Is Meditation One of Your New Year’s Resolutions? Here’s What Worked For Me

I actually started meditating in the middle of the year. So technically meditation wasn’t a New Year’s Resolution for me. Personally, I was never successful in completing my New Year’s Resolutions, so I don’t partake in them anymore. Instead, if I want to make a change in my life, I try to plan and act on it as soon as I can, which can be at any time of the year.

But once I did decide to start meditating consistently, here’s what worked for me:

Firstly, I educated myself on the topic of meditation. I checked various resources online to make sure I knew what I was getting myself into. One of the most helpful websites for me was the meditation subreddit on Reddit. There are a lot of helpful posts on that site, and sometimes I join in on the conversation, so if you are a reddit user, you may bump into me!

On that meditation subreddit, I was able to find a link to this website, which helped immensely in understanding how I could make meditation a habit. I will go over now what I learned from that blog post and what I had applied to my own practice.

  • I started small. I had heard of people sitting and meditating for 30 minutes, 45 minutes, an hour or even more! I knew that if I attempted to meditate for the first time, I would not be able to sit for that long. My first meditation attempt lasted only five minutes; I detailed the experience in a previous blog post. I knew if I kept the meditation session short at first, then the goal would be more attainable, and I’d be less likely to give up and quit. From there, I could move on to longer meditation sessions.
  • When I first started, I added meditation to my schedule as a weekly appointment; if I could keep it to that type of frequency, then I would be more likely to do it. Forcing myself to meditate daily, especially when just starting out, didn’t seem like a good idea to me. If I missed a day or two, I think I would have just quit altogether, because I would have associated meditation with failure. Keeping a weekly meditation session instead had a far more likely chance of success, in my mind. And when I did keep that weekly meditation appointment, I felt good about myself, which then reinforced in my head that meditating could be a positive in my life.
  • I found the right time of day to meditate. I have learned that the more tired I am, the harder it is for me to practice. So I meditate in the mornings, since that is when I have the most energy. If I only tried to meditate in the evenings, then it would be much more difficult to keep it as a habit. You might not know right away what part of the day will work best for you, so I encourage you to try different times and experiment through trial and error.
  • I told myself that meditating would not be a temporary change. But words are cheap, so how could I really hold myself accountable? Well, I created this website. In a previous blog post, I go into further detail about why I created the persona Meditating Millennial, and what kind of effect it has had for me (SPOILER ALERT: it was all positive).
  • No excuses—one of my mottos in life. Whether it is in meditation, gym, work, or in school, I always tried to discourage myself from giving excuses when I couldn’t follow through on something. Whenever someone disappointed me, they usually had an excuse; I did not want to be one of those people. When I couldn’t find time to meditate, I found different ways to apply the practice in my life. When I would wake up too late in the mornings, and didn’t have time to meditate, I started doing meditative walking while on my breaks at work. I wrote about my first experience of meditative walking in a previous blog post.

Lastly, I will quote a couple important tips from that guide, which I found extremely relevant in my quest to make meditation a habit:

“Stop looking at each meditation session as good or bad: You will feel there are ups and downs. Don’t beat yourself up for the downs. Just go with the flow and accept them as a part of the process.”

“Try creating a dedicated space to meditate: If you have a quiet space you can set up with a chair, pillow, or cushion, claim it! It might help you build a ritual and thus the habit.” (If you’d like to share what your meditation space looks like, let us know here!)

There you have it. I encourage you to read the guide in full. Hopefully my own experiences in making meditation a habit can encourage you, as well. Good luck!

 

The next post is Expectations Vs. Reality, Part 1.

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26 thoughts on “Is Meditation One of Your New Year’s Resolutions? Here’s What Worked For Me”

  1. I love this! Meditating is something we’re not used to, quietening our never ending stream of thoughts can initially feel impossible, that’s why it’s important to start small and work our way up. Sounds like a brilliant way to keep a consistent practice and not give up! Good luck

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There is an app/website called Insight Timer that has been one of the most powerful tools for me in cultivating consistent practice. I’ve been meditating for 20 years, and, although it seems a little superficial to give credit to an app on my iPad, I have to say that the tracking of my practice along with access to thousands of guided meditations has caused a significant shift for me. Just thought I would pass it along.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Same as you I started meditation mid last year and was doing it every day. I started with 10m sessions and that kept me going. It’s not about the length you do it but that Time you take you are present and focused. But then baby was born. Only now at 4 months I’m back to it, 10m again because it’s hard to find a bigger slot. Hope I can carry on because I really enjoy it

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I only started meditating in October. I had made no promises, etc. it was more curiosity. I have always known I was a deeply spiritual person, but clueless as to what I actually believed. Meditation, I realized almost immediately, was a missing part of my soul. It has unlocked so much for me. It has become not a “want” to do but a “need” to do – as much as eating, sleeping, breathing are. I find that it is something I came to quite naturally, and often just put on music and self guide. I’ve had incredible things happen while meditating, and the peace it brings forth nourishes me daily. I will have to check out the subreddit too! Thanks!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Great post. I am definitely with you when you say that when you first start hearing about meditation that you hear about 45 minute to 1 hour sessions. I started meditating about a year and a half ago but really have been consistent in building up my sessions overtime (I could only do 10 minutes for a while–now I am comfortable doing 30 minutes and trying to move up to an hour). Inspirational. Thanks again!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great honest post on meditating and starting out. Even as some one who has meditated for years..i sometimes struggle this where commentaries are great and inspiring music..all shared on my blog. In jan 2017 i want strenght my inner foundation as i call it with upping my regular meditation…check out my blog post search inner foundation..or check my page jan 2017. If you are interested.

    Liked by 1 person

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