New Year, New You? Incorporating Meditation Into Your Resolutions

Resolutions in America 

Have you made your New Year’s resolution yet? It’s estimated that 40% of Americans commit to one every year, but only around 8% are successful in keeping them. Turns out that even with our diverse backgrounds, life experiences and dreams, 44% of resolutions involve self-improvement or education. Going hand in hand with self-improvement are mindfulness and meditation, aiding your ability to self-regulate and positively impacting your life overall. As the mindfulness revolution continues, we’re sure many people are resolving to join us on our journey of daily meditation and awareness.
Forming a Habit
Research shows that one of the strongest indicators for change is a person’s behavioral intention. Someone with a medium to high motivation to change will lead to a small to medium size of behavior change. Being motivated is one component, but also important is the specific goal, as we often find ourselves with an overly ambitious resolution that is nearly impossible to attain. Resolutions that are both simple and quantifiable make the task seem less daunting and easier to follow. Lastly, set up reminders. Prestwich and Kellar’s review found that combining a text message reminder with an implementation intention (detailed plans on how/when to complete the action) were helpful in creating a habit. It’s estimated that after just 10 weeks, these repeated actions will become an automatic part of your routine.

Steps to Creating a Successful Meditation Resolution

1. Develop an attainable resolution: create a regular meditation practice
2. Determine your motivation: this one is personal, but to increase your enthusiasm, determine the “why” that resonates with you. This might be to reduce stress, eat more mindfully, or even to strengthen your ability to “stop and smell the roses”
3. Establish your plan of action: block off time on your calendar and meditate 10 minutes for 5 times per week (Monday-Friday, giving yourself some flexibility by using the weekends to make up missed sessions)
4. Create an implementation intention: this might be, “upon awakening, I will have my morning cup of water, then sit in my comfiest chair to begin my 10-minute meditation”
5. Set a reminder: enable notifications on your phone calendar for every day to ensure you have completed your daily meditation