Small Steps Lead To Big Changes

You may have had the intention to start a new task: start a new diet, work out at the gym, or begin a yoga practice. Even though you would like to do these things, you’re not sure where to begin. How do you get started with a new practice that will have long-lasting positive effects? Using the example of beginning a yoga practice, let’s take a look at ways to take small steps toward great success.

You may have the desire to practice yoga for one hour each day. This is a fantastic personal goal, but, unfortunately, it may leave you feeling disappointed if you're not able to meet it consistently. Instead of taking a huge leap in this direction, smaller steps toward your intention are often more effective. Multiple repeated small successes lead to greater motivation and self-gratification that increases your willingness to complete a task or practice again.

Ask yourself, do I have time to practice yoga every day? What other obligations do I have? What is my current emotional state? Factor in these real-life circumstances before stepping into something new. Then based on these circumstances, shift your original commitment from 1 hour of yoga every day to 3-5 minutes of yoga daily, or even every other day - that's okay too!

Schedule Your Practice

Let's say you have successfully come to the conclusion that you will have time on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays to do yoga. You like the idea of a Monday because it will set the tone for your week. Wednesday is a nice midway point in the week where a yoga practice will be helpful as a way to get over the hump. Saturday mornings are often quiet and may allow for a way to decompress from the week and enter a restful weekend.

Once you have established the days in which you can do yoga, now determine the time. On Monday morning, your yoga practice can be the first thing you do when you get out of bed. (Even before that first cup of coffee.) Get out of bed, stand tall near your bedside, and take 3 deep breaths. Now engage in a movement practice to accompany the breath such as one of our daily 3-to-5-minute practices in our original YOGA365 Sequence.

Once you've completed your practice, give yourself a moment of gratitude for your commitment to self-care. This flow of actions, although seemingly short and non-impactful to your larger goals, is actually creating an approachable, habitual routine that influences your ability to take on longer practices later on. Try this for a few weeks. You may find that these practices become easier to do and you may automatically add more time to your practice or even another day.

If you need some more structure and some ideas on what to do for your 5-minute yoga practice, YOGA365 is the perfect resource with a wide range of practices to suit your needs each day and help you to establish daily successes that enrich your life on and off the mat.