Why dancing should NOT be at the top of your New Year’s Resolution List #2
Happy New Year to everyone! Here is the rest of how you can help achieve your New Year’s Goals (or Resolutions if you are set on that terminology)
Resolutions are out there, and every year we all feel compelled by an outside force to keep set them and keep them. But how can we be successful in making sure that we keep them? And better yet, how do all these points relate to Dancing NOT being a resolution? It will all tie up in the end, I promise.
Many websites all have a similar plan of action to help you stick to your resolutions, but I have narrowed it down to these top 10:
1) Make it something you really want: Don’t let it become something you “should” want or others want for you. It should be something that fits your own values and means something to you. (I knew that I wanted to compete, and although I needed Rhythm and everyone said I should do it, I knew Smooth was my passion.)
2) Make your list small, but manageable: List only the top 2 or 3 things that you intend to keep. If fitness is something you are already doing, keep it for 2015. If you have never stepped foot inside a gym, well then having a six pack may have to wait. (I realized that getting a dance partner and competing again was on my list of resolutions, but it had to start with me deciding them and realizing that they were manageable)
3) Be specific: Instead of saying, I want to quit smoking, set a deadline and start doing your research. Instead of saying “exercise more,” say “I will be working out Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at 6:00am.” (That worked for me when I decided on a practice schedule. If it was set, then there was less of a chance for me to cancel.)
4) Make it automatic: If you want to save money, make sure it is automatically deposited into a savings account. (Ballroom Dancing!)
5) Make a plan: How do you eat an elephant? In small bites. Although nobody would ever eat an elephant, something that large has to be divided into smaller steps, manageable and achievable steps. (If a competition is a goal, figure out all the necessary steps with your teacher to get you feeling comfortable, confident, and most importantly, relaxed on that dance floor on the day of the event)
6) Be prepared to change some habits: “The only thing constant is change” was a phrase that I now live by. If I want something, then sacrifices or changes must be made to achieve it. (If it is difficult to come in three times a week for your personal lessons and a group and party, then see if you can fit everything into two days, or even one. Or see if Taco Tuesday can be done after your lessons and not before)
7) Write down the goal and visualize it regularly: Seeing what you want constantly fixes it into your subconscious. You are more likely to achieve your goals because they envelop your psyche. (One of my students made it her goal to showcase more arm styling in her Smooth Routines. She would remind herself about that goal every day before the competition. What did she achieve? The best presentation and performance ever!)
8) Tell someone: When you share your goals, you have someone that can hold you accountable to achieve them. It also adds motivation because it can become reciprocal. Maybe someone else needs help achieving theirs as well! (Tell your teacher or the coach. Tell your friend or your spouse. Tell anyone that will listen! They will constantly check in on you to see if you have achieved them or are on your way to achieving what you wanted.)
9) Forgive yourself: If you fall off the wagon, jump back on. Most people feel that if they stumble and fall, it means they should give up. If you realize that falling is part of the process, then you will not be discouraged. (If you miss a week of Groups and Parties, double up the next week. If you can’t make your weekly lesson, try a back to back lesson the following week. If you usually come to a group on one day, and to a party the next day, do both in one day. You will see that you may actually like the intensity of doubling up on your lessons and may want to keep that schedule.)
10) Don’t give up: Jack Canfield and his “Chicken Soup for the Soul” book was rejected 99 times before it was published. You can do the same. (Keep working at it. Dancing is intended to be a hobby and to be something you enjoy. Don’t let it become a chore! We always have another opportunity for you to try again!)
So now that I have given you a way to achieve your goals, how does it relate to dancing?
Dancing is a hobby; something that you may have wanted to do for many years, but never had a chance to do. Dancing will become that activity that will help you lose the weight, be that new thing you get to learn, and become an outlet that allows you to live life to the fullest. It will allow you to spend more time with friends and family, especially if you have always avoided social functions for fear of having to dance. If you are willing to do this for someone special, (or looking for someone special), dancing is a form of non-verbal communication between two souls, that leads to a release of endorphins and a rush of emotions dancers experience every dance! Also, if you are dancing every dance, you won’t even have a chance to go out for a smoke!
So next time you think of your New Year’s Resolutions, make sure that dancing is NOT one of them, and instead it becomes your New Year’s Avenue to lose weight, make a special person happy, or a place to fall in love because trust me, you will fall in love with dance and the way it makes you feel and look!
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