Think back to the last technique that you picked up. If you're lucky, you are still using it and it's being of great benefit to you.
However, for most people, the answer is that the technique isn't really doing much. The technique may have worked. In fact, it probably did. We've all been there: You find this new technique and you see that there is real benefit to it. Then life gets in the way and you find that actually using the technique never quite happens. Eventually, the technique that showed such promise is forgotten at the back of your mind. Frustrated, most of us start looking for a new technique to use: A "silver bullet" that will solve our problems. Usually, this just starts the same cycle again.
Based on my direct experience and observations, the real reason for the fade out comes down to a couple of root causes:
1: There is inner resistance.
Crazy as it may sound, this one is pretty common. All of us want to improve our lives. The problem that many of us run into, is that we have developed a resistance to change, especially change that can really help us. Why? It's a defense mechanism. The old saying "better the devil you know than the devil you don't" fits this one perfectly. Inner resistance can be removed, and the first step is to become aware of it. Once you have that, you can move on to more advanced methods. But that is for another article.
2: The technique simply doesn't fit.
This one is also pretty common, especially with people who are actively looking for new techniques to use. Quite often, they will have picked up a few different techniques to use. The problem is they have difficulty remembering when to use them or how to remember to use them when needed.
Why did I bring up resistance first? I did it so you will have a better view when you look at how the technique fits into your life. Imagine, for example, that you have a meditation practice that takes 30 minutes per day and really helps you. Somehow it never gets done. It could be resistance, or it could be problems making it fit. If it is problems making the technique fit, then the next step is figuring a way to make it all come together.
The system, at a glance.
When you look at any kind of system, there are a few things you always look at: The pieces, and how they fit together. Both are important. First, let's look at the pieces: The techniques you've picked up so far.
Take a piece of paper (or computer) and start writing. Write down every technique that you have learned in the areas of discipline, clear thinking, relaxation, awareness, happiness, fitness and so on. You know the list. For most of us, this is the list that we don't like to look at because of this very problem. As you write you'll probably notice that there are themes and overlaps. That's fine. Keep it in mind and keep going. Once you feel you've gotten everything you can think of down, we have our list of components.
Now for the really fun part: How they fit together. If you've ever seen the movie Miracle with Kurt Russell, you will remember how he picked his team: He wanted a solid unit, not a bunch of stars. That's what we're going for here.
So, take a look at your list, and start picking out techniques and practices that you can use in your day-to-day life. Remember, we want them all to work together and support each other.
For example: One morning I was off to a bad start. I wasn't feeling well, and my mood was running sour in a hurry. I had a practice in place where occasionally I would take a moment just to check where I was mentally and emotionally. When that check happened that morning, I saw what was going on. That triggered a technique I use to remember to be happy in every moment. You want to set up the same kind of cooperation in your system.
Making it work.
This, like anything, will take practice and tweaking to make it work. As you get more experienced with it, it will start to become second nature, and you can keep adding and optimizing your system for being more.