Why is it so hard to build a meditation habit?

For the last two years in a row, one of my New Year’s resolutions has been to develop a daily meditation habit. I tried out several of the big meditation apps: Headspace, Calm, Simple Habit. I eventually went with Simple Habit, and set a reminder within the app at 7:00 am everyday to tell me to meditate.

And yet: I wish I could say that by now I have become a person who meditates every morning, but I haven’t. Instead, I consider a good week if I end up meditating once a week. Every day, Simple Habit still sends me a push notification to remind me to meditate at 7 am, and I promptly ignore it and move on. Some days, I’m at the gym for 6:30 classes so I don’t even see the notification until I check my phone on my way out of the gym and on the walk back home, at 7:15, when I’m not really in the place to meditate. On other, non-gym days, I sleep in, so I wake up and then ignore the push alert and go back to sleep for another 20 minutes.

This week, I read this article about meditation apps in Popular Science, and it made a lot of sense to me, a person struggling to develop a meditation habit. I’ve been looking to meditation apps to help me develop a habit that’s all about unplugging and taking in the moment, removing oneself from digital distractions. But a meditation app, even though it claims to be a helpful tool for disconnecting, is still at its core a distraction. It’s an app — still a part of the same device I’m trying to escape from. Can a digital app really help you develop a habit that’s meant to be an escape from the digital world? So far, despite my best intentions, the habit hasn’t stuck, and the app and its daily reminders haven’t helped me get any better at it. I’m starting to think maybe apps were never the solution all along! Have meditation apps worked for you?

Stuff I’m reading

Stuff I cooked

I didn’t cook much of anything this week! But, I am excited about this new package from NYT Cooking on the 10 essential Persian recipes, by Samin Nosrat of Salt Fat Acid Heat fame. One of these days, I plan to try my hand at making tahdig…

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