'Freedays' are the 'gather our thoughts' days; Q&As; a general review of the week so far…
Keeping motivated in saadhana can be a challenge. Keeping it simple is often the solution. If you find that saadhana is falling away, then pare back what is being done; opt for one aspect only and concentrate on perfecting it. Hint - japa is a good option!
At those times when we are really having difficulty in keeping on track, japa is like a magnet, or a jack to get us back on the rails. While the beads are eventually to be left behind, they are a wonderful tool in hand to keep the mind on its business… even if we are so low on any given session that the mantra cannot be kept up to rhythm, to focus on the holding of each bead, to feel it between our thumb and our finger, to study each bead's surface with no other thought but to describe the little differences between each bead - or the act of seeking such differences - becomes itself a single pointed focus.
Start from where you are and inch your way up the spiritual ladder. Five minutes of pure focus per day is far better than a whole day of scattered thinking 'oh I didn't chant today - okay Jai Shri Ram….' Not that one ought not to call an Iishta's name whenever the thought arises - but do not substitute that for a dedicated part of each day on meditation practice. Fifteen to thirty minutes is the optimum time for daily practice for a householder - but be reminded that any exercise requires conditioning and any athlete will tell you to do little and often and start with the 'stretches' before making the run. If nothing else, focus on perfecting aasana and praana.
Whatever you do, do something!