How to Start Meditating (for real)

How to Start Meditating (for real)

I have dabbled in meditating for like ever. I would place huge, unsurpassable goals into my journal and in the end, I wasn’t meditating consistently. Eventually the utter failure would force away the concept of being a meditating ball of bliss.

It was not for lack of trying to meditate. I have had amazing opportunities to learn to meditate with gurus like Davidji while at Wanderlust, and have been exposed to many techniques through yoga teacher training, as well as resources online. When I took the 40 Days to Personal Revolution at Halifax Yoga, I tried super hard to make the meditation habit stick.

I thought guided meditations would make it easier, and sometimes it did. What I didn’t realise is how much I was craving silence & stillness. I wasn’t able to maintain a meditation practice until I strategised and followed the following tips.

Here are 5 tips to get you meditating consistently:

1. Just Start & Keep it Simple

Pick a day you want to start meditating. Don’t get too wrapped up on the concepts of time, like you can only start on a Monday. Just pick a day. 

I have a tendency to get all wrapped up in details. Try to keep it simple. Your practice can ad will, change and evolve over time. The key is to keep it simple and just start. I would argue there is no. “right” way to meditate. If you sit and breath, you are meditating. 

2. Find Your Sweet Spot

Pick a spot in your home that you love being in. If it would help, make that spot like extra special. I have an oil diffuser, salt lamp, and other goodies that just add ambience to the space. I also have a meditation cushion, to elevate my hips while I sit in easy seated pose (cross legged). A pillow from your couch will work just as well.

I made sure my spot was away from the action in our home. With three kids, it can be a challenge to find that spot where there isn’t a lot of foot traffic. Even in the spot I have, the dogs & cat always find me!

3. Attach Meditating to Something You Already Do

For me, this meant as soon as I was done scraping my tongue, brushing my teeth & flossing, I was scurrying to my spot to meditate. If, for some reason that is interrupted (dog pukes, child falls out of bed, etc) it is way harder find my way to that place to meditate.

This technique is called Habit Stacking. Essentially, you attach the new behaviour to an already established behaviour, making it easier to maintain the new habit. If you want to learn more about habit stacking, I would encourage you to check out James Clear and his book Atomic Habits.

4. Start Small - Seriously

I am a dive in head first kinda girl; I want to sprint before I walk. However, when creating a constant meditation practice, I fought my usual instinct to dive and chose 4 minutes to start. That first morning, I was like “Oh yeah baby, I am a meditating rock star!” It felt so good to be able to do it.

By starting off small you are building the habit. Everyday, or once a week, depending on how you feel, you can increase the time you chose to sit and meditate.

5. Track Your New Meditation Habit

I like to journal & bullet journal so I have a monthly habit tracker that I add my meditation practice to. I also use the Insight Timer App, that tracks how many days you have meditated consecutively, total days, and how many minutes. I can get quite obsessive with numbers and tracking, so this totally motivates me to keep with it!

Bonus, Insight Timer is free! There are some options within the App that you have to pay for but the basic tracking is free!

I would love to hear from you! 

Do you have a mediation practice? What has helped you?