A nice perk to having a diary-style blog like this is I don’t have to strain my overworked brain to remember what I was doing at this time last year. I can just look back at my blog posts.
This time last year, I was doing the same thing I’m doing now – setting goals for the new year and reminding myself to stay flexible in how I reach those goals. “Committed but not attached” is how my business coach put it. I’ve gone through this process enough to know exactly how to apply the SMART framework to my goals, but I still haven’t broken the bad habit of jumping ahead and overwhelming myself with everything that needs to be done. I’ve also gone through this process enough to know that I need to just focus on the next step, not the next 20 steps.
Focusing on one thing, like the next step, has always been a key factor to my solo practice success. I shared on social media that my main focus in solo practice last weekend was dancing my routines to music. This weekend, I’m focusing on conditioning, so I’ll be working out at home instead of going to the studio. The exercises will target areas that I noticed were weaker in my solo rounds.
It’s funny. It’s almost second nature now to pick a focus and then get to work in my dancing, but when it comes to other areas of my life, I still try to focus on everything or I’ll let a lot of little things distract me from focusing on something more important.
I even paused writing here because the thought popped into my head that I could have the laundry going while I was working on this post. So I interrupted my flow and started the laundry. Not a huge disruption, but it’s a great example of how I try to do everything instead of getting just one thing done. It’s easy to end up with a bunch of things started and nothing finished.
Something else I did last year and I’m doing again is picking a word for the year that represents my overall intention. This is a popular thing to do, at least among my entrepreneur friends. I like to think of this word as the theme for the year and a guiding star by which to travel on my journey. If I start to feel lost, I just return to this word to get back on track.
In 2018, my word was identity. In 2019, my word was leadership. Looking back, I’d say these words represented their respective years quite well.
For 2020, my word is dance.
I’ve been clear for months that I’m going to compete more in 2020. I’m continuing work with Teacher in our ProAm partnership as well as nurturing a new amateur partnership.
If I asked you what “dance” meant to you, I’m guessing you wouldn’t restrict yourself to the physical movement, or things like dance training and competitions. Dance is so much more than that, which is why my competition and training goals for 2020 are only one small part of my overall intention of dance.
Beyond the physical movement in response to music, dance is joy. Dance is personal growth. Dance is pushing beyond your comfort zone and discovering how much more you’re capable of. Dance is tapping into creativity and expressing it freely. Dance is commitment and discipline in the pursuit of dreams. Dance is overcoming every challenge that comes your way. Dance is facing self-doubt and deepset fears over and over again. Dance is turning blood, sweat and tears into something that sparkles as brightly as a Swarovski.
So when I say my word for 2020 is dance, don’t think I mean it only in the literal sense. To say I’m going to dance more in 2020 is really to say I’m going to be more of me in 2020, in the most authentic way possible. Because like Mikhail Baryshnikov said:
When a body moves, it’s the most revealing thing. Dance for a minute, and I’ll tell you who you are.Mikhail Baryshnikov
Dance is staying true to myself and my values. When I get away from that, my literal dancing suffers. When I honor who I am as a dancer, I become a world champion.
It might sound intense or like I’m trying to make some profound, bold statement about 2020. But really, I’m simplifying. It’s hard and complicated trying to be someone others want you to be! There are so many “shoulds” and “supposed tos” to keep track of, and they seem to keep changing and even contradict themselves.
Being yourself is easier. Of course, knowing who you are truly can be a lifelong journey in itself. It’s taken me years to get to this point where I feel like I’m finally connected enough with my authentic self to act on it without worrying about external pressures or expectations.
As I’ve been doing all of this reflection on the past and setting of goals and intentions for the future, I remembered the practice goals challenge I hosted at this time last year. Owning my solo practice was one of the first major steps I took in owning my overall dance journey, and it was fun to join with a group of fellow dancers to set our practice goals together.
This year, as I shift my focus from solo practice to the whole dance journey, I decided we should do another challenge together! This time, I want us to work on taking ownership of our dance journeys. If you’re still figuring out who you are as a dancer, taking ownership of the journey is the perfect way to reach that destination faster.
So join me! Click here and enter your name and email to sign up for the challenge. It officially starts January 15 and will last 5 days. The challenge will be done all through email, so even if you’re busy when the challenge is live, you can still sign up to receive the emails and then go through them when you have more free time.
2020 is going to a great year, I just know it. Are you ready for it?