It can be difficult to overcome inertia when you’re starting (or restarting) a spiritual practice routine. Life settles into patterns, and our patterns take on a life of their own that can be very resistant to change. Because of this, it can be difficult to start (or restart) meditating, exercising, or any other spiritual practice. Here are some suggestions about how to overcome this inertia.
Don’t Try to Solve This Problem Rationally
Your patterns will hijack your intellect and create intellectual justifications for maintaining the status quo. If you wait until you have a solid, rational justification for starting practice, you may be waiting a very long time.
If you want to think about it, think. After you’re done thinking, if you listen carefully to your intuition (your sense of inner knowing), you will find that you know the right thing to do.
Take One Small Step at a Time
Rather than focusing on the big picture (for instance, starting a daily meditation practice), temporarily forget the big picture and just ask yourself, “What’s the next step I could take, right now, toward practice?” Perhaps it’s to take out your meditation cushion. Do that step, then repeat—and keep repeating.
The smaller you can make these steps, the better. It’s not so hard to take one small step at a time, and focusing on the next step (instead of the big picture) prevents restarting practice from seeming overwhelming. I’ve found this process very effective for starting many kinds of difficult-to-start activities—especially writing.