Just as the Ganges has its ebb and flow, so is there an ebb and flow in spiritual moods at the beginning. But later, as you continue, there will come an even flow of the mind toward God.
Try diligently to check this mad outward rush of your mind. You can do this successfully if you do not try to meditate as soon as you sit down. First draw the mind back from its external pursuits by means of discrimination, and lock it up inside, at the sacred feet of your Chosen Ideal. Then make japa and meditate. If you try diligently to follow this course for some time, the mind will naturally cease to wander.
The way of japa is the easiest path to follow. By constantly performing japa the mind can easily be made calm and steady, and finally it will lose itself in God. Therefore I ask you to perform japa regularly and often, and at the same time meditate on the Chosen Ideal. This combined practice brings quick success.
Always practice your disciplines with unswerving steadfastness and let not a single day pass without them. Whether you like it or not, sit down at the appointed hour every day. If you can continue your practices for three years with unerring regularity, I assure you that love for God will grow in you and you will feel yourself nearer to him. Then you will be prompted from within to call upon him and him only. Then you will not be able to turn your mind in any other direction. It is at this stage that the aspirant feels the joy of spiritual life within the heart.
From The Eternal Companion
by Swami Prabhavananda