See where you’ve come, or risk wasting your efforts.

When we start the year, many of us attempt these things called “New Year’s Resolutions”, and desperately try to make the coming year somehow different that the last. Question:

Who thinks about those resolutions as the year comes to a close? Do you pull out that paper they were written down on and see if you hit any marks, or did you burn that paper last February when your goals seemed so far away they could never be achieved?

Did you have Dance Goals? Maybe you wanted to hit Bronze two or even Associate Silver in all Majors? Did you set out to hit two different competitions and make finals or a specific placement… Maybe you committed to dancing every song at the practice parties to build your stamina or just get outta the house!

When we set goals, it’s important to keep an eye on them, but not for the reasons most believe.

Everyone will tell you that goals are about sticking to schedules and achieving big things in a million tiny steps and focusing on moving forward, ect… A TON of emphasis is placed on the actual steps taken and where you are meant to be reaching.

In other words, a lot of people only look at their goals to see where they have yet to go. Few look to see how far they’ve come.

Thing about it, we all know someone who is so eaten up with checking things off their list and achieving ever still more, that they have no appreciation for what they’ve actually done. They may have built an empire for all the effort given, but they don’t enjoy it.

No matter how far they’ve come, or what they’ve built… it’s never enough for them. They seem to constantly need more, because they don’t stop to look at everything they already have.

We’re fast approaching a major Holiday about being Thankful… and we’re also coming up on our Medal Ball ceremony. This is the time to really be mindful about how far you’ve come in your dancing, and how thankful you are for all your hard work and practice. Medal Ball is a celebration of your dancing achievements, small and large, and without appreciating those goals being reached, you risk losing your love of the journey in the scramble to move ever forward and up .

So stop… look.

Write out what you accomplished this year, so far. I bet you anything you’ll surprise yourself with everything you can list. Because it’s more than just the dancing. You faced fears, you built new habits, made new friends, learned new moves, tried things that may not work, faced wins and losses, found answers and became a new person through it all.

If we don’t enjoy who we are today, we may as well have never achieved anything in getting here.

Because all the dance training in the world is wasted if we don’t take the time to dance,

All the medalist levels in the book are pointless if we push the old stuff aside to learn ‘better’ material.

All the compliments we receive are meaningless if we don’t accept and treasure them,

And we will never learn any more about something… if we think that we have already achieved it and simply moved on to the next thing.

If you sit in the ballroom and observe the dancers with any one thought in your mind this winter season, let it be this:

“Which of these dancers reminds me of where I was at the beginning of this year?” and with that, take the opportunity to wonder at how you’ve changed. Be impressed by yourself and all that you’ve gone through. Be thankful for those extra practice sessions you did on your own time, the routine you were afraid of until you nailed it for the first time…

“Until we gaze about ourselves and feel the reality of all we have created around us, we have not truly experienced it, and so have not fully received the benefits we sacrificed so much for.”

Don’t miss out on everything you have worked so hard for. Enjoy what you’ve done. Be impressed by where you are today. Feel proud of yourself! And your efforts to get here will not have been wasted.