Habit Building Tip
Greetings, meditator friends!
Is it possible that a slight shift in word choice can profoundly impact how well you maintain beneficial habits?
According to Heidi Grant Halvorson, director of the Motivation Science Center at Columbia University, when you are refusing to succumb to some sort of temptation, using the words "I don't" is far more helpful than saying "I can't."
In her words:
"I don’t” is experienced as a choice, so it feels empowering. It’s an affirmation of your determination and willpower. “I can’t” isn’t a choice. It’s a restriction, it’s being imposed upon you. So thinking “I can’t” undermines your sense of power and personal agency.
While this may be more readily applicable to temptations like a second dessert, you can use this strategy with your meditation practice, as well.
If you're feeling tempted to skip your practice for some reason (you woke up late, you're tired, you're not in the mood), consider bringing these words to mind: "I don't skip my 5 minute meditation."
By doing so, you are taking advantage of an opportunity to feel even more empowered by reaffirming your commitment.