The Psychology of Daily Practice

How to create and maintain a regular daily practice that really works for you.

Posted Oct 14, 2019

Eric Maisel
Rethinking Mental Health
Source: Eric Maisel

Many people want to get a particular thing done that requires that they show up in a daily way or a regular way. The “thing” that they may be wanting to get done might be anything from building their home business to writing their novel, from exercising to playing their musical instrument, from maintaining recovery from an addiction to building up their health after an illness or surgery.

Most people find creating and maintaining a daily practice very hard to do. In working with creative and performing artists as, first, a therapist, and, for the last 30 years, a creativity coach, I’ve worked with countless clients who want to get to their creative work in a regular way — and who can’t seem to manage to do that. There is always something they can point to as the culprit — too much busyness, not enough time, too many distractions and interruptions, etc. — but in their heart of hearts they know that they could be doing a better job of showing up.

There are many reasons for their difficulties, among them that their thoughts are likely not supporting their intentions, that the thing they mean to do may be harder than they wish it would be, that results do not accumulate fast enough to provide ongoing motivation, that they have doubts about the meaningfulness of the thing they intend to be doing, that they feel merely interested in the thing rather than genuinely devoted, and many more. The list of reasons why it’s so hard to maintain a daily practice is very long.

In this series, I’d like to present you with a way of thinking about daily practice that may help you create and maintain your own practice. We’ll look at 12 elements of practice, why each is important, and how together they amount to a blueprint for manifesting something rich, beautiful, and worthy. Here are the 12 elements of practice. In subsequent posts, I’ll describe each one in detail.

1. Simplicity

2. Regularity

3. Solemnity

4. Honesty

5. Self-direction

6. Intensity

7. Presence

8. Ceremony

9. Joy

10. Discipline and devotion

11. Self-trust

12. Primacy

Please join me for this series. Whether you want to get your novel written, practice yoga daily, build your home business, meditate, learn to draw, build your musical repertoire, maintain weight loss or sobriety—whatever it is that matters to you and that is worth getting to in a daily way—this series is for you.