11 July 2022

The challenge of a daily meditation practice – and 7 top tips that make it happen

Pardon the big gap in blog posts – did the COVID dance (all OK now), then busy with a round of meditation teaching events. Will be in Adelaide Wednesday for an evening of meditation ...

From recent questions and discussion comes the reminder – the most important thing with mindfulness or meditation; more important than any aspect of the practice itself, is actually to develop and sustain a regular practice. Regular as in daily…

So this week, insights from the talks combined with years of feedback. 

Establishing and maintaining regular practice may not be easy, however, it is doable. 

Follow these 7 tips and enjoy your practice, but first

Thought for the day

Start by doing what is necessary;

Then do what is possible; 

And suddenly you are doing the impossible.

St Francis of Assisi


Seven top tips to help you establish a daily meditation practice 

1. Motivation

When your motivation is really strong, you just do it. 

If a meditation beginner, take time to consider – what is my motivation? Speaking personally, I had planned to take up meditation for many years, however, it was not until I developed cancer that I began; and with the sense my life was on the line, regular practice became easy. 

Hopefully your situation is not so dire, but you get the message…

If you are one of the many long-term meditators who bounce in and out of regular practice, this is where to start – reflect deeply on the why; gain clarity around your motivation and then the how becomes much easier.

2. Intention

Intention is all about making a clear plan. Experience tells us beginning with a modest plan seems to work better for most people. Rather than set high expectations for yourself and falling short, better to start slowly and build – build your practice time, your confidence and your meditation habit.

The key thing is to aim for a little each day. 

So what feels doable? 

Listen to one recording on an app each day? 

Do 10 minutes a day? 

Twenty minutes? 

Some can go straight into longer sessions twice daily, even 3 times if the need is strong. 

Reflect on your motivation, your need. 

Start conservatively and aim to build to what you imagine as ideal for you.

3. Commitment

Yep, just do it! What else is there to say? Except it is not always that easy. 

When I first started teaching meditation, many of the people I was helping had major health or other personal issues with which to contend. They understood the theoretical benefits of meditation and were keen to practice, yet it amazed me how many found it difficult to establish a regular practice. 

By contrast, I remember many who became what is best described as uncompromising. One long-term meditator described his daily practice as “non-negotiable”! He said there were things he would do often, things he would do when he could or when the mood moved him, but he was so clear how important his meditation practice was to his good health and his wellbeing, it was a non-negotiable – both for him and for others. Nothing came in the way of this daily practice. It was an absolute commitment to himself.

So if the commitment is strong – easy. But if the commitment waivers, there is still hope! 

To strengthen your commitment, maybe share it with those close to you. 

One good way to lapse is to avoid accountability. Tell no one and it is easy to slide. Tell the world and it feels awkward to slip. 

Some find going public like in social media, announcing your intention, seeking support, providing progress reports and so on; some find this very helpful, others not. It is a personal choice, but many do find seeking help with accountability very useful.  

And four more tips to come :)

4. Establish a routine

Lock your meditation practice into the normal rhythm of your day.

Some accomplish this by making a regular time commitment – 7am or 6pm or whatever time reliably you can make to practice.

Many others find it better still to estabish their practice between pre-existing habits. 

So if in the habit of shower and breakfast in the morning, make it shower, meditation, breakfast. 

Then on weekends or when other events affect your timing, you still have a reliable routine to support your practice.

Your adopted routine is another aspect of your practice that will be beneficial to share with the people close to you, especially if you live together. 

That way they can support you, both with gentle – or firm reminders (as you request and agree), and give you the space when you need it.

5. Be prepared

Aim to do most of your meditation practice in the same place and leave it ready to go again next time. 

What works best for you? A cushion or chair? A shawl or blanket? A shrine? Incense? Need matches? Maybe a notebook and pen in case the need to record an insight arises?
Also, be clear about what practice you intend to do. Make sure you have access to whatever app or recording you may use to support your practice.

Be prepared so when you go to your place of meditation, you can relax into it and simply begin… 

6. Reward Yourself

Of course the practice is its own reward. Of course. 

But we are talking here of getting something done reliably! So the next tip, especially for beginners, is to consider treats that reward a block of practice.

Is it as simple as regarding a post-practice cuppa a reward?

Is it going to a movie or a special night out after a month of daily practice?

What about committing to a retreat after 3 or 6 months of regular practice?

Consider what might work for you – how much practice results in what reward?

7. Track your progress

For many, this can be a big one. Keeping a record of what practice you have done increases your sense of accountability. There is something very appealing, and very effective about this.

You could use a calendar or go high tech and use one of the many new tracking apps that are available. Our Allevi8 app has this function built in.

Do aim to focus upon what you have achieved and celebrate that; and do aim to avoid beating yourself up when you miss a session. Use the gap to strengthen your resolve.

Establishing a new daily habit is a process

May these tips help you accomplish just that, and may you find joy in the practice itself…

MEDITATION EVENING IN ADELAIDE - Wednesday 13th July 7 - 9pm



  1. Yes total
    Commitment to Meditate daily

  2. thanks for you r suggestions

  3. Thank you Ian! I'll post the link to your 7 tips in my meditative art group as the same tips apply :)

  4. Thanks Ian for Meditation tips
    I found that one of locking it into an already established routine very helpful
    As I tend to be a disorganisedgerry person
    I do get up shower and brekky
    So now I feel motivated to lock that time in for me to Meditate before daily interruptions begin🥰

  5. Pleased to know that you have recovered from the Covid dance .
    Thank you for your tips.
    I am thinking now of creating a special meditation space , Mario Shoenmaker recommended it many years ago , in my reading .