Meditation is great – but you just can’t stick to meditating daily?
So, you just got into meditation. That’s great! But you struggle to meditate more often?
A daily meditation habit has countless benefits for you, your body, and your mind such as more mindfulness, less stress & anxiety and more happiness.
You most certainly know about these and all those other benefits and also that meditation would improve your life but somehow this new habit simply does not stick. Sounds familiar? Let me show you how to meditate more often!
I myself struggled for a long time to establish a regular meditation habit as well. It was quite frustrating because I knew it would be good for me, but somehow, I simply never came to do it and never meditated regularly.
What’s the problem? Why can’t I meditate more often?
When it comes to me, I always noticed these three same excuses:
– “I don’t have any time right now”
– “It would be too stressful now”
– “It’s not the right moment”
Stick around and read on if you want to integrate your meditation practice into your day and solve your lack of time, motivation and energy.
6+1 Easy Ways to Build a Meditation Habit and Meditate More Often
1. Create a Routine!
The single most recommended way to create a habit of meditation is to implement it in a routine. Routines are great because once you establish them, you will automatically do whatever you set out to do day after day without much effort.
Think about brushing your teeth. Many people say “No, I don’t have the time to meditate now” even if it is just for five minutes. But did you ever hesitate to brush your teeth? Probably not.
I recommend starting out with a routine that you know you can do every single day. For example, think about an easy morning routine to start your day with:
- Get out of bed
- Make a coffee/tea/water
- Meditate for 5 minutes
- Get dressed
It sounds too simple and almost too primitive to have any significant impact, but having a fixed little routine and order of tasks will help you stick to doing them without any real effort.
In order to establish a routine, you need a bit of time.
Popular sources say that after approximately 21 days such routines start to become habitual and after about 90 days they should be tightly locked in your daily schedule. No matter if in the morning, midday, in the evening or at night.
Voila, your new meditation habit!
2. Use Existing Time Slots to Meditate More Often
It might be that a routine is a too stiff of a concept for you. Doing things in a certain order might be too inflexible for you.
«Now would be a good time to meditate» on the other hand is what I sometimes found myself thinking in some rather unusual situations. On the toilet, in the shower or on public transport for example.
Little pockets of time that feel like they could be used and filled with something more useful.
If you think you found such an “empty bit of time”, try to fill it up with a quick meditation session.
5 minutes of meditation after showering, a bit when waiting for the bus or when brewing coffee. We do always “have“ time – it is about how we use the time we have and the little moments in between.
3. Make a to-do out of it!
Some people cannot live without a to-do list.
You write it down, do it and make a checkmark afterwards.
It is a great way to make sure to really do what is important to you because you know you are only done when you tackled all your tasks on the to-do list.
By putting meditation on exactly that to-do list, you can enjoy the following benefits:
- You won’t forget about it
- You look for pockets of time to fit in that meditation because you know it still has to be done
- You won’t forget about it in the evening. Yes, you had a busy day and congratulations on having completed all your tasks. But one important task is still left, so pull yourself together and finish that meditation.
4. Make it an Obligation!
Hold yourself accountable!
When it comes to other people, we try our best to always keep our promises. If not, we fear their judgement and feel guilty. But what about when it comes to yourself?
Many people just forget about the promises they have made to themselves.
They forget about them and say: “Ah yes right.. I really should meditate more often…” until they eventually fall into the same trap of forgetting about it again and so on.
Hold yourself accountable, by for example making an agreement with others.
Tell your partner, parents, friends… “If I don’t make it to meditate 10 minutes a day, you’ll get 10 dollars from me”.
This is a pretty effective way to make sure you do your meditation because it creates a bit of external pressure.
If you don’t want to make such an agreement with somebody else, you can also try to use apps like “BeeMinder”.
You type in your goal, select an amount of money and voila. BeeMinder will remind you daily to do your meditation and if not it will charge you the amount of money you initially selected.
5. Make it easy and visible!
Try to make meditation as easy as possible and make it impossible to forget about it. In order to do that, you have to make sure that it is A easy to meditate and B that you see meditation-related clues around your space.
Download a meditation app and move it to the first page on your home screen, buy a meditation pillow and create a meditation corner in your living room or buy a little buddha statue and place it right on your desk in the office. Try guided meditations instead of doing it alone and so on… Click here to know more about easy meditations right on your smartphone.
The only thing that matters is that meditation is not some distinct practice that is apart from your day. No, meditation should be a part of your day and a part of your life – thus modify your environment to reflect exactly that!
6. Know yourself, listen to your gut!
Don’t expect too much from yourself!
Try to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself by being kind to your body and mind. Your meditation goal is set too high? Maybe do a bit less. You don’t like the Lotus seat? That’s okay, just sit on a chair or wherever it is comfortable for you.
By being kind like this and listening to how you feel you have a much greater chance to maintain your meditation habit – otherwise, you run at risk of feeling stressed out instead of being more mindful.
+ 1: Do an “emergency meditation”!
Sometimes it just happens: You’ve been so busy all day and caught up in all kinds of thoughts when you realize at 10 pm that you haven’t meditated yet. What should you do? Plan to give your best next time and tomorrow you will *really* do it?
Remember that meditation is all about consistency. It’s better to meditate each day a bit instead of six days not at all and then force yourself into a 2h session on the seventh day.
Perfectionism and meditation don’t work well together.
It is not about being the ultimate yogi with crazy hour-long meditation sessions, but rather about accepting each day as it is and thus also making the best out of situations where you have missed out on your regular meditation session.
I recommend not giving up on that day but rather squeezing in a little as I call it “emergency meditation” in order to maintain that streak.
Whenever I am in such a situation, I try to do at least the absolute bare minimum. I take some deep breaths, close my eyes, notice the sounds around me and then count my breath until 10.
This literally takes me one minute.
In a situation where I otherwise simply would have resigned and postponed the meditation for the next day, I now squeezed in this tiny amount of mindfulness.
What the point of this is? Consistency, acceptance and being kind to yourself.
Yes, I missed meditating during the day and yes I could not keep the promise to myself. But you know what? That’s okay, life happens.
What’s more important is the question of why, after having realised that I missed my meditation, I should not do a bit of meditation now and do my “emergency meditation”?
A bit is better than nothing and consistency is better than perfectionism.
Mindfulness can be found at any time, so use the time in front of you!
See you next time!
Thanks for your blog, nice to read. Do not stop.
Thank you very much Mark!