We’re over a quarter of the way through 2020. Have you taken up the 100 Hour Meditation Challenge? It’s never too late to start! What is the challenge? You meditate 100 hours across a year. Simple isn’t it?
Week 15 Progress
Taking up the challenge is easy. The follow through is where things get hard. 100 hours means meditating 30 minutes four or five times each week. If you are accountable to others, the sitting is easier due to peer pressure and possible shame.
You, my dear readers, keep me sitting. I’d like to say it was my iron will but when my inner slacker rears its head, I make myself sit simply because I’d be embarrassed to report failure. Whatever works! Plus I get to reap the benefits of a regular meditation habit as a result so I’ll take my wins where I can.
As of the end of week 15 I have meditated 43 hours and 45 minutes. Not too shabby.
Even with trying to stay accountable, sitting isn’t always easy though.
Boredom, Laziness, Avoidance
Having meditated plenty over the past 20 years I know and have experienced the enormous benefits of mediation like increased happiness, peace, clarity of mind, improved concentration and patience. During meditation I usually feel blissful and happy. Yet even so I still don’t always want to sit and do it. Sometimes it’s the last thing I want to do!
Why? Who knows?
Being stuck in lockdown here in New England until at least May 15th, it’s not like I have anything to really do other than garden. I have enormous amounts of free time. That doesn’t mean I want to sit for even 30 minutes almost every day. I’m sure you can relate.
I can’t point to any big reasons to avoid meditation. Once I sit, I always have a pleasant experience, unlike in early years when boredom and restlessness would set in. The main culprit is an interrupted schedule.
Earlier in the challenge I posted about Improvement Pill’s series on creating lasting habits. The recommendations he gives are solid. They worked for me until about mid-March when the lockdown went into effect here and my Airbnb schedule went out the window. My habit of meditating after guests left ran into a new snag of my usual cue of empty house and finished coffee no longer being applicable. I was also gardening more, creating an unfixed schedule.
In order for new habits to survive, we have to adapt them to changing circumstances. I’m managing to keep up the practice but my cueing technique isn’t working as well as it once did. Time to find a new one!
Habits take time. In the beginning we have inspiration, energy and enthusiasm to make the first few days or couple of weeks easier. Then fatigue sets in as that enthusiasm wears off and our interest declines. Hours put in become important and taking breaks – even short ones – can trash any progress and jeopardize us abandoning our fledgling habit.
Over time the habit grows more rooted but honestly in the early years that habit has shallow roots. We can easily uproot it or kill it through neglect. That’s just how these things work. That’s why it’s so very important to revisit goals and make recommitments regularly. It’s sort of like touching base with that new habit and giving its roots the water and attention they need to remain healthy and strong.
Marathon, Not a Sprint
A new habit is a commitment across a long period of time. When we take stock and see how far we’ve come, that helps fortify us.
We have passed week 15 of the 2020 challenge. I’ve put in nearly 44 hours out of 100. That is quite a milestone out of 52 weeks and it gives me faith that I can keep going.
Now is the time to reassess strategies, tweak or change them, and recommit to the journey. This is true for anything from quitting smoking and alcohol or taking up exercise, a healthy diet, and a meditation habit.
Are you doing the 100 Hour Meditation Challenge or trying to develop or maintain a meditation practice? If so, I’d love to read your comments on strategies you find helpful.
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