Curious how to start your day in a way that allows your best self to shine through?
That doesn’t mean you will always be cheerful and vibrant…we all have off days. But, doesn’t it feel good to show up to situations each day with a clear mind, creativity and compassion? Meditation can help you do just that!
Here are 8 tips on how to start a Daily Mindful Meditation Practice.
- Make it a Priority – To start a mindful meditation practice you have to make time for it. Set at least 5 minutes aside. Put away all distractions, don’t multitask while meditating – that defeats the purpose. Remind yourself, it’s just five minutes a day. Don’t make excuses, just find five minutes a day and make it happen!
One thing that can help to make it a priority is to write down your intention. Research shows you’re more likely to follow through on a goal if you write it down and if you connect with a deeper “Why”. Why are you doing this, and what are you hoping to get out of it? Get out a piece of paper and write this down: I am committed to at least 5 minutes of a mindful meditation practice for 1 month, to create more “your why” in my life.
But that’s not it. Then, you have to think about all the pieces of the puzzle that go into place to help support this commitment. For example, when I started my morning meditations, I had to make sure my husband understood the importance of that time and making sure our kids did too. Back then, our kids were really young, so it was hard to make them really understand. You know when the kids come in your room super early and ask you for five million things? Well, I needed to make sure that didn’t interrupt my morning meditation. With my husband on board, and a little extra TV time for the kiddos, I was able to make sure that the interruptions were only for emergencies.
- Create that Sacred Place – Decide where you will meditate each morning and create a cozy, inviting place. I stuff a few pillows behind me for back support while I sit in my bed with a soft, cozy blanket. Wherever it is for you, make it an inviting space. Imagine yourself sitting to meditate in this sacred space each morning for the next month. This is called “future pacing” and it makes you more likely to follow through on something if you can see, smell, feel, and hear, yourself doing something in the future.
- Pick a Time – Now that you have your “where”, it is time to create a “when”. You’ll be more successful if you choose the same time each day and build it into your routine. I recommend doing it first thing in the morning. Research shows that is when your willpower is strongest and it’s also when your mind is clear and in a rested state. Obviously, life happens. Sometimes you’ll end up meditating at a different time. But your baseline should be a time you choose in advance that you’ll stick to as often as possible. If you prefer meditating in the afternoon, make sure it is a couple hours before dinner.
- Out with the Old and In with the New – Creating a Ritual around this new habit or practice is an excellent way to make it stick. One of the best ways to create a new habit is to replace an old habit with a new one. For example, do you check your phone first thing in the morning? If so, how does that make you feel? Any morning I start off with the phone, I usually find myself more anxious throughout the day. If you’re like most people, it makes you feel anxious and stressed out too…thinking about all the things you have to do that day and all the demands other people are placing on you. Instead, start your day with a new habit by creating a Morning Ritual. At night, before you go to bed, put a glass of water on your nightstand. When you wake up in the morning, the glass of water will be a visual reminder of your new Morning Ritual. You drink the water and spend five minutes (or more J) meditating before checking your phone or do anything else.
This simple Morning Ritual will change the entire tone of your day because you’re starting your day with meeting your needs and priorities, versus responding to everyone else’s demands. You’re taking care of your body by hydrating, and your mind by meditating. And you’re being proactive rather than reactive. That is one of meditations best side effects. This will help you stay grounded and focused on what really matters for the rest of the day.
You’ll be amazed at what making this one simple change will do. So remember – don’t check your phone or read the news, instead, drink a glass of water and meditate first thing in the morning.
- Do it with a Friend – Having a friend who is creating a new healthy habit with you is one of the best ways to get support. There’s a percentage of people that really need group support to follow through on things. If this is you, definitely find a friend to do it with you. Get the support you need to make this a priority.
- Let Go of Expectations – This is the biggest TIP when it comes to beginning your meditation practice. It’s not about what happens IN your meditation practice, but what happens OUTSIDE of your practice. It’s all about how the meditation creates this positive change in your life outside of your sitting time. You need to not be so hard on yourself when you have thoughts throughout this time. That is usually a sign that your mind and body are detoxing stress. We will often have thoughts, and once we become aware of those thoughts, you just gently bring yourself back to your breath/mantra/affirmation.
- Connect with your WHY – To really get the most out of your practice, see if you can connect to deeper emotions and find your deeper why. Why are you doing this? What do you hope to get out of it?
If you’re forcing yourself to meditate because you “should,” it’s gonna be a tough task.
There’s so much research on the benefits of meditation, but why, specifically are you doing it? If you can find a deeper why (for example, “I want to be more present with my kids rather than having my mind wander to all the errands I have to run.” Or “I want to be more focused at work instead of feeling constantly pulled in a million different directions”), and visualize yourself conquering this new desired state, you’re more likely to follow through. This will help motivate you. It’s like manifesting what you want out of your practice. Go deep with your questions, ask yourself; “what will my soul get out of this?” Remember the intention from Step 1? What is your deeper desired result? Always go back to your WHY!
When you connect with a deeper motivation, it’s easier to stay on track.
- Be Kind to Yourself – Why is this so hard for us to do? Our expectations of perfectionism…nobody starts at being perfect. In fact, all we do in life is grow and evolve each day to be better. Why don’t we be kind to ourselves during this process. Research shows being kind to yourself actually BOOSTS your willpower! So don’t beat yourself up if you’re not meditating “right”. Any effort is worth a HUGE pat on the back! The fact that you even showed up gives you a gold star. Be kind to yourself, give yourself that gold star for even attempting this, and when you notice you’re being unkind to yourself, go back to your WHY…
I am committed to at least 5 minutes of a mindful meditation practice for 1 month, to create more “your why” in my life.
Give these mindful acts a try through your meditation journey. Comment below if you have any questions or want to share in your experience.
If you are interested in living a healthy, holistic lifestyle through nutrition, movement, mediation, breathwork and more, be sure to follow me on Instagram, Facebook or browse through my website here.
In love and gratitude,