No man can hope that he will live the same life while getting more and more aware. The first sacrifice he will have to make for the sake of his desire to change will be his free time. His life will have to be organized so that there will be time for daily meditation sessions and exercises. If he cannot do that, it means it is too early to start this work, or he might not need it at all.
Casual attitude to self-improvement produces the same results. Lack of attention to details entails no results at all. A daily twenty-minute exercise is better than an-hour-and-a-half exercise twice a week. The one who wants to awaken and get aware needs to understand that it is work taking permanent efforts.
Some teachers recommend meditating at the same time of the day and in special clothing, by using certain music or odors in the beginning. Your mind is expected to get used to the time of the exercise, and the clothing and corresponding attributes will create the mood that will help the mind calm down faster, thus making the meditation deeper. This approach might be actually of use for some types of people, but I see two cons in there. The first one is that when your mind gets finally used to the time and the surroundings, its holder might start “sleeping” during the meditation while submerging into the state of trance. Following which, by the way, he will feel refreshed and relaxed. But it will not be a path leading to awakening. The second con is that if the Seeker’s purpose is to gain awareness, he will have to do it in ordinary life where he will have no special favorable conditions.
Thus, in my opinion, the main condition for self-improvement must be determination. It is the very thing enabling the Seeker to find time for exercises by using any opportunity for this purpose. In the end, it will result in man’s own independent will.