Meditation is much like physical exercise.
You need to get into a groove. You need to stay consistent. You need to figure out a sustainable routine.
And if you start slacking… it’s frightfully easy to fall back into your old habits, reverse all the results you worked so hard for, and start avoiding mirrors because they remind you of your failure.
I’ve committed my life to personal growth for over a decade now, but am I immune to this phenomenon? Oh if only!
A few months back, I was crawling through a stressful patch with the business (not to mention a few personal issues).
Then one night, after a particularly challenging day, I heard a soft voice as I walked through my front door.
It was a bottle of Pinot Noir from my favorite Aussie vineyard, beckoning me to spend the rest of the evening with it in front of the TV.
I gladly obliged.
The problem? One night soon turned into every night, and my little indulgence became a habit.
Evening readings and reflections made way for Game of Thrones marathons.
What used to be a generous wine stash was now a stack of empty bottles.
And I was stumbling into work the next day feeling even more sluggish, scatterbrained and stressed than before.
My wine + TV ritual came to a head when I woke up groggy one morning and missed a crucial appointment.
That’s when I knew it was time for a new evening habit that would melt away my stress and fatigue instead of adding to it.
After years of conscious practice, I knew meditation was the natural choice.
Now, studies say it takes 21 days to lock in a new habit. But here’s the game plan I used to shed my bad habit, and start meditating regularly again in just five:
~ Came home after work, walked into the kitchen, instinctively reached for the wine rack. Caught myself, and brewed a pot of chamomile tea instead.
~ The next step was to meditate. I sat down in the middle of the living room and began...
~ The lingering stress and brain fog made it hard to meditate. I wanted to be doing something else. Like drink wine and watch TV. But I pushed through 15 minutes of erratic meditation, read a book, and went to sleep.
“A-ha” Moment: Acknowledge your impulses and make a conscious decision to correct them.
~ A small group of my teammates asked me out for after-work drinks. It was surprisingly easy to decline.
~ Dismantled the wine rack because ‘out of sight, out of mind.
~ As I sat down to meditate in my living room, I realized that the TV - being in the middle of the room - was a trigger for the habit I was trying to shake off. So I moved to my bedroom instead.
~ Meditation felt better today, but still had a little too much mind chatter. It was almost as if I was so anxious to get it right, that I was tripping myself up.
“A-ha” Moment: To reduce resistance during meditation, remove the triggers from your surroundings.
~ Made a lot of tricky decisions at work that day, so my mind was more distracted than usual as I got home.
~ I had done a good job of removing external distractions from the house, but this time, my internal distractions were holding me back.
~ I knew I needed backup. So I switched on a powerful brainwave meditation audio engineered by some friends of mine… and within minutes, I was in a state of deep meditation.
“A-ha” Moment: Remember, there are often multiple tools and paths you can use to reach your destination. Don’t just be open to experimentation, seek it out actively.
~ Felt a little anxious on the drive home, played a John Assaraf entrainment audio in the car. Made a conscious effort to reconnect with the Higher Reason I’m getting back into my evening meditation habit - to have more clarity, and release doubts and anxiety so I can help more people and grow Mind Movies.
~ Watched one of his trainings as soon as I got home. Specifically selected one for quickly letting go of limiting beliefs, habits and emotions that hinder my success. Felt like a million bucks right after.
~ I was loving my evening meditation… the momentum had picked up!
“A-ha” Moment: When your mind and body’s power dip, draw strength from your goals and purpose.
~ As I sat down to meditate in my bedroom, it occurred to me that I had zero desire to drink wine or watch TV. I loved what I was doing in this moment, and wouldn’t trade it for the world.
~ I can’t recall the last time I was able to release an unwanted habit so quickly, and replace it with a positive one.
“A-ha” Moment: A game plan + willpower + clear intentions + the right tools = quick and effortless behavioral change (just make sure you honor each part of the equation!)
Did any of my insights help you? How are your meditations and daily rituals looking? Leave a comment below and tell me how you’re doing…
P.S. Would you like to try the training I used to quickly let go of limiting beliefs, habits and emotions that hinder success and get results FAST?
Just click on the link above to sign up for John Assaraf’s free training - spaces are very limited, so hurry!
Natalie Ledwell is a best selling author, speaker and successful entrepreneur. She's passionate about helping others to achieve their greatest dreams and ambitions through her personal development programs and her online TV show, The Inspiration Show.