One of the most difficult aspects of meditation is consistency. Making it a habit so that it becomes part of your routine requires precision. I usually meditate right away in the morning, but if I oversleep for some reason, then it’s either getting to work on time or it’s meditation.
It’s not just work commitments that get in the way. The kids might want to play Pokemon Go with you. Or there might be an evening of Netflix and relaxation on the agenda. So like me, you feel torn in two directions and meditation winds up being the loser.
Meditation doesn’t have to tear you apart. Here are my 5 rules for making meditation become part of any daily routine.
#1. Pair meditation with another regular habit. Do you need a cup of coffee to get going in the morning? Then try meditating while you’ve got the coffee brewing. Do you take a shower each day? Then consider meditating after your shower. If you can pair meditation with another one of your already established habits, it will become a lot easier to do every day. Don’t feel obligated to meditate 30 minutes every time – stop when the coffee is done.
#2. Know why you’re wanting to meditate in the first place. I’ve found over the years that a lot of people like the idea of meditation, but they’re not in love with it. It takes a few days for the benefits of meditation to initially kick in, sometimes 3 weeks or more, and there’s just no patience for that, so meditation gets thrown away. Before your next meditation session, think about why you want to meditate. Focus on one specific reason that’s important to you. This will help you prioritize your other daily habits.
#3. Track your progress every day. Whether you use an app to keep track of how much time you meditate every day or you’re old-fashioned like me and just keep a written journal, it’s important that you do something to track your progress. When you can see daily successes begin to add up, it helps you be able to start tasting success. When there is success, there is repetition.
#4. Turn repetition into routine. In a perfect world, you would meditate for 30-45 minutes each day, note your progress afterward, and turn meditation into a positive routine in 3-4 weeks. Unfortunately this is not a perfect world. You can schedule meditation into your calendar for a specific time every day and then have something interrupt your day – bye-bye meditation time. I’ve found that it becomes easier to stay in the routine if I use a “make-up session” of meditation if I miss my morning routine – or I get up a little earlier the next day to get back on track.
#5. Forgive yourself. Life happens. You might not be able to sit still for 2 minutes because the kids are everywhere one day. Or you overslept in the morning and got a late start. Or the shower broke down and you’re waiting on the plumber. Don’t beat yourself up over this stuff or whatever happens to be going on in your life. Be positive instead of negative. “I will meditate tomorrow according to my schedule,” works a lot better for motivation than, “I can’t believe I overslept and now I’m behind on my day.”
Meditation can become part of your routine. It can provide the benefits you want to have. I’ve shared my rules – what are your rules that help you stay with your meditation routine on a daily basis?