Ibnul Qayyim al-Jawziyyah (rahimahullaah) said:
Abu Bakr al-Kattaanee (d.322H) said:
"A servant should overcome his soul;
So the shaykhs began to weep and said: How can that be increased upon? May Allaah reward you with good, O crown of the knowledgeable ones!" 
Imaam Ibnul Qayyim (rahimahullaah) further said:
Firstly: Reciting the Qur`aan, reflecting upon it and understanding its meanings.
Secondly: Drawing closer to Allaah through the performance of optional deeds, after fulfilling the obligatory deeds.
Thirdly: Being continuous in the dhikr (remembrance) of Allaah - in all circumstances - with the tongue, the heart and the limbs. The more constant the dhikr, the more mahabbah intensifies.
Fourthly: Giving precedence to what Allaah loves - when being overcome with desires - over what one personally loves and desires.
Fifthly: Causing the heart to contemplate over the Names and Attributes of Allaah. Being a witness to what they necessitate and causing the heart to be enlightened in the garden of this realisation.
Sixthly: Witnessing the blessing and the favours of Allaah; the apparent and the hidden.
Seventhly: Subduing the heart and humbling it before Allaah, causing it to be in awe of Him.
Eighthly: Being in seclusion during the time in which Allaah descends to the lowest Heaven; reciting the Qur`aan, and finishing this recitation with seeking Allaah's forgiveness and sincerely repenting to Him.
Ninthly: Sitting in the gatherings of the sincere and true lovers of Allaah; reaping the benefits of their teachings, and not speaking except when you know there is benefit in doing so and that such speech will increase you in good and benefit others as well.
Tenthly: Keeping clear from all those matters which will cause the heart to distance itself from Allaah - the Mighty and Majestic.
So these are ten matters which cause the lover to reach the station of true love for Allaah, so that he may then reach Allaah - his Beloved." 
 Madaarijus-Saalikeen (3/9)