New year,new you.
Tomorrow begins a new calendar year, this is a time where most everyone starts to think and dream up who they want to be and where they want to improve in the coming year.
I am a goals gal, I am in love with goals. Remember those notebooks and notebooks I talked about in my first post? Most of them are filled with goals of one sort or another. There is something about dreaming up who you want to be, imagining all the improvements you would make that is so inviting. It is thrilling to think of all the heights you can reach and drawing a picture of the new,improved you.
If you never determine what you want, you will never know if you’ve achieved it.
I truly believe that my love of goals helped me make tremendous gains in my ballet career, but I’ve also come to learn that I’ve been doing it wrong. By all means, I don’t claim to be a goal expert, but I have learned some things recently that have been revolutionizing my goal process and helping me achieve more satisfaction in my endeavors. If you are a goal crushing master already, feel free to skip this, I am a chronic dreamer and often, I get so stuck in the dreaming state that I don’t start the ball rolling. I get overwhelmed at where to start or life starts chucking balls in my face and I lose sight of the goal. Which brings me to my first discovery:
Put those goals in front of your face! Too many times I have found old lists, and thought “Oh wow, I remember this! ” , this is my list from a month ago,a year ago, 3 years ago…inevitably a few goals have been accomplished, but it is always so discouraging to see the ones that have not. Do not write your goals in a notebook or on a scrap of paper and leave it lying around. As soon as you have finished writing your goals post it in a place where you will see it everyday. On your bathroom mirror or above your bed are great locations, right now I have mine hanging right next to my yearly calendar because I am always looking at that to stay aware of appointments, classes and my husband’s work schedule.
Next, take a picture of it with your phone! Aha, brilliant! Why I never thought of this before, I don’t know. If you are really gung-ho, like me, make it your phone background or computer background so that you are constantly reminded of what you are aiming to achieve.
Write your goals in first person, and as if you have already achieved them. I want to be able to do 3 pirouettes on pointe becomes I am able to do 3 pirouettes on pointe. This helps trick your brain into believing that you have already accomplished your goal. If your brain believes you, you are more than halfway there! Your thoughts and the way you frame things has a huge impact on your success. I always tell my students ” Ballet is 90% mental”, this is saying that I inherited from one of my first ballet teachers, and it always drove me bonkers but the older I get the more it makes sense to me. The brain body connection is fascinating to me, we will definitely be talking more about this, but for right now, start here. As you write a goal, frame it in first person and as if it is already accomplished. Take a moment to think about what that will feel like when you have reached that goal, try to cement that feeling in your brain and use that feeling to power you through whatever it will take to reach your goal.
Plan it. As they say ” Fail to plan, plan to fail.”. This can be a weakness of mine, I will spend lots of time researching and maybe even writing pages of ideas but then I don’t break it down into a doable plan. Work backwards and think of all the “little goals” or tasks that need to happen in order to hit your main goal and post that list next to your list of goals. Every day try to do 2 or 3 little things that move you forward. Don’t get so overwhelmed by your goal that you get stuck in paralysis, focus on bite sized pieces that are doable in the now.
Go S.M.A.R.T. If you are into goals at all you have probably heard of the acronym SMART. I have heard it again and again but lately I have been realizing that I don’t always go back and make sure my goals line up with each of these rules. This is time tested by lots of successful people and is always a good reminder.
I used to say that I didn’t do resolutions. It seemed like a silly tradition that didn’t hold much weight. Recently, I looked up what the words resolution and goal actually meant.
I’ve come to realize I am all about resolution. The resolution to a goal.