There are so many things dancers want to achieve. Nailing that perfect pirouette, getting down in your splits, elevating your developpé height. Instead of mulling over why you haven't achieved this or that yet, consider this; have you been setting goals for yourself?
Setting goals are key to so many areas of your life - not just dancing. However, your goals need to be carefully thought out and planned for success. Telling yourself you are going to get your splits perfect in a month and then just carrying on with your normal routine is not going to help you achieve that goal.
The following are some tips to follow when setting your goals - be sure to write them down and place them somewhere you will see every day. We will use the splits as a goal example.
1) Specific: Make your goal specific. Don't just write down "Make my splits better." Instead, write down which split (right, left, centre, oversplits) you would like to improve on.
2) Measurable: Your goal should be one that you can measure your success. For example, how many inches closer to the floor would you like your splits to be?
3) Attainable: Whatever you do, do not make your goal to be fully down in your splits if you are extremely far from the ground currently. In doing this, you are setting yourself up for failure instead of success. Give yourself a reasonable goal such as being 2-3 inches closer.
4) Realistic: This follows the same ideas as the previous two points. You don't want to be 10 inches off the floor in your splits and then make your goal to be in oversplits in 30 days. It's just not realistic.
5) Time-Based: This tip right here is extremely crucial. At XDW our students make 30 day goals, which is a great amount of time to achieve your goals without rushing yourself or drawing it out too long. Set a reasonable amount of time to achieve your goal.
6) Daily Challenges: Yet another crucial element to your success! Create a daily challenge for yourself that will help you get closer to achieving your goal every day. For example, stretching for 20 minutes a day to get closer in your splits in 30 days.
7) Action Steps: Now that you have your goals all set up with your daily challenges, you are going to need to think of what action steps you are going to take to make these goals really happen. You will need to figure out where you are going to put your daily challenges in your current routine, and if you don't have a current routine, now is the time to make one! It is very important that you complete your daily challenges at the same time each day so you create a habit of it. Another great idea is to have an accountability partner - someone who is your cheerleader and wants to see you attain your goals. This person may also be setting goals themselves - you both can check in with one another daily to ensure you are both on track with your goals and daily challenges.
8) Reward: This is the most fun part! When setting your goals, decide what you are going to reward yourself with once you have achieved them. It might be going to see that movie you've been dying to see, buying yourself a box of delicious chocolates or maybe getting that super cute pair of legwarmers you've been eyeing.
I hope this post has helped you in your goal setting adventures - have fun and never, ever give up!