How to Accomplish Your Goals

February 1, 2015 | by Michelle Meier

Whether working to advance in a yoga pose or trying to accomplish a life goal, follow the 4 "P"s and you're sure to get there!

When trying to advance in a yoga pose or dreaming to accomplish a goal, use the four "P"s:

(1) PREP

(2) PRACTICE

(3) PROPS

(4) PATIENCE

As I'm training towards Vrschikasana (Scorpion Pose), it's important for me to first work on holding up Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Pose) before introducing the backbend.

(1) To PREP for Peacock, I'm working on walking my feet as close as possible to my face so I can learn to stack my hips over my shoulders as I do in headstand.  My next part of preparation for the full pose is to first be able to hold this step for 10-15 breaths, as relaxed as possible.

(2) Here (image, above right) I'm practicing the kick-up near a wall until I learn to find my true vertical while pressing down into my forearms and lifting my shoulders to the maximum.  This also teaches me to lift my lower abs and move them in towards my spine.  To PRACTICE also means to be persistent.  

Some goals may take longer to achieve but stick with it and be your own cheerleader.  Don't compare yourself to others; everyone is on their own journey with their own lessons to learn.  So don't give up on yourself or your dreams!

(3) I cannot emphasize this enough: use your PROPS!!  When first learning yoga poses (especially advanced ones), using props helps us to maintain clean alignment and avoid injury.

Also, if you have any existing injuries or restrictions, props are especially a must.  (Please seek an experienced yoga teacher who understands how to work with injuries and/or other restrictions to properly assist you before attempting on your own).

Here (image, above right) I've folded my mat to cushion my forearms and remind me to evenly press down into them, all the way from the elbows through the wrists and into the palms.  The strap helps me keep my arms shoulder-width apart throughout the pose.  The block between my thumbs and forefingers reminds me to press down into this webbed area to keep my forearms internally rotating and my wrists pressed down (which will naturally want to lift in this pose).  I will use the wall until I can comfortably hold the pose for several breaths.

(4) While some days we feel stronger and can remain in a pose (like last week I was able to hold Scorpion for several breaths but it's still by far a work in progress for me!), there will be other days when we cannot.  PATIENCE with yourself is key.  

Remember, while you have your goal in your mind, it is not as much about the end result as it is about the journey.  How are you showing up on your journey?  Are you beating yourself up with negative self-talk if you feel you've reached an impasse or are you encouraging yourself with loving patience?

These tips go for any of your goals and dreams.

To achieve anything great, you will need:

(1) PREP (plan it out)

(2) PRACTICE (be persistent even in the face of obstacles)

(3) PROPS (use the tools you have to help you achieve your goals)

(4) PATIENCE (with yourself, with others and with God for opening the right doors for you at the right time)

It takes courage to follow your dreams and achieve your goals. As Mary Anne Radmacher said, "Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it's the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow.""