"Each step is movement on a journey that we can only hope will continue. The…
“What is a daily practice? It is a way that you take your existence seriously, one breath at a time, one thought at a time, one moment at a time. It is your daily routine of paying attention to the areas where you have set your intentions.” – Eric Maisel, The Power of Daily Practice
Your life is composed of daily practices. They are the mortar that holds together the bricks of your days. Stacking these bricks with conscious effort will accomplish your goals and fulfill your dreams.
Want to improve your relationships? Implement a daily practice of reaching out to people. Want to build a creative career? Develop a daily practice of doing your work.
A daily practice is essential for any skill you want to build. Small steps taken every day add up over time, while those same steps taken once in a while accomplish nothing. It’s often difficult to find time for a daily practice and to just get started. This article is about overcoming the challenges you face when beginning your daily practice.
The most important part is to start. The first month of your practice requires the most effort. It’s like launching a rocket – almost all the fuel is used just to get it off the launch pad. After you overcome the initial obstacles, you can keep up the daily practice with much less struggle.
Daily practice is time you carve out independent of what you do with that time. It is the very idea of carving out time. It could even be all of the time, if you live your life that intentionally and mindfully. Your life could be a series of daily practices, which would functionally mean that you were living your life purposes all the time. – Eric Maisel
Five Steps To Getting Your Daily Practice Off The Ground:
1. Overcome Your Initial Doubts and Hesitation
“‘Why bother?’ you hear yourself say. That could easily be a day of no practice. Instead, you counter that voice, you affirm your existence, and you practice anyway.” – Eric Maisel
Our daily practice is important, otherwise we wouldn’t be doing it. The more important it is, the more doubts we have. Thoughts might pop into your head of ‘I can start tomorrow’, or ‘There’s a new show to watch’. Anything to distract you from actually sitting down and doing the work.
One incorrect thought could be ‘I’m not ready yet’. The truth is, you’ll never be ready until you begin. Everyone starts at the bottom. The key is just to get started. You can learn the skill by doing it and course-correct along the way.
“It can take a good part of a lifetime to realize that we do not have to agree with a thought just because it popped into our head.” – Eric Maisel
2. Choose The Right Practice
“The content of your practice needs to be the actual content it needs to be, not some simulation, substitute, or likeness. If your daily practice is writing a novel, you need to write your novel, not read a novel, dream about novels, or do something novel.” – Eric Maisel
Which skill do you most want to learn? Is there a creative project you dream of bringing to fruition? Whether you want to be a writer, musician, podcaster or filmmaker, choose a practice that will get you closer to that destination. It doesn’t need to be perfect. Consistent progress is better than perfection.
Choose a creative practice that:
- Develops useful skills
- Results in creative output
- Can be repeated daily
“Once you decide to trust your self, you will have found your passion. You’re not born with it, and you don’t have just one passion. It’s not domain-specific: it’s a choice. Our passion is simply the work we’ve trusted ourselves to do.” – Seth Godin
3. Plan Out Your Practice
“Describe your practice to yourself. What exactly will it look like? What are its goals and intentions? Will it happen at the same time each day or at a different time each day?…Aim for getting as clear and concrete a sense of your proposed daily practice as you can.” – Eric Maisel
To make sure you stick with your daily practice, create a plan for it. Some days, you’ll do it exactly as planned. Other times, you’ll have to improvise. This plan isn’t set in stone, but it helps set the stage for consistency. Consistency is everything.
In order to get your daily practice off the ground, make your plan simple and specific. ‘I will do X in Y place at Z time’ is a great way to phrase your plans. Then, use the questions in the quote above as a starting point for constructing the details of your plan.
4. Commit To Your Practice
“Trust is not self-confidence. Trust is a commitment to the practice, a decision to lead and make change happen, regardless of the bumps in the road, because you know that engaging in the practice is better than hiding from it.” – Seth Godin
Starting out, your daily practice must be a top priority. You’ll have to put aside entertainment and leisure to do the work instead. You may even have to skip workouts and wake up earlier to make the time for it. No matter what, the practice must be completed.
You’ll have to commit to it. Your attitude is not ‘If I have time’ or ‘When I feel inspired’. Instead, have the mindset ‘I’ll get it done no matter what. Nothing can get in the way of this practice.’ Doing it daily is key. What you accomplish daily compounds over time. What you do ‘once in a while’ doesn’t build anything.
5. Start Now
“The only choice we have is to begin. And the only place to begin is where we are. Simply begin.” – Seth Godin
Starting is the most important part. Everything else flows from that. You’ll have to start your practice every single day. Develop your ability to get started.
What is your practice? How are you going to implement it? Why is it important? Are you fully committed to seeing it through?
If you can answer those questions, you have everything you need to get started. You don’t need anyone’s permission except your own. You’ll forever remember today as the day you started your practice.
Now that all the pieces are in place, sit down and do the work. Every day, follow the plan you created and stay committed to your practice.
“Many people have talent, but only a few care enough to show up fully, to earn their skill. Skill is rarer than talent. Skill is earned. Skill is available to anyone who cares enough. If you put the effort into your practice, you will be rewarded with better. Better taste, better judgment, better capabilities.” – Seth Godin