So, since the last time I posted about mindfulness, all you faithful readers out there have been relentlessly practicing mindfulness and meditation regularly…right? Right. Well what can I say? I haven’t exactly been able to build mindfulness or meditation into my everyday life either. That’s why I decided to build meditation into my daily routine and make it a habit.
Today I will be applying the advice from the 99u’s article by Greogory Ciotti 5 Scientific Ways to Build Habits That Stick to meditation and suggesting specific ways that you can make meditation a part of your everyday.
#1 Think big. Do little.
Facing a big challenge can be intimidating. Instead of charging head on into oncoming goals that you’ve set, try breaking up the big goal into small bite-sized pieces. For a big goal like: Be a Mindfulness Guru, small steps might look like:
Day 1: read Olivia’s article about how to make meditation a habit
Day 2: Set up a relaxing space in my home where I can meditate
Day 3: Meditate for 5 minutes
#2 Build it into your regular routine.
There is no reason to re-invent the wheel. If you already have a daily routine, just add a 5 minute meditation to the end of it. Maybe you get up early and do some exercise before you go to work…do 5 minutes of mediations after you exercise. Maybe you read your kids a bedtime story every night…do 5 minutes of meditation after you read to your kids. What if you don’t have a daily routine? I assume you brush your teeth every day. Meditate after you brush your teeth.
#3 Delete decisions.
The more options we have, the more difficult it is to make a decision. This can be built in to step #2. Instead of deciding during what part of your day you should meditate, build it into your already existing routine. This eliminates a lot of the stress of decision making.
#4 Focus on why you’re doing this.
Instead of thinking to yourself “I brushed my teeth. Now I have to do that stupid meditation thing because I do it every day” try instead thinking “I brushed my teeth. Now I have to do that stupid meditation thing because I am committed to decreasing my stress levels and living more in the present moment”. By adding meaning to the activity you make it harder to guiltlessly skip a task you may find monotonous.
#5 Just because you messed up doesn’t mean you stop.
If you slip up and decide to throw meditation down the drain (probably with your toothpaste) for the day, get back to it tomorrow! Getting back on track and persevering is more important than being perfect. Try to find out WHY you skipped meditation that day. Was it because you tied meditation to your evening routine and you always fall asleep halfway through your meditation? Then maybe change your strategy and meditate during your morning routine. Examining exactly what happened and how you can change the outcomes for next time is one of the most important steps to succeeding in your endeavors.
From now until next time, happy meditating!
You can read the full 99u article here: