Goal Summary: Meditation

December 18, 2019 • #

First up on the year in review is the meditation practice. I started out doing short meditation sessions sort of randomly late last year. I’d only remember to do it occasionally, maybe a couple times a week. While that’s better than zero, it never became a habit or a thing that I would think about consistently. Not to mention that meditation itself is a skill you need to hone over time with experience to get the benefits out of it. Committed practice is the only way it feels useful. This year I set a target to do some meditation each day.

Like many healthy habits, I found it challenging to build up a pattern to reliably sit down for the 10 minutes a day I was targeting. It took months before it felt “normal” to do, even just with the short sessions I was doing.

People say it takes a lot of practice before you can focus with intensity and not have mind-wandering and discomfort immediately, which is absolutely true. If you’ve never sat down, say with a guided meditation app, and tried to do 15 minutes of mindfulness, it’s an interesting experience to be conscious of just how much your mind tends to race all over the place continuously.

Even after a full year of every day practice, I’d still say I don’t feel massively “better” at the skill than in January. I don’t get as uncomfortable as quickly now as I did then, which is good since that’s one of the hardest things to get used to. But I still often feel like I’m fighting even trivial things running around in my head.

I’m glad I could power through and stick with it, but I think my relatively light progress in skill overall is mostly attributable to a high quantity of short sessions. My plan for next year will be raising the per-practice length, but possibly going to only 2 or 3 times per week — perhaps a minimum of 30 minutes each. I’ll think some more about that before setting out into 2020.