If you’ve been following my blog for a while you may know that I’m very much into goal setting and other ways to motivate myself. Many think it’s because I’m super organised, but to be honest, it’s more because I need that motivation to keep me going, as I’m otherwise quite lazy and not least easily distracted by new ‘shiny things’ (costumes as well as dance projects!).
But how do you ensure you stay on track to reach your goals, be they dance related or not? One of my key mantras is ‘inspired action’ meaning; taking small steps every day to take you in the right directions, and not least making sure you feel the fire in your belly as you do them. It can be tough to do on your own, so here are a few easy and practical ways to incorporate this into your life.
This is often the hardest bit, but take some time to find out what it actually is that you want to achieve. For some it may be performing in a big show, or even headline in it, for others it may be conquering their nerves and do their first ever hafla performance. Maybe it’s learning a specific move or combinations? I often hear students say they want to ‘get better’ but that just isn’t specific enough. You should be able to write down what you want in one clear sentence.
You can read my post on goal setting here to get you on your way.
Having something around you all the time to remind you of your goal is a good way not to forget it once the daily chores kick in. If you’re a visual person, like me, you may want to use images. I used to make collages and then put them in a drawer, but that wasn’t very effective. So I decided to take a photo of them instead and have them as the screensaver on my phone, and suddenly and I had plenty of daily reminders, that got me really excited about what I wanted to achieve.
If you’re an impatient person (like me) then it can be tough to work towards a big goal that’s several months or even years down the line. But it’s the small and not least regular steps that will take you there, so be grateful and remind yourself of your achievements daily. Some like to write down 3-5 things at the end of the day to do this, but I can’t seem to find the time for that. Instead, I make the list in my head either before going to sleep (which means I may not get them all in before drifting off, but at least I end my day with a smile on my face), or whilst in the shower (my general thinking time, as you don’t get that much once you have kids).
Yes, this sounds obvious, but it’s often the main stumbling block. If you want to lose weight, you will need to exercise and look at your diet (not dieting – but consider what you eat), and if you want to develop your dancing you need to identify practical ways of doing this, whether it be signing up to a course, attending workshops with teachers that you know are good at teaching the elements you need to learn. You can also set a side time to practise at home, but a word of warning on that one; practise makes permanent, so make sure you get it right before you engrain it in your muscle memory.
Even if you haven’t got much time, you can take steps every single day. If you have an hour or two, join a class or workshop. If you only have 5 minutes, then work on that combination or move that you want to perfect. Even if you think you haven’t got time, you will be able to find a few minutes here and there. I often recommend my students to do drills when they brush their teeth or even when they have a loo break at work (you’ll be surprised how much dance training has been done in silence in toilet cubical!). I had a student who build her core strength by practising her camels every time she was watching the news, and after only a month you could see not only an improvement in her muscle tone, but also the technique, which proves that even little but regular can make a big difference.
If you would like to work more on your dance development from the comfort of your own home, but with the added benefit of personalised feedback and coaching then join me for this Autumn’s Advance Your Dance Online. It’s an 8 week online but interactive course, tailored to your dance needs covering everything from technique, flow and performance skills to how to improvise and understand the cultural and historic background of the dance. There will be 4 live sessions, a personal 1-2-1 to help you on your way, as well as weekly recorded tutorials, exercises and drills. But spaces are limited and enrolment ends once full and no later than the 21 September. You can read more and sign up here.
I hope this article has inspired you take action this Autumn and reach those goals you may have set at the beginning of the year, or those you’ve only just thought of now. Whichever, I hope you enjoy the daily journey towards them. Do leave me a comment below so I know how you’re getting on.
Happy and inspired dancing – always 😉
Did you miss my last post? Read it here: Three tips for successful online learning