WHEW. Guys, the holidays are no joke, am I right? Now that my hustle and bustle of Nutcracker dance camps are over, I've had a little time to get thoughtful about the new year that's fast approaching. 2017 was a great year for me; I moved across the country, opened a studio in upstate New York, launched a Creative Dance Curriculum... just to name a few. I figured out many things that were working for me this year and was able to harness that into some awesome progress for my business. I also saw glimpses of things that didn't work for me (personally and professionally) this year, so what better time than the start of a new year to pinpoint exactly WHAT things I'm being led to do differently in 2018. I hope these spark your own thoughts and maybe provide some inspiration for your own 2018 goals!
1. Not Be Responsible For Other's Feelings
This sounds a little harsh, but let me explain: there's a fine line when your business provides a service of taking responsibility for your clients/students and giving them a fantastic experience, and being responsible for their reaction, or feelings to it. I've learned that it's my job to prepare and carry out the best dance experience for my classes, parties, and coaching that I can, however; I CAN DO NOTHING about how those clients receive my work. After you're upfront about what services you provide, how you go about doing it, and use your mission to guide your work, the rest is out of your hands. If others don't like your teaching style, classes, etc. that's their problem, not yours. You won't be able to please everyone - those aren't your people. The people you do please are YOUR PEOPLE! I've got more important things to do than dwell on why that parent didn't like me, or why this kid refuses to participate in class. I'm not responsible for their feelings. I think women especially have a difficult time with this because we're taught to be sensitive and empathetic. We can still be those things and retain boundaries that preserve our own sanity. Easy? No. Worth the effort? YES.
2. Spend Time/Money/Energy On What Makes Me Happy
I've got to thank Sarah Von Bargen for this one. Enrolling in her Put Your Money Where Your Happy Is program has really made me get thoughtful and specific about the things that do make me happy. I realized that many of the things I do/spend money on are on autopilot: society says I should be happy spending/getting a $200 haircut? Ok! But then why do I feel so bad after that, yet so content with a $4 latte in a pretty mug?What if 'different strokes for different folks' was a verb, and we all let go of the things that didn't make us truly happy? Don't love teaching that one dance class and it has poor attendance anyways? Buh-bye. That weekly phone date with the friend who always complains your ear off? Ditch it! Again, my time is too valuable to be spending it doing things I'm not in love with.
3. Finding (And Doing) The Things That Fit
This ties into #2, and this decision was prompted by a pair of pants. You know, the ones that you still have but don't fit right? In my case, said pants were too tight, but I insisted on wearing them even though doing so put me in a bad mood, triggered negative self talk, and put angry red marks on my midsection. One day I just had had enough and realized that I needed a different pair of pants that fit. Then I was curious what would happen if I applied that filter to my life. Stay tuned to find out, but I have a feeling it may cause some interesting shifts.
4. Accepting Where I'm At
Aaaand this ties into #3! So the pants don't fit. Option #1 - have an adult hissy fit, beat myself up about why they don't fit, get in a bad mood and take it out on my friends and family, let it affect my work, and whole week, etc. etc. OR... Option #2 - say OK and move on. As my wise Mama says: "you won't always feel this way". Hard to hear and even harder to believe, but it's pretty darn true. Finding a balance between pushing for my goals and accepting each day as it happens might just be the ticket to Happyville (see #2).
5. Dance More
I wrote a bit on Instagram about this, and I'm sure my fellow dance teachers will feel me on this one. Teaching for others is not the same as dancing to your own beat. This year I ignored my own beat and the call to dance for myself because I was so damn busy, but that changes this year.
I'd love to hear how you keep your personal dance practice alive teachers, and I'd love to hear from all of you about what things you want to do differently in 2018. Hit me up and let's brainstorm together to start 2018 off on an awesome foot!