Happy New Year everyone!

I think that during this time of year it is customary to look past at what you’ve accomplished as well as to look forward to what you aspire to do. A year, while just being a man-made measurement of time, is still a good tool to measure our progress in the coming year.

The great Jim Rohn once said that we should all aspire to be like ants. Ants? Yes ants. You see ants think summer all winter and winter all summer, they always plan ahead. They are always looking at what the coming season will bring and diligently prepare for the future with specific things in mind. Keep that in mind the next time you step on an ant hill….

In honor of our six-legged friends, I propose the following 7 tips for all the wonderful people currently in the Salsa dance community as well as those will join our extended family in 2015.

Here goes!

1) First off, identify very specific things you’d like to accomplish with your dancing. Are you looking to simply get out there and dance more? How about taking the plunge and trying a performance or competition? Perhaps you’d even be interested in teaching? Make a clear and specific goal or goals that you have in mind in order to know what you’re shooting for. Be specific!

2) Have a time table for when you’d like to achieve these goals. For example, I used to be an AWFUL spinner and then I decided I was going to really work at it until I got competent at it. I set a specific competition and worked on drills to improve my ability to spin. Am I the worlds best spinner? No, not by a country mile but I bettered MY previous best and am now way more confident in my abilities and have a strong foundation on which to continue building.

3) Think your dancing goals through and make sure they are in alignment with one another. Let’s say you want to be a performer AND a teacher. I am the first to admit that you can do both, yet each goal is very ambitious and if you care to do both well, set little, stair step goals that you can achieve to create momentum. Tackle one project at a time and you will do each goal more justice.

4) Share your goals with people who support you and have your best interest at heart. There is a reoccurring student we see on occasion named Inna k. who very courageously puts herself out there on social media and shows videos of her doing a variety of drills. I admire her commitment and also am happy she makes herself accountable by being public about her goals. Perhaps that’s a bit much for you and you’d rather keep things close to your heart. That’s 100% ok but it’s important that people who truly support you and love you can reassure and motivate you while you chase your goals. Push the haters to the side and pay them NO MIND.

5) Practice visualization. There are countless studies that prove that our mind is infinitely more powerful than we can possibly imagine. Visualizing triggers the same part of the brain than the actual physical activity. It’s a double whammy when you take time to ‘see’ yourself achieving your goals. Think and see yourself reaching and surpassing your goal. See yourself on stage or see yourself teaching a large group who is having fun and admiring you.

6) Commit, plan and succeed. If you’re really an ambitious type, purchase a great wall calendar and keep it where you can see it on a regular basis. Mark down specific days where you’ll meet a landmark on your way to your bigger goals. For example: “I will be able to do a double spin on my own by April 31st.” Mark it down, look at it and follow through!

7) Seek mentors. This is a biggie. You are now in a Salsa and Latin dance community that has an abundance of teachers and styles. When I first started there were like 3 and now there are 30+. Find someone you resonate with and study from them. Let their hindsight be your foresight. Every person has their own dance journey and the right mentor can make the difference between hitting your goals and wondering where the year went.

I hope these small tips help you in the coming year my friends, I look forward to helping many of you achieve your own dance goals in 2015 and beyond!

What other ways have you developed to achieve your goals? Chime in with some thoughts, I’d love to hear about them

To your dancing….

P.S. My wall calendar is coming this week, yeahhhhhhh! =)