We’ve all been there. The alarm goes off and you hit the snooze button. Then you lay there making excuses for why you should skip yoga class. Some days it can be so hard to get motivated. Some people jump out of bed in the morning ready to take on the day… while others really struggle to get going.
Most of us probably fall somewhere in the middle. Holding yourself accountable is easy some days and other days it’s a real challenge. The thing to remember is that you’re ultimately only accountable to yourself… especially when it comes to yoga practice.
After all, it’s your practice! But that’s what makes it so challenging. Accountability is tough, and it’s even more difficult when you’re the only one you must answer to. Whether it’s the day-to-day responsibilities or attending yoga class regularly, holding yourself accountable is a common hurdle we all struggle with.
But it’s also a fantastic opportunity to learn something about yourself and advance along your yogic path. Whether you’re looking to stick to a daily yoga practice, launch a new business, or follow a healthier lifestyle, these tips will help you hold yourself accountable on and off the mat!
Define Your Why
To get to the core of what you really want rather than what your friends, family, or society is telling you to accomplish, you need to define your why. Ask yourself why you want to practice yoga every day. Or why do you want to lead a healthier lifestyle? Digging down deep and defining your why helps you create goals you can get excited about and follow through on.
Set Specific, Measurable Goals
Your goals need to be specific and measurable so you can understand how you’re going to achieve them. For example, if you want to hold a particularly challenging pose during yoga class, don’t start out by trying to hold it for two minutes. Set yourself up for success by starting with 30 seconds using props if you need them. Gradually work up to your goal in small increments so that you can see your progress. This same strategy can be applied to anything you want to achieve, whether it’s eating healthier meals or getting up earlier in the morning.
Prioritize Your Goals
Schedule your goals just like you would any other appointment. During that time, be present and focus only on your goal. Many of us are all about serving others before we serve ourselves. But if you’re not prioritizing your own goals because you’re busy taking care of everyone else, you won’t be motivated or accountable for your own needs. If your goal is to attend a yoga class every morning, block off that time on your calendar and don’t allow other commitments to get in the way.
Give Functional Medicine a Try
Functional medicine practitioners recognize that mental, physical, and mood health are all interconnected, and when one is out of whack, the others will be too. If you are really struggling with a lack of motivation, energy, and focus to achieve your goals, experts recommend a functional medicine program to help you “identify any root health problems and develop natural strategies and lifestyle changes to help you achieve your highest potential.”
Quiet the Noise
News and social media can have a major impact on your mindset and moods. Be particular about who you follow and who you allow to influence your day. Follow people who are motivating, positive, and share messages about self-love. Practicing yoga before bed is also a great way to quiet the noise. Try a few stretching poses and do some breathing exercises to calm your mind. This frees up space in your head for your goals and the things that really matter to you.
Prepare What You Need in Advance
Want to attend an early morning yoga class? Lay out your yoga clothes, your matt, and anything else you need the night before. Set out your water bottle and make sure you can find your car keys. Having everything ready to go will make it easier to get up and get going. And it will get you in the mindset that this yoga class is going to happen. This works for nutrition goals, too. Prepare your post-yoga snack in advance, pack a healthy lunch the night before, do your shopping and meal prep for the week on your day off. Preparation makes it easier to be accountable and follow through with your goals.
Find an Accountability Buddy
Find a friend who also wants to make positive changes in their life. They don’t have to have the same goals you do. You can be each other’s accountability buddy and motivate each other by checking in to see how the other is following through with their goals. Send each other positive messages and motivational quotes throughout the day. Sometimes having someone else hold you accountable is all you need to get you motivated on a tough day.
Recognize At Least One Victory Every Day
Every day, recognize at least one victory you’ve made towards your goal. Maybe you held that pose an extra 10 seconds or you had a smoothie after class instead of a burger. Recognizing your accomplishments, no matter how small they are, can be very motivating, especially when you’re working toward a distant goal that’s still out of reach. That victory can be a goal all on its own to help you get excited about small victories you’ll achieve the next day.
The Bottom Line
Big goals often feel daunting, but if something were easily accomplished overnight, you wouldn’t need to worry about holding yourself accountable. Working toward your long-term goals and visions in small steps can help you create habits that will get you where you want to be. Remember, you are making a commitment to yourself, and nothing is more important than that.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
NICOLE MCCRAY Nicole is an experienced content writer with a passion for all aspects of wellness. She worked a side gig at a yoga studio for years before becoming a mom, and absolutely fell in love with holistic and alternative therapies during her first pregnancy. She’s been proclaimed the “health nut” amongst family and friends, and when she’s not writing, Nicole can be found studying to become a health coach and reading up on all aspects of healthy living!