Ah, the New Year. The beginning of a year of new beginnings. January starts with such hope and possibility. And yet, disappointment follows close on the heels of the drop of the count-down ball. We resolve to lose weight, get in shape, learn something new, spend more time with people we care about, to be less stressed, to get out more and meet more people, and ultimately to have a more fun, fulfilling, and loving life. And our resolutions are really wishes, hopes, and dreams, for without a plan and an actual commitment, nothing really comes of them. Studies show that 60% of all January gym memberships go unused. We can’t seem to get out of our comfort zone. And, ultimately, we let all of these resolutions slide into a distant and uncertain future.
One of the number one reasons for the lack of follow-through on our good intentions for our new year is that we simply don’t have the discipline to do what is necessary to form new and better habits. A few simple strategies can help you see yourself through to transform your hopes for the coming months into your new reality.
If your goal is to get healthier, happier, fitter, more social, more confident…the best thing you can do is to pick an activity you can stick with. The reason gym memberships go unused is because a workout is exactly that….WORK. Few people are excited to go to the gym; they go because they should–because they feel like they have to. Some people feel like they have to start running or join a fitness class that will give them maximum benefits regardless of how much they will enjoy the activity. They want to see fairly instant results, so they gravitate toward “insane” workouts that promise not only unbelievable results, but a pretty torturous route along the way. Ballroom dance is an aerobic activity that focuses on your core and on balance, but it is a physical activity that engages not only your muscles, but your mind, your heart, your soul. The solution to your resolution needs to be something you enjoy; something you want to do. Choosing a diet, exercise, or other solution to your resolutions that is unappetizing or unpleasant is definitely not going to help you continue long enough to reap the rewards.
The physical benefits of ballroom dance practically sneak up on you. You are so focused on learning how to dance and how to be a better partner, that you hardly notice that you are getting into better shape until your clothes seem to get larger. Getting healthier and more fit while ballroom dancing is almost a side benefit because you are seeing so many other advantages along the way. And while you can work up a sweat at a dance party, you are not there simply to exercise. Laughing, meeting new people, and showing off your new skills take your mind off the “work” of your fitness goals.
No matter how enjoyable your chosen solution may be, we often need a little help to see our goals through to the end. A support group of like-minded people to help you when your comfort zone tries to seduce you into postponing your plans for change. Not only will your dance teachers help you set and reach attainable goals, fellow students with similar goals as well as those who have successfully attained them will be able to help motivate, encourage, and inspire you. In classes and at the parties, you will not only find the camaraderie, repetition, and practice to become a better dancer, you will discover the additional motivation your peers provide.
To transform your wishes, hopes, and dreams for the new year, choose activities and companions that will help make the transition as easy as possible. Ballroom dance can be the perfect solution for most of your new years’ resolutions.