One of the key elements of achieving your goals and also enjoying doing so, is to stay motivated. This may seem easy when it’s something that you really enjoy doing, such as attending workshops or weekly classes. But it’s a lot harder to find that motivation for things that you maybe don’t enjoy that much, such as completing your tax return, going to the gym or doing those drills that you’ve been recommended to strengthen your body.
It’s the middle of January of I’m writing this, and the time of year where a lot of people fail their new year resolutions and other goals they may have set for how they want to live their life. So today’s tips may help you whether you’re a dancer or not, and as a dancer you can of course apply them to other parts of your life too.
If you want to get some tips on how to discover and set goals in the first place, check out my article on How to set dance goals that will make your succeed.
Mix and match the ideas listed below to suit you and the goal you’re working towards.
No matter what the task is, whether planning your next performance or getting that tax return done (it is January after all!), remind yourself of the bigger picture and the reason as to why you need/want to do this. It may sound simple, but people are great at procrastinating, because they tell themselves that other things are more important right now…
Will there be negative consequences if you don’t? This is a negative way of looking at it, so not always the best approach. Although for some it really work.
Will you gain something personally? This is a more positive way at looking at the same issue. If you don’t need to pay a fine, then that’s a bonus (last tax return mention, but it’s one that works for me).
Will there be a reward? In some aspects this can be the same as the above, but you could also treat yourself to something nice, such as a coffee with your fellow dancers, after making it to class/gym on a cold and windy day
Will it make you feel good? Will the pure joy of having done this make you feel better about yourself? And will it bring you closer to achieving your goal?
Reviewing your achievements at the end of the day is a great way to stay on track, so try listing three things either on a piece of paper, or simply in your head, at the end of the day. It can help you feel better about yourself, become more grateful as well as efficient, and also help you get better at seeing the bigger picture in general.
If you’re a ‘glass half full’ type of person, you may find it easier to see the positive as to why you need to do things, even those you don’t enjoy that much. But there are tricks that everyone can use to help their motivation.
How to make it fun? If you don’t like going to the gym to do your daily workout, then try to incorporate it into your routine in another way. For example, I have to do some exercises to help with an old injury, and instead of setting aside 30 minutes every day, I try to do 5 minutes whenever I put the kettle on, or watching the news. If you’re stuck in an office, you could also use an extended loo break to do some shimmies, a few dance drills or just mediate (depending on the state of the surroundings!) for 2 minutes.
Making it fun for others? If you can get other people involved to have fun, you’re even more likely to succeed. Whether it’s going for a power walk with a friend or car sharing to go to class or workshops, there’s big power in numbers.
Be silly! Yes, do your cleaning whilst dancing, get your office buddies to do a 5 minutes Friday shimmy session with you, stick some colorful images in your financial folders that remind you of why you’re doing it. It may just do the trick!
Just because others do things in a certain way, it doesn’t mean that you have to. There might be a more effective way for you do things, but if it doesn’t work for your routine and motivation, then look at alternative ways.
Different environment: Some people thrive when working in other surroundings, so take your laptop and find a coffee shop, or as a dancer, find another studio. Lights, sounds, smells really have a big impact on how we feel, so don’t underestimate these. A simpler alternative can be using some essential oils to keeping you focused.
Different people: sometimes it helps surrounding yourself with people who dare to think differently too. Whether it’s trying a new workshop, class or even just making new friends in the circles that you’re already in. Big workshop events such at the JWAAD Summer School or Fantasia Festival in London can be great places to get to know likeminded people, that you can start networking with and that can support you on your dance journey.
Take time to celebrate the little as well as the big victories. People often get caught up in the end goal, but the journey is just as important, and you’ll pass many little milestones on the way, which you may not notice and appreciate unless you stop and take stock.
Make a list: They’re not just for Christmas and shopping… Make a list of all your achievements from last year, and make sure to list as many as you can. Not just the 5 main ones, but 10-20 or even more! You’ll be surprised how far you’ve actually come and how much you’ve done along your way. Once you’ve celebrated (cake, coffee, new shoes – whatever is your favorite) then use the list to look at how you can set milestones for your future goals.
I hope you found my tips useful, whether you want to stay motivated for your dance or other goals ahead. If you have anything to add, or want to share how you’re keeping your motivation going, please leave a comment below so we can keep the knowledge sharing going.
Happy dance development 😉
Did you miss my last post? Read it here: How to advance your 3 step turns