Have you ever started a meditation practice, but had a hard time keeping up with it? You really want to meditate everyday. You have even noticed how in the past it has helped you feel more calm and aware of yourself. But, for some reason you just cannot stick with it. Below are 7 guaranteed steps that will help you keep a meditation practice. What’s the catch? You have to actually do all of them. Check them out below & get started on your path to peace today!
1. Create a meditation space.
It’s important to have an area dedicated solely to your meditation practice. Utilizing other spaces in the home to meditate, do not evoke the same feelings of calmness and tranquility as a designated altar or sacred space. One should feel invited to sit here everyday. Your meditation space should make you feel uplifted. It should invoke positive thoughts and inspire you to sit in contemplation of the higher-self. [Related: 8 Yogic Principles Every Meditation Altar Should Follow] Also, having an intentional space where you go specifically to meditate helps create a habit. It requires effort to go there and sit each day. This act in itself helps to develop a daily ritual. The more personalized and accessible your meditation area, the higher the chances you will be motivated to meditate everyday. [Related: Creating Sacred Space In Your Home]
Design & create your meditation space by customizing your own Shanti Path Meditation Kit!
2. Find a comfortable seated posture.
Even before you begin meditating you should try your best to find a comfortable seated position. This can be a bit tricky because we may feel that we have found a relaxing position as soon we sit down. Then, a few minutes go by and the physical aches and pains begin. We shift around to find another comfortable position for our body. This may continue the entire time you have designated for your practice. This is one of the most common challenges for people! So, I made this video below explaining the 5 important elements to keep in mind when sitting for meditation and how you can find a comfortable seated position for your practice. [You can also click here to go directly to the video> 5 Elements to Sitting in Meditation on the Shanti Path YouTube Channel.]
3. Prioritize your practice.
Most people treat meditation as something they get to do when all of their other obligations are fulfilled. Like a treat for completing their daily to-do list. This is the wrong attitude. Meditating should be seen as important, in some cases even more important, than some of the things you occupy your energy and time with each day. An hour on Instagram, is that really necessary? Schedule in your meditation practice like any other important activity. Knowing your values and using them to guide you, will make it easier to remove distractions and stay focused. [Related: How To Overcome The Most Common Meditation Distractions] The level of dedication to your practice will determine your ability to say no the things that are not helping you move towards inner freedom and expanded awareness. Which brings us to the next step…
4. Learn to say no & set personal boundaries.
This is a pretty important step! Once someone asked me how I was able to meditate everyday. I told her, I will pass up going out to dinner with friends or watching a television show to meditate. [Related: My Biggest Transformation After 5 Years of Meditating Every Day] Now, I am not advising you ditch all of your friends and live in a cave (my dream!). BUT, you should know yourself well enough to know when you have had enough extroverted time. There should be a balance between your inner and outer worlds. Otherwise, your mind will get carried away indulging the senses in external pleasures, never making time for exploration of your own mind.
Knowing what we think and how we feel, helps us realize what internal changes we need to make towards creating sustained happiness. Constant inner reflection and attempts to quiet the mind are necessary on the path to knowing real peace. Making time for self-improvement and introspection helps you in every aspect of your life. What may first seem like a sacrifice of your time will turn out to be the wisest investment you will ever make. Isn’t it worth your energy and time to be able to live your entire life with even-mindedness and equanimity?
5. Find your why.
Why are you meditating? You absolutely have to be able to answer this question for yourself. If you have not thought about the purpose behind why you are meditating that will be the quickest and easiest way for your practice to fall apart.
Are you working towards a particular goal? What do you hope to gain from meditating? The reasons will be different for each person. However, you want to be sure that your answers do not set up any expectations. Because if they go unmet, then that will be reason enough for you to abandon your practice altogether. Rather, your answers should help guide your practice and motivate you when you feel like giving up.
You should steer clear from goals like, I want to be able to read minds in 3 weeks or get rid of all my anger issues in a month. Instead, you can set intentions such as, I hope to be calmer, or the best one in my opinion, I am open to whatever positive inner changes meditation will bring me.
A lot of times we don’t know or cannot imagine what lessons we need to learn to evolve into our best-selves.
As you continue your practice, you can check in with yourself every couple of weeks to see how you are feeling. Remember that a consistent meditation practice will bring the biggest changes. The more regularly you meditate, the deeper, permanent, and profound your transformation.
6. Meditate at the same time everyday.
You are more likely to stick with your practice when you meditate at the same time each day. Predictability breeds consistency. Just as every morning you wake up and brush your teeth by habit, meditating should become second nature. [Related: How To Create A Morning Meditation Routine]
Expecting that you will meditate at a certain time everyday helps to prepare the mind for sitting. Additionally, having a designated time helps us better plan our schedules. Sometimes I design my entire day around my meditation practice, which goes back to prioritizing our practice (#3 on this list).
Although, we do not always have control over our time due to work and family obligations, try choosing a flexible day and create a fixed time to meditate. Plan the rest of your schedule around your practice. See what happens. You may find your day runs more smoothly and efficiently or that it requires some extra effort on your part to meet your other responsibilities.
There is no positive or negative. This is how we learn and grow. Experimenting and trying different things will help you find what works with your schedule. Ultimately, you want to not only create, but maintain a consistent, daily meditation practice.
7. Start small.
If you are a beginner meditator, I highly, highly recommend you start with a 1-2 minute meditation practice everyday. I’m serious. Expecting too much too fast will set you up for failure.
In working with clients and speaking with numerous people, I have seen the same scenario play out many times- a person very enthusiastically starts a meditation practice, setting up high expectations for themselves including forcefully sitting for longer periods of time than they are ready. Then, they end up feeling disappointed after trying to meditate for a very short amount of time and entirely give up.
To help guide you, remember that in meditation we are attempting to do these three things (not all at once, but in stages): reduce thoughts, develop focus, and eventually make the mind quiet.
If you are sitting for a half an hour with your mind wandering the entire time, wondering when “this” is going to end, you are making things harder for yourself. Please take my advice and only begin with a few minutes each day. Once you get comfortable with that, meaning, you can sit without thoughts racing and have begun to concentrate the mind, you will naturally want to sit for longer periods of time. Just do not be in a rush to get there. Meditation is a process that takes time, patience, and perseverance. The benefits come after a consistent practice. You can do it!
More guidance & tips on how to keep your meditation practice going: