Meeting Dance Goals with Consistency
I think that anyone would agree that to have success in something, consistency is crucial. Like any other type of goal, your dance goals should be met with consistency. Recently I picked up 5 tips form business strategist Marie Forleo on how to “get things done, all the time.” While her advice on how to be consistent was geared for entrepreneurs seeking help with their business endeavors, I interpreted and translated her guidelines for the dancer looking to advance in their personal dancing path. The following strategies could work toward any dance goal. Looking to learn more Ballroom dance patterns? Possibly you want your leading or following technique to be stronger. Or maybe you are working towards your first performance or competition. Whatever you put your dance mind to, consider the following steps to stay consistent and to ultimately achieve your dance goal.
Keep Your Eye on The Why
When setting out to achieve your ballroom dance, partner, dance or any dance goals, remembrer what you are trying to achieve and why you are trying to do it. You have to get very clear on your “why” in order to commit. Every dancer’s “why” is different. Your “why” could be that being a good dancer improves your self confidence. Maybe you want to become a better dancer to make someone in your life happy. Quite often we work with dancers at Bella Ballroom that want to impress their guests with “wow factor” moves during their first dance for their upcoming wedding. Other dancing bride and grooms have the “why” of wanting to feel at ease and not to step on each other in front of their friends and family at their wedding. Many people take ballroom and partner dance as a way to meet people and be more social. Others work at dance as a form of exercise or as a tool to improve their strength, flexibility, balance, or stamina. Whatever your “why” for dancing is, become very clear on the motivation behind your dance goals.
Pick Your Battle
Notice that Marie Forleo chose the single word “battle” over the plural word “battles.” Pick one goal and stick with it. Humans have a very limited capacity for will power and discipline. Doctors recommend not quitting smoking and quitting eating sugar at the same time because tackling two big goals at the same time will most likely result in failure. It’s ok to have more than one dance goal, but focus on one at a time. After getting clear on your why, navigate your dance goals and pick one element to focus on. Learning more patterns, honing in on your lead/follow technique, getting more experience by going out dancing more, studying one particular dance or style at a time are all examples of single battles that can be fought for. Win one battle, and then you can add on another.
Life is BUSY! If you really want to get something done, you need to schedule it. Just as you schedule your work, appointments, and gatherings, schedule time for your dance goals. Create a standing dance lesson with your Bella Ballroom dance instructor each week. Calendar in practice time for yourself or create a time to meet with you dance partner so you are held more reliable. Rent studio space to practice or buy tickets to an upcoming dance social so that you’ve already invested in the upcoming dance practice time. Don’t prioritize your schedule. Schedule your priorities and build your life around the dance goals that you are trying to make consistent.
Ignore Your Feelings
As dancers, hearing the phrase “ignore your feelings” may feel counterintuitive at first but what Marie Forleo is suggesting is that you ignore the voice that says, “I don’t feel like it.” Let’s face it. Even if we love dance, there are days when we want to be lazy and curl up to some good Netflix or sit out at the Beach and watch the waves roll in. While there should be time for that too, don’t let your “I don’t want to” feelings tamper with your schedule dance goal achievement time. While it’s guaranteed you’ll have days when you don’t want to work on your dance goals, remember that you have to override this voice in your head to stay consistent. At the very least, do something. I overheard Bella Ballroom instructor Tayler tell students earlier this week, that instead of doing nothing when they are not in the mood to practice, to just do something. A little is better than nothing, and I find that once you get past that voice in your head and start practicing, you often do more than you originally wanted or set out to do.
Catch That Wagon
We are human so falling of the dance goals wagon may happen. The best thing you can do is not have an all or nothing mindset. If you miss one day of dance training, or forgot about that ballroom dance social, don’t give it all up! Get back on the dance goals wagon and stop beating yourself for falling off. The sooner you can get back on the wagon the better. The longer you go without working towards your dance goals, the harder it will be to get back to where you were and push past that. If nothing else, think about the muscle memory, stamina, and flexibility you’ve already worked to achieve. You don’t want to loose what you’ve worked so hard for just because you gave up for falling of the wagon once. So get back on that dance wagon and remember that success doesn’t come from what you do occasionally. It comes from what you do consistently.
Article by Ziva.