“Meditation more than anything in my life was the biggest ingredient of whatever success I’ve had.” Ray Dalio, the billionaire founder of Bridgewater Associates — the world’s largest hedge fund firm.

As the new year of 2017 started, I decided to begin the practice of meditation and mindfulness. Mindfulness was an easier process for me to implement much more so than meditation. To be mindful in each and every moment was really already a part of me with some days where … oops! I went down a rabbit hole when life went sideways. Fortunately, I didn’t go too deep into that hole since it was second nature to come back to the present moment being fully aware of my thoughts, feelings and behaviors … who I chose to be in that moment.

Putting the practice of meditation into my life as a daily program didn’t come naturally to me. I loved the benefits of it when I did meditate … better health, better efficiency in my work, pretty much better everything. Yet, making it a priority to do every day was not what I was choosing to do. I would do it sporadically … a day or two consistently here and there, then I would miss doing it for almost a week. Ugh! Back to the beginning.

I am proud to say that I have gotten much better at meditation becoming second nature and it didn’t happen overnight. Here is how it came about for me:

March     Meditated 3 days, then skipped a day. Meditated 4 days, then skipped 2 days.

April     Meditated 20 days straight … Yippee!, then skipped a day … what the hey!  Meditated 6 days, then skipped a day!  Frustrating!

May     Meditated every day of the month except for one day at the very beginning of the month.  On a roll …

June     Every day this month so far … Success! I have been meditating daily for the last 50 days! So proud of my accomplishment and it is feeling natural now.

What I have learned in this process …
  • Focus on the benefits of the results with my feelings
  • Allow the process to evolve until it is a part of me
  • Just do it! Get out of my own way and ‘willie nillie’ excuses that don’t serve me in any way

I use an app to help support me in my practice of meditation … Calm. I also purchased a meditation cushion. Tools, like these, are a fantastic way to keep me motivated.

There is plenty of research which shows that mindfulness & meditation helps us to perform better at work, communicate better with others, handle stress and uncertainty with a touch of grace and to experience more joy and contentment.

With that said, why would you not put these into your daily practice … a practice of self-care? You choose to exercise your body by going to the gym, running, doing yoga, etc. You choose to exercise your brain by playing strategic games, debating with others, etc. Why not choose to exercise your spirit through mindfulness and meditation?

It is your choice.

Denise Hansard is a former corporate pricing expert turned motivational speaker & life coach with a Masters in counseling who has coached hundreds of women to make 6 figures, find the love of their life and get super healthy. Author of the book Suffering in Comfort, she is an expert in transformation.