Although I always encourage others to have an open mind and have new experiences, there is something to be said for having a plan. I learned the hard way this weekend that not having a plan in place before entering a situation can potentially lead you to make the wrong decision. The caveat with having a plan is you also have to be ready to throw it out the window, but at least you had one in the first place.

Having a plan can be useful for almost every life event, all the way from the minute, such as what you’re going to have for dinner, to the larger life events, such as the birth of your baby. You plan for what you want to happen, and your yoga helps you to be flexible and open to what will actually happen. We have no control over the outcome for many things in life, only how we react to it, so hopefully it is a joyous experience for all.

So what if planning and goal setting make you nervous? Start small. Don’t worry about 5 or 10 year plans yet (although props to those who do plan that far in advance!) but maybe just start with your yoga practice. At the start of class, set a goal or intention for the next hour and a half. Are you going to remember to move into each posture with a breath? Or maybe you’re going to maintain a stable shoulder girdle throughout down dog. Maybe your intention is as simple as not being hard on yourself today (tell that mean-y committee in your head to shut it!). Once you get the hang of setting intentions for your practice, then you have the tools to go beyond the mat and set goals for your day, your week, your year and so on.

Having goals and intentions also give us a measuring point for our lives. Maybe we meet our goal and then are free to set another one. If we don’t achieve our goal, how can we change it to fit us better? Having goals helps us to be more aware of our lives and how we live them. Nothing feels better than setting some crazy goal, and then achieving it!

What’s one of your current goals? Share in the comments section below!