Having trouble fitting mindfulness into your schedule? Try these tips:
Adjust your routine
It’s tricky, but look at it this way:
If you practice for 15 minutes, that’s less than 1% of your day.
If you added up the amount of time you spend checking your phone in a day, that would be about an hour.
A 1% change in your day can lead to major positive shifts in the other 99%.
Keep your practice at the same time and same place whenever possible
Doing this will help you ingrain your mindfulness practice into your daily routine.
Notice the value of a mindfulness training practice to fuel your motivation
For example, we don't forget to eat, take a shower, or watch our favorite show. The first one is important to us staying healthy, the second one is important to those around us and the third one is fun—all of these things have immediate value to us. That’s why we remember to do these things and feel convinced to continue.
Mindfulness training has value, too. It helps us find calm, build attention, and strengthen our relationships with others. These things are more or less invisible. And unlike eating, showering, or watching TV, we don’t get the value right away. Mindfulness practice is like a savings account for your mind. It doesn’t feel like much when you start it. But after consistently banking a little here and a little there for a while, you’ve got something substantial.
You strengthen your motivation by noticing value on the short- and long-term scale. In the short-term, think of how refreshed your mind feels after sitting for 15 minutes. In the long-term, watch your relationships day to day. See how your clarity and calm shifts things and remind yourself that this will keep shifting towards the positive. You’re moving the needle, slowly but surely.
If we don’t check in with ourselves from time to time to notice how meditation training benefits us, then it is easy to brush it off.