I am writing this post mostly as a personal motivation. It has become quite long, so please don't feel obligated to read it. Thank you!
I have realized that I tend to jump from technique to technique always worrying that I might not be using the correct technique for my current situation (without actually realizing that I am worrying). I've finally realized this, and how much it has been holding me back. I have not been able to commit to any form of meditation for more than a couple months at a time... most of the time it is honestly only a few weeks at a time (though sitting daily has been quite regular for me over the past 2 years).
With this realization, I made a major decision yesterday.
I vow to practice the radiation of metta in at least one meditation sitting per day, every day. Any other sittings (I usually sit twice) will generally be breath meditation, or any object I may find particularly helpful at the time. For 1 year.
A few hours later, I found myself worrying whether or not I should commit fully to one method or the other... More worrying... haha It appears to be the strongest hindrance in me at the moment.
So I made the vow more specific.
If I can only sit once in a day, I will perform metta radiation. If I can sit twice, once will be metta, once will be breath. If I can sit more than twice, the third+ can be any object I see fit (more metta, more breath, the other brahmaviharas, contemplation of the body, the 5 recollections, etc). This vow I will take for 1 year. I've also committed to the specific technique in each case (metta/breath) but will not go into that here.
I know this seems way over the top, but I realized that I needed to do the same thing to learn Japanese as well a few years ago. I needed very specific personal rules, or else I went off the rails trying everything that came my way.
So the reason I'm posting this is not that I need someone to check if it is ok, or to tell me it is too over the top (for most people it probably is). My first 2 sittings after this were better than any in the previous 3 months, because of the solidity of making the vow, writing it down, and signing it. So I'm pretty solid on it being the right decision.
The reason I am posting it is that I want to be held accountable, and I want it to be public. It's really just a way of building stronger walls to keep me going.
1 year, metta every day. Generally breath once per day as well.
There are other vows which relate to giving rise to wholesome qualities and getting rid of unwholesome qualities (arising metta throughout the day, etc), but they don't necessarily belong in this forum.