The top tip to make personal development exercises work for you

C bullet 6 yellow swirls aa-img021_crA guide to choosing and doing self-help exercises

There is a vast choice of self-help, personal development and spiritual development exercises. They apply in different situations, for different types of people, and at different stages on the journey.

You learn what works best by trial and error! It’s fine to just try different things and discover if you like them. While it is valuable (often, essential) to get help from a therapist or teacher in the beginning, don’t feel that you “ought” to like what someone else recommends. Do what fits and makes you feel good. Learning to trust your intuition of what is good for you is all part of the work.

At the same time, it’s pointless to toy with different methods, try them for a day, then restlessly try something else. To dig a well, you have to dig consistently in one place, not dig a couple of feet in one spot, then another, then another. So when you try something, I suggest to use the following format.

Intention is the key to doing meditations and personal development exercises. It matter less which exercises you do, what matters is to do something. More than anything it is your repeated intention to go in a new direction which gets you there.

  1. Try an exercise once. If you like it, make a binding agreement with yourself to do it daily for seven days. Decide in advance the time each day you will do it, and how you are going to modify your week to make room for it. Only skip a day if it is totally impossible.
  2. At the end of the week, if you like the exercise, make a similar commitment to do it for a further seven, 14 or 21 days.
  3. At the end of 21 days, again decide. If you carry on, again it is good to do so for a stated period. And perhaps now not every day, but, still, on a clear schedule laid out in advance.
  4. At the end of that period,  have a rest. Drop the exercise for a while. If it spontaneously comes to you to start it again, do it in the same pattern.

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