Resolutions made at the start of a year are notoriously broken. With the whole year ahead it’s easy to try taking on bigger goals than you are ready to complete, disappointing yourself as a result. There’s nothing at all wrong with goal-setting. In fact, I encourage it.
First, List Your Reverse Resolutions.
These are the things you’ve accomplished over the last year, written as resolutions crossed off your list.
For example your list might look something like:
- Increase flexibility in my splits
- Enjoy more time with family
- Travel to Europe
- Accumulate 5,000 Instagram followers
- Join a dance company
Remember, these are things you’ve already accomplished. Yay for you!
After you’ve thought about your achievements, think about the steps you took to accomplish them. Did you take one gigantic leap or many small actions to get there? Did you take some risks along the way? Was the outcome actually different from what you expected?
Reflect on this and get ready to set some new goals.
If you keep a dance journal or even a personal planner or diary, you can easily keep track of goals, the steps you take to achieve them, and also your progress and achievement.
I’ve included a Goal Worksheet (click on the image to the left to download the pdf). Use this as a guide or print copies to insert directly into your journal or binder.
Use the top half for setting goals.
Write down your goal, your plan for reaching that goal, and how you’ll stay motivated along the way.
Example Goal: Improve front splits by the summer.
List the specific steps you’ll take: Take a few minutes after class to stretch while you are warm; Allow time after your shower to go through a slow routine that works through the muscles surrounding the hips and lower back and finishes with gentle split practice; Spend time visualizing yourself in a full split
How will you backup your plan? Ask a classmate to join you and hold each other accountable, or listen to your favorite song only while stretching, make an inspiring picture your desktop photo.
Use the bottom half for reflection.
Three months, six months, or a year later have your splits improved? Even if you didn’t reach your goal, write down what you did achieve or what you are proud of yourself for accomplishing.
List the things you learned about yourself and your goal. Maybe improving splits takes more time than you thought, or you found that certain times of the day are better for you when it comes to flexibility.
Note the things or people that helped you the most. Did your teacher suggest a stretch that really worked for you? Maybe your mom was especially encouraging, reminding you to stretch.
The big picture:
- Keep a categorized list of to-dos: This is your big list of goals in different subjects, dance styles, or aspects of your life.
- Decide on the actions and tasks you’ll take to achieve select goals (maybe the most important or time-sensitive) from this list.
- Schedule those tasks into your day or week.
Teachers, need more ideas or want to help your students with this exercise? Check out this post.
What goals are you setting for yourself this week? this month? this year?
Nichelle Suzanne is a writer specializing in dance and online content. She is also a dance instructor with over 20 years experience teaching in dance studios, community programs, and colleges. She began Dance Advantage in 2008, equipped with a passion for movement education and an intuitive sense that a blog could bring dancers together. As a Houston-based dance writer, Nichelle covers dance performance for Dance Source Houston, Arts+Culture Texas, and other publications. She is a leader in social media within the dance community and has presented on blogging for dance organizations, including Dance/USA. Nichelle provides web consulting and writing services for dancers, dance schools and studios, and those beyond the dance world. Read Nichelle’s posts.