Getting Back on Track

My life is amazing today, because I started a daily meditation practice in 2009.
 
My morning practice starts my day off with calm, cool and collected focus. When I meditate regularly, my life is manageable and I feel at peace with the world. Thanks to my practice my relationships are better, I’m more productive at work and my general happiness has improved dramatically.
 
Yet, despite all the good that meditation has brought into my life, I’ve gotten off track these past three months.
 
Life got full. I’m back in school working on my doctorate, entered a new relationship and my professional career has taken off. These are all wonderful things but are also time consuming. As a result my daily practice has been inconsistent. 
 
I’ve been working to get back on track and would like to share what I’m doing about it:  

  1. Remember: I am great at doing the things I want to do and not as good about doing the things I need to do. When meditation becomes a chore or just another task on the checklist, it is easy to overlook. Reminding myself of the joy and benefits I want to experience as a result of my practice is a powerful motivator. 
  2. Recommit:  I talk a lot about the scientifically proven trick that improves our chances of sticking to new habits. When I commit to an effort I start by visualizing my actions and writing down that commitment. This month I will wake up, shower and immediately meditate every morning.
  3. Rally Support: I have many friends who help me stay committed. I’ve been reaching out to them for advice and help. Just last night during the Tuesday Night meditation group, my friends Sheila and Eric gave me some helpful encouragement for getting back on track. Getting a partner and staying accountable to them is incredibly valuable.
  4. Reward: Today I got up on time, meditated and checked in with my friends to let them know I was successful. I lived up to my commitment and rewarded myself with a little pat on the back. We get what we celebrate and today I’m celebrating accomplishing my goal.

As part of my commitment to renewing my daily meditation practice I’m going to participate in the “21 Day Zen Happiness Project: A Beginner’s Guide to Meditation, Stress Relief and Joy.” We’ll start as group this Sunday at 7pm EDT and you can join us by signing up here.

I’m living proof of the benefits of a daily meditation practice. Sometimes I need to remind myself that it only works if I show up and do the work.  
 
May your practice go well!
 
Warmly,
Anthony A. Cernera, M.Ed.
ZenHappinessProject.com
 
P.S. Sign up today for the “21 Day Zen Happiness Project: A Beginner’s Guide to Meditation, Stress Relief and Joy.” We start on Sunday at 7pm EDT.

Some additional reading about getting back on track: