Once I was struggling to follow my meditation habit.
I had tried everything but nothing was working. I would often forget or don't have the motivation to meditate.
My goal was to meditate for 10 minute before going to office.
Every morning I would wake up, rush in for shower... have breakfast and leave for office.
And after I have reached office, I would regret about not doing the meditation.
So the thing about good habits is: until the good habits become a part of your routine, you'll need to force it.
I was wrong about it.
I was relying on my discipline and motivation to follow my meditation habit. Which clearly wasn't working.
Then one day I tried to make little tweaks to my meditation habit.
I had a small alarm clock in my house and I set an alarm for 7:00 AM every morning.
This alarm was not the wake up alarm. I was waking up at 6:00 Am but this alarm was to remind me to meditate.
So next day when the alarm ran off at 7:00 AM. I immediately turned it off and sat in my meditation posture. Then I meditated for 10 minutes and felt so good.
This is how I started with my meditation habit. And now I am doing it regularly from several years.
The change to my routine was very subtle but the impact is huge.
Instead of saying "Meditate for 10 minutes before going to office". I would say "Meditate for 10 minutes at 7:00 AM every morning." And then I would set a reminder to remind me at the specific time.
This is based on the Implementation Intention.
An implementation intention is a self-regulatory strategy in the form of an "if-then plan" that can lead to better goal attainment, as well as help in habit and behavior modification. It is subordinate to goal intentions as it specifies the when, where and how portions of goal-directed behavior.
Another great strategy similar to Implementation Intention is the time blocking. It says instead of saying that I will do this task today. Give it a specific time-frame when you will be working on someting.
Suppose you have to go for a hair cut today and if you really want to do it. Instead of saying I'll go for a hair cut today, Say that I will go for a hair cut at 3:00 in the after noon today. And block the time in your calendar.
The real power is time blocking comes when you block your time for multiple tasks. So when I have to review the marketing report - I would block time from 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM for reviewing the marketing report. And create an event on my calendar.
The calendar works great because it's a place to set the implementation intention and also acts as a reminder.
If there is something that you must do. Don't rely on your discipline or motivation. Set a specific time-frame when you'll be doing the thing. If you want to learn how to play piano and don't want to skip it, then create an event on you calendar to remind you to practice piano when the time comes.