy mutual support and get to know others on a similar journey.
How about roping in some friends to do the 28 Day Meditation Challenge with you? I have even had students meditating together using Skype!
- It’s regular.
Meditating for an hour once a week has much less impact for you than a shorter period, every day. Regular, consistent practise is what produces results.
- Results build up over time.
Even after the first week, people on the 28 Day Meditation Challenge report that they are noticing the ‘ripple effect’ of meditation in their daily life – which is wonderful news. Just imagine how it’s going to feel after 28 days (or more!).
Here’s a video I put together to take you through all of this:
If, despite all of this, you’re still feeling in need of some motivation to keep going, it could be that you’re not getting what you were hoping for.
We’ll be talking about how our expectations are the biggest enemy of successful meditation later in the 28 days. But for now, it might be worth reviewing what your expectations are from meditation.
Just like any skill, it takes practice and there really is no such thing as instant results when you are looking at trying to quieten your mind and reach your inner still point.
However the fact that you’ve got to 7 days is wonderful! You’re creating your new habit. You have made your choice and that gives you huge power and motivation to keep going for the rest of the 28 Day Challenge.
Inspiration gives us the idea;
Motivation gets us started;
But it’s routine and habit that create change.
If you’d like some extra inspiration to help you keep going, even if you don’t feel like it, then this bonus article is well worth reading:
“How To Meditate, Even When You’re Not In The Mood”.
I hope you really enjoy today’s meditation.
It would be great to hear how you’ve been getting on. Could you spare a moment to pop by the forum?
Day 7 Affirmation
I know that each and every meditation takes me a step further on my meditation journey.
P. S. Tomorrow you’re going to get the week 2 meditation – and for the next week, we’re going to be dealing with your monkey mind!
P.P.S. The key links you need for week one are:
Getting Started: http://www.28daymeditationchallenge.com/home
Online Forum: http://www.clarejosa.com/forum/28-day-meditation-challenge-online-course-1/
Week 1 Meditation: http://www.28daymeditationchallenge.com/home/#week1