I decided a long time ago that I would meditate every day.
That plan failed.
Then I read a book by the Dalai Lama and one by a zen priest and listened to a meditation CD and tried to make it happen. But for some reason, I simply do not have the right frame of mind when I wake up in the morning to sit down, and just breathe for some number of minutes every day. I cannot focus. Eventually, I simply gave up.
But, as part of my 1000 cranes project, I decided that it would be a real boost if I committed to folding at least one crane a day. So then I combined that with my desire to meditate daily and formed my daily crane meditation. Now, by any objective standard, when I fold the crane in the morning I am not really meditating, but I do take the time to focus on my breathing. One benefit to the crane is that I am so familiar with the model that I do not need to think about how to fold it. I've gone beyond simple memorization of the crane to something intuitive, like how an athlete does not remember how to move, they just do. I just fold the crane without thought which frees my mind to focus on breathing.
These folding meditation sessions are probably much shorter than if I were to set aside a block of time to meditate the zen way, but they are infinitely longer than the non-sessions I had been doing. And, with a bit of luck, getting in the habit of doing the daily crane meditation every single day could pave the way for a larger commitment that is simply not an option right now.