Do you struggle to pause during the day for moments of awareness and presence? Are you aware of the benefits of mindfulness but find it challenging to integrate a lasting meditation practice into your life? If so, you're not alone—many of our course participants and clients face the same issue.
Perhaps you recognize the scenario: You promise yourself, "Tomorrow I will start meditating daily," yet when tomorrow arrives, you may find yourself reaching for your phone or hitting the snooze button instead. Perhaps you've attempted it for a few days, only to be interrupted by life, allowing old habits to resurface. Sound familiar?
While we often understand what's good for us on an intellectual level, the challenge lies in putting it into practice. which can be frustrating.
Let’s explore some best practices and research-based insights on habit formation that might set you up for success.
1) Start Small
Begin with manageable increments. If five minutes of daily practice seems daunting, start with one minute or even thirty seconds. This reduces perceived pressure and helps you overcome the initial hurdle of starting, a crucial step.
2) Make it Easy (to Remember)
Identify a time and space that suits you and is easily accessible, whether it's in the morning, before bed, during your commute, or in your car. Reduce barriers to practice by using meditation apps, setting phone reminders, or placing visual cues, like a post-it, near your chosen meditation spot.
3) Use Habit Stacking
Leverage existing habits by incorporating your new mindfulness practice alongside them. If you already dedicate time to morning tea or coffee, use that opportunity to add a short mindfulness practice.
4) Reward Yourself
Our brains tend to focus on negatives. Celebrate your successes, keep track of your committed moments, and consider ways to reward yourself. This positive reinforcement helps maintain motivation.
5) Prepare for Obstacles
Acknowledge that motivation and willpower are limited resources. Anticipate moments of stress or unforeseen circumstances. Plan your response for these challenging times to avoid reverting to old, less beneficial habits.
6) Stay Flexible
Life is unpredictable, and your practice may not always go as planned. Instead of adopting an "all or nothing mindset," embrace flexibility. Rather than committing to daily practice, aim for 4 to 5 times a week. Starting small is better than not starting at all.
Feel free to try out these tips and see how they work for you. If you're interested in delving deeper into mindfulness, its benefits, and how to incorporate it into your daily life, check out our upcoming events.