This post is a friendly reminder that you have until tomorrow to sign up for the Mindful In May Meditation Challenge. It is also an antidote to the ‘I don’t have time for meditation’ complaint by offering a handy tool to help you set good habits and stick to them with teeny tiny baby steps.
Many people out there find it hard to make time in their day for meditation and give up after one or two failed attempts. Like all things in life you aren’t likely to be the ‘world’s best meditator’ after one or two attempts. The process of inviting meditation into your life will require a decision to try and make it happen.
Throughout the Mindful In May program MIMsters are emailed daily inspiration. To be totally honest my favourite part of the whole Mindful in May experience are the videos and links that accompany each days meditation session. In the week just gone we were introduced to Dr. BJ Fogg a man with a seriously infectious smile that is focused on the study of changing habits.
When you think about meditation it can be a little daunting as it is an intangible process. All the things you will never need are right there inside yourself. Learning how to use them can seem even more difficult than driving to Ikea purchasing yourself a coffee table to put in your meditation area and then assembling it with one allen key missing. It can be easy to procrastinate about getting started on meditation especially when your meditation station has a wobbly half assembled coffee table in the corner. Might as well just pile the laundry on the wobbly coffee table and head off to do the grocery shopping instead.
This is where the Dr. with the infectious smile comes to our rescue. His website Tiny Habits is a fabulous resource for those who would like to start something new, like meditation and mindfulness practice, but really don’t know how to get over their own stumbling blocks (such as procrastination based interior decorating). After twenty years of studying why people do what they do he has concluded that there are three ways that people change their habits by:
- having an epiphany
- changing your environment
- or by taking baby steps.
Some of us may be lucky enough to be sitting under a tree in a park one sunny day and experience the sudden realisation that we are indeed in need of meditative practices. Perhaps others may also be lucky enough to suddenly have their job transfer across the globe to report on the top ten meditation retreats which suddenly throws them right amidst the meditative environment. For the rest of us we will have to opt for itty bitty steps toward the goal of regular meditation practice.
So if the idea of meditation sounds like your kind of jam but the thought of the whole process scares the bejeebus out of you then I recommend signing up for the Tiny Habits program. It is short, sweet, free and looks specifically at creating achievable habitual practices. I have signed up for the next weeks round Tiny Habits and look forward to seeing how it fits into the Mindful in May program. You are welcome to join me by clicking on this link.
While this month is focused on all things mindfulness and meditation related I can’t help but vouch for the effectiveness of taking ‘baby steps’ to change behaviours. As some of you may remember, Sustainability in Style was born from the idea of taking on year off shopping for fashion and accessories. This seemed like a daunting task at the time but by taking daily baby steps to research about my personal style choices and shopping habits it made for an easy progression into being more environmentally mindful in other parts of my life. What must be a year and a half later I have vastly reduced my waste output to the point that my hubby and I would be unlikely to fill one curb-side rubbish bin a year. Had you have approached me a year and a half ago and taken away my plastic packaging, told me to eat vegan, and handed me a rock crystal to use for deodorant I would have likely slapped you in the face. Now these have become habitual parts of my daily life and I do not in any way feel like I am missing-out by rubbing rock crystals under my arms and eating cheese made from cashews (I try not to do both these things simultaneously).
So yes, taking baby steps works and by signing up to the Tiny Habits program you don’t have to step alone.
Feel free to share any habits you have formed and how they came about in the comments section below.