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I’ve had 216 different medical professionals, self-help books, and interested family members (hey, honey!) encourage me to meditate. It’s good for health, they say! It’s will calm you down, they add!

Great, I say. I’ll do it!

And then I don’t do it.

Why don’t I do it? It always just seems so much more interesting to read a good book, or practice the piano, or go outside for a walk. Even tackling my to-do list can seem more alluring than just sitting there.

So here’s how I fixed it: I attached meditation to a daily habit I already had AND managed to build in an intrinsic reward. It works like this:

The first thing I do every morning is make a pot of green tea. And somewhere, sometime, during my years as a health journalist, I read that the proper amount of time to steep green tea to extract the maximum amount of healthful stuff (also known as EGCG, if you’re wondering) is 8 minutes. So I pour water over the tea leaves, set the oven timer for 8 minutes, then meditate until the timer goes off.

Eight minutes is the perfect amount of time — not so long that I find excuses to get out of it, and short enough that it makes it hard to get started on other projects — and when the timer goes off, the tea is ready. It’s a tasty little reward for having meditated!

(If you’re a coffee person, meditate while the pot brews.)

Thoughts to share?

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