I usually start with counting inhales and exhales until I get to 10, then start over again. That way, when my mind wanders, I know I can just start at one again. That way, I don't feel like I'm losing progress so much as I'm regaining focus.
Regarding falling asleep, I usually time it so that I still have to brush my teeth, or turn out the lights. I also find sitting instead of lying down usually helps. I definitely still fall asleep from time to time, but when I wake up, I just try to laugh and do better next time!
Also in the act of meditation it's allowed to think deeply about something. I do that in order not to fall asleep. I practically go through the entire day over again starting from the first thing I did when I woke up to the last thing before the meditation. The incredible aspect is that the brain is able to recall names of people you met for the first time, unusual incidents that occurred and colours.
Do this and I'm sure you will be able to achieve your goal.
In terms of falling asleep maybe do short meditations first aimed at energizing or making you think and save the relaxing ones for when falling asleep wouldn't be an issue as such
As you keep meditating, let the thoughts come, and then let them go. Don’t bother to trying to *stop* thinking, just stop holding on to them. Imagine the thought as a butterfly: let it land in your hand, acknowledge it, and then let it fly away. As you continue this process, not attached to a specific outcome or timeline, the thoughts will slowly lessen.
Journaling will help, as will keeping an organized to-do list and/or planner, as will talking about feelings with friends. Many of the incessant thoughts we ruminate on are symptoms of feelings we haven’t fully allowed ourselves to express. When we feel it, we heal it.
The main thing, however, is to love yourself, be compassionate with your progress, and just stick with it, no matter what.
Keep it up!
….or maibe to tired 😉