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When I talk to people about mindfulness meditation, they often say: “I've tried but can't stick to it." Or, "It’s hard to find time, and when I sit down I get distracted.” Or, “I used to meditate but stopped and never managed to restart.”

What helped me was to follow a few strategies from "Better Than Before", a book about habits by Gretchen Rubin.

The first was clarity. I did my research into mindfulness meditation and I knew WHY I wanted to meditate. Here are the four benefits that were most compelling to me.

Mindfulness meditation:

1. Strengthens your cognitive abilities

2. Reduces anxiety

3. Makes you more focuses and less distracted

4. Increases body appreciation and satisfaction

The second strategy was pairing. I decided to practice yoga for about 10 minutes in the morning and mindfulness meditation seemed like a logical addition. So I wake up in the morning, drink a glass of water and then do a yoga routine followed by 10 or more minutes of mindfulness meditation (depending how hungry I am).

If I break my routine because of a trip, sickness or something else, I don’t feel guilty. Instead, I use the strategy of convenience to re-start: I prepare the yoga mat and the meditation cushion the night before.

Once in a while, a treat is needed to help me stay motivated. Usually a cup of special tea, a massage or a scented candle does the trick.

The strategy of scheduling helps when I plan my day. When it’s in my calendar, I don’t plan anything else at the same time.

Do I slip on my road to become a mindfulness meditation guruJ? Constantly! But I don’t give up when I see the benefits: I feel calmer, more focused and I’m proud of myself and my body.

Let me know what strategies help you most with your new habits and share what works best for YOU.

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