It has been a while, so I took a bit of a snapshot of my meditation tracker data on Insight Timer today, exporting it into Numbers for some visualization. Some quick stats:
Days with at least 1 session
- Timer 37%
- Guided meditations 63%
- Meditation 99%
- Chanting 1%
- Consecutive days best 132
- Daily avg 19m
- 77 bookmarks on Insight Timer
Looking at this data I think you could say I have underperformed. Since my first retreat 4 years I would have liked to have meditated at least 20 minutes once a day, which means I should be over 1400 sessions. I only have myself to blame, since I sit alone and rely on a mix of podcasts, books, and IT Guided Meditations with no teacher. I would really like the opportunity to sit with a group and get more instruction, but that has yet to happen.
If we look at monthly performance, specifically # of Sessions and Total Time per month, we can see some trends that looking back, line up with what was going on in my life. (Not 100% of my sessions are tracked, but it is close enough.)
At a bare minimum, I should have a sit at least once a day, which means those blue bars should be around that horizontal red line of 30 sessions. After my retreats in 2017 you can see the slow decay of dedication, which is expected. That is why you have to periodically “re-up” with a new retreat. 2019 was a very stressful year for me, and I went on retreat finally, but it didn’t quite stick. Funny how the times when you are most stressed out are the times you should be meditating but don’t? We came back to Canada in June and my Dad passed away soon after, but you can see I maintained consistency then, so I am making progress.
This year I rededicated myself to a daily meditation practice and you can see the difference from Jan 2021. Bullet journaling had a big part in that, making it much more visible and helping to build the habit. Since the beginning I have been using Insight Timer. I haven’t really tried a bunch of other apps, since IT has some pretty good guided meditations (lots of bhikku and bhikkhunī), and the timers do a good job. If you have recommendations for others I am certainly open to hear. Having all my data already in this one though makes the lock-in strong.