Good posts all - especially pemachophels. This is a question that everyone who is a practitioner - who aspires to realization - must face and solve for themselves.
My 2 cents,
Just go for it as you are able, and see what happens. Do something / anything towards your aspiration. One step leads to another.
Find a Teacher who exemplifies in their life and actions what you want to achieve.
Show up - as you are able, read what you can afford. Perhaps everything is on the web for free or you can ask for help from friends. Go to Teachings as you can afford. Make time for practice as you can afford.
In the balance between closed retreats / solitude - vs working in the world / keeping a family happy - be gentle with yourself and your family. ChNNR is always supportive of making a living and families. Don't force anything. Otherwise you might give it up. So the middle way applies. Not too tight - not too loose.
I've had times in my life where I would spend 16 hours a day on the zafu cranking out the accumulations for two nundros. I attended 4-5 long retreats a year with ChNNR from 1980 till recently. I made the effort to receive and practice the 7 stages of the dark retreat over 49 days. I made a long Guru Rinpoche retreat. I made a long retreat to complete the "Purification of the 6 Lokas". Etc.
Am I a Bodhisattva? I made the effort to take my Bodhisattva vows from HHDL under the Bodhi tree in Bod Gaya. Can I offer my body to a hungry tiger or mosquito? -- not my thing. Still I take little guys out of the toilet and release them outside. I've participated in several large animal ransoms and plan to do more - this is a huge and easy way to build relative merit.
On the practical side - In 1980 I made the conscious wish to be helpful to ChNNR and made the effort to found Tseygyalgar - read ChNNR's writings with the Conway Gurdjieff group 6 times, did the 501C3 paperwork and the state tax paperwork. Served on the first yellow Gakyil. Lobbied strongly, for 30 years, that retreats should be free. Still feel that Dharma in the West should be totally financed by sponsors / donations as it is in the East.
Now asking for permissions to be allowed by vision / dreams as was with Ven. Jigmed Lingpa. There needs to be some way to allow permissions and transmissions for the future to be easy and free.
Still asking for all of ChNNRs more than 120 teachings to be supported by SSF / SSI. An ongoing lineage data base for each practice would be nice identifying (for those willing to participate) who has received and accomplished each practice and those approved by the IG.
Still asking for all the audio and video recordings of the over 500 retreats of ChNNR to be re-collected and preserved - as practically possible.
I don't know? I suppose I am content - if I were to ask that question.
On a practical note:
While always better to ask your Teacher, I think it is fine to use helper aids to make doing the accumulations more easy: tilted prostration boards, knee pads etc, hand sliders, are ok, as are mechanical clicker counters and now the app:
I don't think that motorized prayer wheels will work.
Just go for it as you are able.