There's no time like the present to set and achieve goals. Whether you’re looking to improve your emotional or physical health, setting goals can help keep you on track in a powerful way.
And, no - You don't have to wait until New Year's to start either.
Setting goals for your yoga practice is a great way to make progress, learn more, and improve your health through moving your body.
If you're ready to set new goals or you're struggling with goals you're already working toward, here are some proven tips to help you crush your ambitions and take you where you want to be.
1. Set Clear Goals
It's hard to accomplish your yoga goals if you don't know what those goals are. Vague goals like "I want to do more yoga" can be hard to track and achieve.
That means you may be more likely to get derailed or even give up.
Setting clear goals will give you something concrete to work toward. Once you have clear goals, you'll be able to set action steps to help you make progress.
A good rule of thumb is to set S.M.A.R.T. goals for yourself. S.M.A.R.T. stand for:
When you clarify your goals and make them specific, it's easier to be successful.
2. Learn About Your Body
Along with setting clear goals, it's important to learn about your body.
The more you know about how your body changes and how yoga affects different muscle groups, the easier it will be to use yoga to achieve your goals.
For example, if you want to build strength, your yoga goals will be different than if you want to build flexibility.
If you want to flatten your stomach, you'll use yoga differently than if you want to focus on mindfulness.
By learning about your body, you can ensure that your goals and action steps line up the way they should so you can be successful.
3. Take a Holistic Approach
Yoga is beneficial because it helps you create a body, mind, and spirit balance.
When you set goals, it's important to remember that every part of who you are affects every other part.
Your mindset will affect your physical body, for example.
When you have yoga goals, make sure that you think from a holistic perspective so that your action steps don't skew to one direction and keep you from having a healthy balance in your life.
4. Keep Your Eye on the Big Picture
Progress is rarely smooth. You'll always have good days and bad days, and even though you're doing everything you should, there will be days with setbacks.
When you're working toward your yoga goals, don't get too caught up in the day-to-day progress.
Instead, look at your overall progress.
You may not be able to do what you set out to do in this day, but look at how much more you can do compared to before you started!
Increasing your focus on the big picture has many associated benefits and can help keep you from getting discouraged along the way, especially if your progress is slower than you thought it would be.
5. Get Advice from Others
Just remember - It's okay if you can't do it on your own.
There are lots of amazing resources available to help you achieve your yoga goals.
If you're struggling or need help knowing where to go to make progress, consider asking someone with more yoga experience, like your yoga instructor, to get some insight.
Not only will they have knowledge to tap into, but they'll have an outside perspective that can give you an answer you might not have considered.
6. You Don’t Have to Stick With What Isn't Working for You
Yoga should be fun!
Lots of people turn to yoga for exercise because they're tired of dreading their time at the gym. They want to do something that's enjoyable and relaxing instead of something that makes them anxious and frustrated.
So if you're working toward your yoga goals and you really feel like it's not working or you're dreading your time on the mat, it may be time to re-evaluate your goals.
You don't have to necessarily change your goals, but it would be a good idea to see if something needs to be shifted a little bit.
Sometimes trying out a new yoga studio might help with this. You might even look at trying out a new experience altogether like online yoga classes or a new style of yoga.
It’s up to you to find what you’re most comfortable with when you’re on the mat!
7. If You Hit That Plateau, Continue to Challenge Yourself
Sometimes when you're working toward your yoga goals, you can reach a new level and end up stuck there for a while. This can happen when you're working toward weight or other health goals, as well.
When that happens, you don't have to give up and accept that you have to stay where you are. A plateau might mean that your body has adapted to what you're doing, so it's time to change things and maybe even try some new yoga classes.
You could even try a different routine and see if that helps you get back on track.
8. Remember - Not Everything Works for Everyone
Everyone's body is different and everyone reaches their yoga goals differently.
That means not everything works for everyone.
Even if you know someone who did a certain type of yoga for six weeks and got amazing results, that doesn't mean it will work for you.
The most important thing is to find the yoga practice that meets your physical, mental, and spiritual needs to benefit you in ways you might not have thought about.
Stay the Course and You’ll Achieve Your Personal Yoga Goals
Yoga goals are a great way to improve your health and well-being. But, like any other type of goal, you have to take the right steps to make them happen.
If you're struggling with your goals, don't get discouraged.
You can use these tips to make sure you're on the right track so you can achieve everything you want. If you're looking for more support with your yoga goals, don't forget to reach out to the close people in your network.
I mean, after all, that’s why they’re there.