3 Habit Hacks for DancersMar 11, 2021
If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you will know that I’ve been geeking out over the study of habits lately. I read a book called Atomic Habits by James Clear, not to be overly dramatic, but it has changed my life.
Here are three habit hacks for you to chew on until you can read the book (which I highly recommend).
“Success is the product of daily habits, not once-in-a-lifetime transformations.” -James Clear
Hack Number 1: Get comfy with tiny steps rather than seeking giant leaps (metaphorically, of course - seek giant leaps otherwise).
What is that picture of “success” you are looking for? Better turns? Higher jumps? More turn-out?
🌿 Repeat after me: “There is no magic pill.” There is no Zoom conference you could attend, no book you could read, no class you could take that will bring you an immediate transformation.
🌿 Instead, think of the path to your success as a series of daily, tiny steps in the right direction. Each time you hold on to the barre, each time you tie up your tap shoes, each time you step into your dance space, step into it with the idea of making new habits toward your goal.
🌿 Success will be the cumulation of DAYS, WEEKS, MONTHS and sometimes YEARS of staying faithful to your new habits.
“You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.” -James Clear
Hack Number 2: Ditch goal-setting - instead build a new system.
🌿 Goal-setting alone will (ironically) not help you reach your goal, Dancer.
🌿 Let’s say your goal is to be able to triple pirouette to the right and left. If you don’t build a system to develop the technique and power needed for triple turns, you are UNLIKELY to reach your goal.
🌿 Instead of goal setting, try thinking in terms of building THE SYSTEM to reach your goals. In our example, maybe the system for achieving triple pirouettes is doing 20 solid relevés to passé with pristine technique and also asking your teacher for feedback after every class.
🌿 Build the system to support the goal and the goal will come about organically.
“We often dismiss small changes because they don’t seem to matter very much in the moment.” -James Clear
Hack Number 3: Small changes add up.
🌿 Dancer, don’t dismiss small changes because their impact doesn’t feel “big.” How will adding 5 minutes of warm-up time before class make a significant difference? How can drinking one more glass of water a day make me healthier?
🌿 Small changes are meaningful because they are AN ACTION. And taking one action is the first step toward getting better.
🌿 IF YOU CAN’T MAKE A SMALL CHANGE, YOU WON’T MAKE A LARGE ONE.
🌿 There’s something fancy called “the aggregation of marginal gains” - fancy for “adding up small changes pays off.” Small changes over a period of time will make a real difference.
And there you have it! Three habit hacks that will have a big impact on your dance game when applied.
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