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Meditate? Ain't nobody got time for that.

There is so much noise in my life that I feel like I am missing important cues about the directions I should be taking - buried in information and thoughts. I have been trying to start my practice for 20 years now. I do it here and there, and when I do, my mind quiets down for that 20 minutes - but it is short lived and within a half hour afterwards I am off track again.
Do you daily meditaters have fewer noisy thoughts since you started? Quieter mind? Has it brought any more joy into your life? Has your life's direction improved career and relationship wise? How long until you saw results? Where do you get your discipline? Any life hacky tips to maybe trick myself into a more regular practice? I guess I'm looking for a jump start and I'm using this sub is my jumper cables.

I'll share a protip I learned here that helped me.
You want to consistently provide a reward for yourself immediately at the end of the meditation. This takes advantage of the mind's reward system to generate a craving for the sessions due to associating it with the reward.
Habits form due to this formula: Cue, routine, reward. So the cue is arranging your seat to meditate and setting your timer. The routine is meditation. The reward is any immediate form of satisfaction that pleases you.
And even if you know you are doing it, the mind still gets tricked into looking forward to meditation due to this reward system. This is because habits do not form in the advanced part of the mind where awareness resides, they form in the basal ganglia, one of the most ancient and primitive of the neurological architectures.
The Buddha talked about doing something similar too, interestingly. He taught that beginners should cultivate bliss and all these other good feelings in their meditation and that they should use the framework of clinging against itself by causing the mind to cling to meditation, to crave meditation. So the good feelings from the meditation itself were the way his followers would make it into a habit.
Then of course the idea is that the practice deepens to a point where eventually all clinging is dropped, and you're one step closer to enlightenment.
TL;DR: Every time you meditate have a piece of chocolate right after.

Lately I've been meditating first thing in the morning, before my coffee. The first thing I do after meditating is make a pot of coffee. Maybe that's why I've been sticking to it so well lately.

I have been doing this for months, and it really works, for anyone who's looking for an effective reward.

JoeSteady Citation

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