Get Motivated: New Year’s Resolutions for Highland Dancers

New Year's Resolutions for Dancers

With a new year comes a new opportunity to push ourselves to our full potential!

As we begin a new year, many dancers are looking to set goals for the dance season ahead of them. Goal setting is an important step in planning and working effectively toward bigger and better things. 

Read on for our favourite tips for setting powerful goals that will help dancers to make their ambitions their reality – from timelines to vision boards, we’ve seen it all!

The Importance of Good Goals

Having a dream and having a goal are two very different things – anyone can daydream about winning the world championship, but goal setters are the ones who actually go for it!

We want to set goals that we have control over. A big part of this is forming goals that are progress-based, rather than accomplishment-based. 

Dreams versus Goals

For example, wanting to win your provincial championship is big and ambitious – but it’s more of a dream than a goal. Setting your sights on a trophy is not practical, and it relies on too many outside factors that you can’t control.

A goal in working toward that dream might be to complete 20 championships at home by the date of your provincial championship. (If you’re looking for a clear cut example of one of these time-focused, outcome-oriented goals, watch Cheer on Netflix, where the Navarro team rallies to complete 50 “full-outs” by the date of their most-coveted cheer competition). 

When translating dreams into goals, be sure to take into account what you can affect. Dreaming of winning the championship trophy is all well and good – dreams are the inspiration behind goals. But dreams alone aren’t enough to inspire action.

Setting goals that are centred around personal action and progress rather than specific wins and competitions will inspire a positive work ethic and an increased reliance on the self, rather than validation from outside sources. 

Five Quick Tips for Effective Goal Setting

  1. Set realistic and achievable goals. If your goal is big, try to break it down into smaller, manageable steps. This will make even the loftiest goals feel within reach! To keep our previous example, saying “I will to complete 20 at-home championships by April” is a lot more intimidating than saying “I will complete two at-home championships per week from now until April”. 
  2. Set clear deadlines. When you have a clear and detailed timeline to work with, motivation comes easily. This could mean setting your sights on a particular competition or date as the time by which you want to fix a certain correction.
  3. Celebrate small successes. As you take steps toward your goal, recognise and celebrate each victory. Similarly to tip #1, looking only at the big picture of a goal can be overwhelming. But when you make time to observe the importance of each step toward that end goal, the work feels more manageable. 
  4. Ask for help. Don’t be afraid to seek advice and support from friends, family, or dance teacher to help you stay on track. Your loved ones want you to be your best self – don’t forget it!
  5. Stay positive. Do your best not to get discouraged by any setbacks. Rather, use them as learning experiences as you continue to push through to achieve your ambitions. Continuing to believe in yourself is essential to moving forward.
For examples of specific and achievable goals with clear timelines, read on below about our instructor’s goals for the new year!

Our Favourite Way to Approach Goals

Vision Boarding

As dancers often are, we’re drawn to visual representations. Vision boarding is our favourite way to put stock and accountability into our dreams. Here’s how it works.

  1. Start by writing down your goals. Be specific and focus on what you want to accomplish – refer to our five tips above! This will ensure that your vision board is clear and powerful in moving toward achieving your goals.
  2. Collect images that represent your goals. Gather photos, quotes, magazine clippings, colours, symbols, and anything else that represents your goal. Put them together on poster board, paper, a bulletin board, or anything else you’re drawn to. As you put together your board, take some time to visualise your goal, and how you will start your journey working toward it. 
  3. Place your vision board in a highly visible spot. Hang or place your board in a place where you will see it every day, like your bedroom or bathroom. Having that consistent reminder of your goal each day will encourage consistency.
A quick search on Pinterest will provide lots of inspiration – vision boarding can be cathartic, inspiring, and beautiful all at once!
Via Steve at Good Habits, Self Help, and Mindful Living on Pinterest

Goals at Our Studio

Just like our dancers, instructors at Saorsa are setting resolutions for the year ahead!

Nicole’s Resolutions

“For my personal dancing goals, I want to perform in another tattoo this year, and I want to perform in front of new crowds with new opportunities with Shanachie Dance Company.

“My studio and business goals are to increase the services offered for our competitive dancers, to increase the number of classes we offer, and to increase our involvement with the greater Fredericton community.

“My teaching goals are to increase high-level/look-ahead planning for my dance classes, and to increase the level of strength training in class.

Finally, my judging goal is to judge at six competitions this year.”

Kate’s Resolutions

“As a dancer, I want to be consistent with my conditioning and go into upcoming championships feeling ready, so my goals are to not miss any dance classes, practice at home or cross-train four times per week, and pay close attention to consistent recovery.

“As an instructor, it is my goal to have five dancers try their first competitions. It is also my goal this year to put more of an emphasis on the importance of engaging in our studio community and have more dancers attend social events and volunteer for performances”. 

Kendra’s Resolutions

“I would love to learn one of the old dances that dancers do not typically learn like the Dusty Miller or O’er the Water to Charlie! 

“My other new year’s resolution for teaching is spread the love of dance to future dance parents and their children.”

Get Motivated!

Happy new year from all of us at Saorsa Studio! We hope your dancing goals for the new year bring lots of hard work, celebration, and achievement.

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