This week, I wanted to offer a very effective recommendation for supporting your meditation practice (or any other worthwhile habit you want to develop).
The Fall season always reminds me of the first days of school: nostalgia mixed with dread. To manage those disruptive first days, I laid out the next day’s wardrobe (Tough-skins, Izod and Zips) the night before so things would run more smoothly in the morning… just one less thing to worry about.
And it occurred to me, wouldn’t the same principal apply to any habit? I learned more about this from the time-management guru, David Allen, who urges people to identify the first step for any given activity, and then to make sure that first step happens. Once the project is underway, rolling along, it generates its own momentum and is much easier to sustain. But it’s all about getting over than initial hump of resistance. People seem to have an easier time completing projects that are already initiated versus starting something from scratch.
I’ve started pre-stamping envelopes on bills that need to get paid. I’ve put my interval timer near the computer to remind me to workout rather than check my email. And… and…. I put my meditation cushions in place the night before I meditate in the morning.
This simple, seemingly insignificant, step helps insure that my meditation practice is prioritized and reinforced… and it really helps me move past the resistance on days that I don’t ‘feel’ like sitting.
So give it a try. Set up your ‘sit’ before you sleep, and let me know how it goes.
Originally published on October 5, 2010