Mindfulness techniques are like apps or pieces of software. The apps might be great, but they won’t work perfectly if you run them on a slow, clunky, out-of-date device. Sometimes you have to update the hardware—your brain.

Maybe you’ve been using the techniques that I share here for dealing with stress, improving your focus, and sharpening your mind. Want to power them up? Here’s how you can access the full strength of these techniques: meditation. If you meditate every day, even just a few minutes, the mindfulness techniques you’ve learned will become much more powerful. Plus, the meditation practice itself becomes very restful and enjoyable, like giving your mind a well-deserved break.

Two game-changing tricks to develop the meditation habit

Meditation is easy (see Mind your mind in previous issues). But creating a habit of daily practice is not. I struggled for years before discovering two tricks that solved the problem for me:

1. The clever trick

I use this trick whenever I feel the urge to skip my daily sit or do it “later” (aka never). The trick is this:

I shrink the length of the session in my head until I hit a level I don’t feel resistance to.

For example: “Could I do 15 minutes? No, I feel resistance, I’m not gonna do it. OK, what about 10? Still too long, the thought puts me off. Maybe five? Huh, I don’t feel resistance to that. I feel like I can sit for five.” Boom.

Then, if my session ends and I feel like sitting longer, I do.

2. The better trick

I wake up at a set time every morning and immediately meditate, before doing anything else.

You might be different, but if I do anything else first — breakfast, a workout, checking my phone — I have trouble getting myself to sit. Actually, I’ll go further: Putting off the morning sit almost guarantees I won’t sit at all.

So there’s a second part to this trick: Admitting to myself that “I’ll sit later” is code for “I’m skipping my sit today.”

Once I owned up to that, meditating daily became almost effortless. I just stopped believing my own “I’ll sit later” lie and committed to sitting first thing in the morning, when I’d actually do it. This was a game-changer for me.

Meditation helped Jon Krop, JD go “from disorganized mess to Harvard Law School graduate.” Jon can guide anyone toward chill—anxious people, depressed people, New Yorkers, even lawyers. He runs Mindfulness for Lawyers and also teaches meditation at http://jonkrop.com.