“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” ~John Wooden
For many people, a new year means a clean slate. It provides countless opportunities to try new things and improve one’s skills and daily habits. More often than not, people vow to eat healthier, exercise more and live a generally healthier lifestyle. Unfortunately, this type of resolution is usually easier said than done which leads many to give up within only a few months. With this in mind, what can be done to ensure that we stick to our New Year resolutions? As dancers, especially, we hold ourselves to a scheduled routine and tend to be hard on ourselves when we break the flow of it. It’s a given, then, that we’re just as hard on ourselves when we break our resolutions.
Rome wasn’t built in a day. Roll your eyes if you must but, it’s applicable to our topic. So many people disillusion themselves into thinking that they can change all habits without any difficulty or relapse. Try to keep in mind how active and health conscious you already are on a day-to-day basis. You can’t expect yourself to go from 0 to 60 in the matter of one day. Step back and take a look at what you can honestly achieve right now. It may not be as amazing as your goals for the long run but, it’ll help you get there. Being realistic is one of the most important things about setting goals because it will provide you with a better chance of accomplishing tasks.
One Step at a Time
Trying to take on your new goals can, sometimes, be daunting and even discouraging. This is why so many people end up giving up on theirs. For any large tasks in life, breaking it down into smaller steps can help a person actually accomplish more with less stress. By breaking your goals down into smaller steps, your goals are much easier to tackle. Lay out the plan for your goal from the easiest steps to the hardest and tackle them individually. Did you finish that first task? Okay, great! On to the next one! Each step you take will improve your skills or the habits you’re trying to develop.
But, what does all of this have to do with dancers in particular?
Dancers Are Athletes
Anyone who disagrees with the above statement is free to leave.
What’s one thing you’re guaranteed to hear from a dancer at least once in life? “I can’t. I have practice.” Why do athletes have to practice? Why does anyone practice anything? To get better. Unless you’re superhuman or a comic book character, it’s impossible to wake up one day with perfect abilities in whatever you want to do. Practice is necessary if you want to be good at anything. Scholars read, they study to pass all of the exams that they possibly can. Writers start out writing terrible stories and work their way up to writing better ones. Painters paint until they’ve created the artwork they’ve always dreamed of. Basketball players practice so that they can be as quick and swift as possible on the court come game time. Dancer rehearse so that they can be the best at their craft as they can be. So that one day, they might get the day in the spotlight taking on an iconic role.
So, stop and think. What are your goals for 2018? What do you want to have accomplished by the end of it and what can you do to get there? Set an easy pace, make a practical list of steps to get you there, and step to it. You have full control of what you can and cannot do. Make this year your year of can do.
Passion ~ Dedication ~ Artistry