For my next challenge, I chose to try meditating for 30 days.
The first difference I noticed between the drinking challenge and meditation challenge is the inherent difficulty in an active challenge versus resistive challenge. By that, I mean that with drinking, I was resisting an old habit. I was abstaining from doing something and thus I had to not do something for thirty days. This means I was thinking about it more and restraining myself on a daily basis. With a new habit that meditation happened to be, it was a lot easier to forget about it and miss a day.
The days missed were earlier on and later it was easier to keep up with the habit. Usually, I would miss the days more if I came home and didn’t meditate at a certain time and started watching TV with my wife.
There were a few ways I employed to get myself to act on my habit without forgetting it required some tweaks. One tweak was creating reminders for me on my phone in the morning and at night. Another way was to use Insight Timer app to meditate. There are a lot of guided meditations there to choose from, the ability to bookmark, social integration, daily tracking, goals and bookmarking. However, that still wasn’t enough. After a few days, it actually became more difficult
However, sometimes that still wasn’t enough: after a few days, it actually became more difficult and so I began to play around with different types of meditation. One thing that I used to like to do was to go for long walks. I decided to integrate meditation with walking and began to do slow breath and slow walk meditation around the neighborhood. At first, I was getting distracted, taking pictures and what not, however, over time, I was able to do better in my meditation.
I can’t say anything transformative happened. However, I think that I did become more patient and more resistant to stress. I’m going through planning a wedding, working a lot, planning a move and applying to grad school. I do feel that managing time is a little easier and not going crazy is easier for me than for my wife.
I will be starting grad school in a month. So I think being able to read a lot will help me succeed in grad school. My next challenge will be to read 30 pages a day.