Long before embarking on my journey to become a yoga teacher and studio owner, I worked for a company that encouraged us to write down our personal goals for the next one, three, and five years.
It sounded easy at first, but when I actually sat down to write, I found it harder to come up with goals that excited me. The idea behind these long-term goals was that they should be so big, so scary, so thrilling, that they would have me jumping out of bed daily to chase the dream and make it reality. This idea was cushioned with the warning that even if I didn’t accomplish a goal, if it was a big enough goal to light a fire inside me, that would be accomplishment enough.
In other words: the setting of goals was less about being able to do an unsupported handstand a year from now, writing a book five years from now, or publishing two books within the next ten years. Although those goals would be great to reach in the future, actually writing down your goals, getting up every morning with your goals in mind, doing everything you can in daily practice to obtain your goals, and getting excited about being one step after the other closer to achieving your goals is really the heart of what matters.
This exercise of goal setting was an important lesson for me. Not only did it help me identify my goals, but it made me realize there is no perfect way to make those dreams a reality. Setting goals and striving to reach them is really about the joy of the journey, the small successes, the minor setbacks. It’s about process, not perfection.
Practicing yoga is the same way. Every time you come to the mat, your practice differs, and we all know there is no such thing as a “perfect” practice. Maybe it’s because you’re trying a 6 a.m. class versus your regular 6 p.m. class. Maybe it’s easier to calm your mind on a Saturday morning than a Monday evening. Maybe you could balance in tree pose perfectly on Saturday, but when you try again Tuesday, it’s an entirely different story.
Showing up to class, rolling out your mat, and following your own flow is what matters. Being patient with yourself, attentive to your body, and loving the practice is more important than holding an unsupported handstand.
The goal is about self care and compassion. The goal is consistency. Maybe consistency is twice a week or five days a week; it really varies person to person. However, when consistency fails, it’s easy to feel the absence of the mat and the sacred space you create for yourself. Try writing your yoga practice in your calendar and holding yourself to those appointments as if it were a dinner out with friends or an important date.
As we approach the sweet, yet somewhat frantic transition from fall to the holiday season, join us in setting a goal of self care. Let’s set the goal now, so you don’t look up and find that it’s already Thanksgiving, you haven’t been doing yoga and making time for yourself, you’re feeling rushed and overwhelmed, and ALREADY dreading the cold weather coming.
We’ve got support to help you with this – because we know that at this time of year, as everything gets SUPER busy…the STRUGGLE IS REAL!
Sign up to join our Self Care Throw Down. It’s free! Together we’ll help you set goals for your weekly practice and show you how to make time for home meditation(how long has THAT been on your to-do list?)
We’ll be there throughout the throw down: you’ll get weekly emails where we check in, free videos you can use at home to keep you motivated.