Here are some tricks from Dan on building a habit of meditation in the midst of a super busy life:
First, you can meditate pretty much anywhere. Don’t get fixated on finding the perfect, pristine, quiet place. I do it in taxis, in my office, in parks, on planes, and while waiting for my toddler to finally fall asleep. I once meditated in the back of a military chopper when I was covering the war in Iraq. Another time, I even did walking meditation in a jail cell. (In my defense, I was covering a story.)
Second, you don’t need to be obsessive about meditating at a particular time of day. You may find a regular time slot, and that’s great. But if you’re like me, and you have an unpredictable schedule, just fit it in when you can. If you’re not a morning person, don’t force yourself to do it right after you wake up. Experiment a bit and find something that works. A daily reminder can be useful, and you can set one up in the app.
Third, give yourself a break. Type A people - and I’m one of them - often dive into meditation with lots of lofty ambitions, and then when they fall off the wagon for a few days, the voice in their heads starts telling them a story about how they are failed meditators. Totally untrue. When you fall off the wagon, just begin again. Nothing’s been lost. It’s like when you get distracted during meditation itself: just begin again.
And here’s my final tip: perhaps the most powerful method I have found for sustaining my practice is to really notice the benefits as they show up in my actual life. I knew meditation was starting to work when, just a few weeks after I started, I would overhear my wife at cocktail parties telling our friends that I was less of an asshole. Is meditation making you 10% less likely to pop off at your boss? Notice that. Is it making you 10% less likely to overeat? Give yourself credit. The more you pay attention to the wins, the more likely you are to continue to practice.