Okay, I get it! Seriously. Starting meditation is something many of us know we SHOULD do. The thoughts, “I know it would be good for me,” “I just don’t really have the time,” “I need to start meditating,” “There is no way I could slow my mind,” or “I tried meditating last night, but nothing happened” might be running through your head. Sound familiar?
We get to the point where we are interested and even convinced that it could benefit us, but for some reason, we just keep putting it off. We may read a book about it, listen to a podcast about it, go to a retreat even, but what happens once you learn the technique? I believe that the reason so many people can’t quite “get the hang of it” is because they don’t dedicate the time necessary to feel the benefits which then inspire continued practice. You have to put it to use! And you have to use it consistently.
Once you have a solid technique to use (which you can learn through us). The next part and the hardest part is making it a priority. So I have a couple of questions for you:
- Why do you think you would benefit from meditation?
- Why is it important you start?
- What will happen if you continue without it?
- What is getting prioritized before this?
- Are those “priorities” aligned with what you want in life?
Once you get clear on this and meditation is truly made a priority, I promise you it will be worth it because the benefits far outweigh any excuse you made in the past.
Next, we have to tackle the making-a-new-habit challenge. Like many habits, you have to develop them. You sometimes have to phase out old habits to make space for new habits. So taking it slowly and taking steps that seem doable to you is going to be key in turning this from another thing on the “to do” list to a thing that is as integrated into your day as automatically as brushing your teeth is.
Here are some ways to do this:
- Speaking of brushing your teeth, find daily things you do no matter what and make that a time you meditate. Showering, going to the bathroom, brushing your teeth, before or after a meal, drinking water, getting dressed, checking your phone or email. These are things we do every day and if you want meditation to be done every day it’s great to attach it to something that is already a habit.
- Set an alarm.
Middle of the day meditation practice proves to be hard to integrate for many. Typically it has to do with getting swept away with the tasks of the day and the productive role we get going on for our “to do” list so we forget to make time for it. Setting an alarm sometime midday will be a gentle reminder to take a moment to return to your priority.
- Post-it note reminders. On your refrigerator, on your pillow, on your steering wheel, on your partner…Anywhere you look often is a great place to do this.
- Change your phone background.
Change your phone background to a message that reminds you that you are committed to practicing your meditation. This way when you are grabbing for your phone during a down moment or when you’re bored, you know that you have another option than scrolling your social media, reading the latest news article or checking your email.
- Every time your phone buzzes
This is a tip that Chris used to get started many years ago! Every time he received a text or notification he reminded himself to return to the present moment using his technique.
- Before bed or right before you wake up.
There truly is no better time. It requires few adjustments and it’s a great time that many of us have to ourselves, commonly quiet, and it sets up for success for the day or gets us ready for bed. If you’re thinking, “Wahhh but I like to sleep in until the last minute!” I know, I did, too. I couldn’t fathom waking up early. It took a lot of adjusting. I had to sit up in bed to keep myself from falling asleep. I had to put my phone on the other side of the room so I wouldn’t hit snooze. I made it an experiment until I figured out what worked for me. Now it’s something that is so beneficial to my day, I don’t even look back to how I used to be.
I promise you, I understand how you feel. I know how it seems like there is NO time to do this. But I want you to get honest with yourself about how you spend your time. Is it bringing you value like meditation can? There is only one way to find out. Ready to try?