We all know how hard it is to create habits. Hard right? So easy to break but soo hard to lock in to those habits you know you want and deserve. Shall we blame it on time, life, kids? Sure we can. But at the end of the day, life’s up to us. Simple. We make the calls, we structure our lives around what are our true priorities (even if that be 4 hours a day on our iphones…).
So how do we shift, change and move towards being our best self without the fear of failing again. Well, firstly, do not rely on willpower. It’s a depleting resource. We start the day with bucket loads but by the end of the day its all but a faint memory. You know how it goes: “Today I will go to the gym in the arvo and only eat non processed foods.” Then you get home after a long day and that desire to go the gym has fallen by the wayside and we find ourselves on the couch with a bag of chips instead.
If willpowers not the answer what is the solution?
Glad you asked. According to a guy called BJ Fogg (insert lots of letters here) – who heads up a program at Stanford Uni called the “Behavioural Change Lab – there’s a simple way.
Celebrate. Yep celebrate. Most of us have a charge when it comes to trying to create a new habit, and its coupled with will power and fear of failing. It’s almost a self “told you so” system running.
So instead, what we should do is hack our method of creating a habit by celebrating when we do it. That way we start to associate the behaviour with a great feeling and achievement. Ah okay, so hows that actually work?
Well, let’s say – just for the sake of it… – that you may be finding it hard to create a new meditation habit and you normally think of it as one the things you “have to do” and approach it in that same manner.
First step is to think of what’s a situation or event that you would celebrate. And celebrate ecstatically (he’s an American guy, and pretty motivated!)
He used the example of when your favourite sporting team wins a super close game and you go nuts. That feeling you get, you know that supercharged stoked feeling. That’s the feeling you want to remember, just hold that for a moment.
Now so back to your meditation practice. Once you have meditated, stay in that space for a bit (the 1-2 minutes of silence) and then conjure that feeling of true celebrations. As odd as it may sound, this guys got tons of science to support this, so meditate, get chilled then celebrate the fact you meditated.
This will start to associate your practice as something to celebrate and look forward to. It’s removing those stubborn old neural pathways that want to keep you locked into shitty habits and patterns that do not serve your highest good.
So there you have it.
I’ve no doubt that those of you that have been challenged with setting a daily practice will now be celebrating your way to that of a successful daily meditator…