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Do you feel like doing your practice today? Do it anyway.
On the cover:
Bellydance is a type of Middle Eastern dance. Originally a "solo, improvised dance involving torso articulation," bellydance takes many different forms depending on the country and region, both in costume and dance style, and new styles have evolved in the West as its popularity has spread globally.
Finding motivation when you want to skip a day
doing your practice today?
Do it anyway.
Doing anything every day, even something you love, can be challenging. For many, commitments made to yourself are the easiest to break. The ones that only benefit you are the first to be broken. I want to tell you that you are worth the time and effort, and that when you have that day where you say to yourself “should I practice?” or “does it matter if I skip today?” you should practice anyway.
Easier said than done! We’re wired to find the easier path and to conserve our energies, so the pull will be strong to just sit down and relax. Your mind and body may not agree at first. You need some strategies for how to fight the pull and keep yourself on track.
To know what will work best for you, first consider what motivates you. Most people will fall into one of these three motivation patterns:
Some people are highly motivated just by telling themselves that they’re going to do something. It’s as if the conversation in their heads led to a contract etched in stone. Does that sound like you?
Even though you’ve entered into this one-person contract, you will still come across that day when you really just want to skip your practice in favor of something else (likely sleep). Since you started by making a commitment to yourself, you will probably get a good dose of motivation with another agreement – settling on a reward you’ll give yourself for meeting specific milestones will likely do the trick. Every 7 days you practice, you get to buy a new song. After 30 days of practicing daily without missing a single day you’ll get to buy a new costume piece. What sort of awesome reward can you give yourself after six months of practice?
The more you want the thing you’ll get, the easier it will be to stand up and hit play on those days when you really want to go to bed early.
Other people respond better to external motivation and expectations. Once they’ve told someone else they’re going to do something they find it easier to stick to their plan. Committing to something out loud is what sets the contract in stone.
If this sounds like you, the trick to sticking to it is to involve others. You might want to make a public post on Facebook announcing your plan and then check in daily so the world knows you’re on track. The best part of this is that it honestly won’t matter to you if no one says anything – just the act of saying it out loud will help you feel accountable to others and will keep you practicing!
Now, if neither of the above seems to resonate with you, it may be that you need a partner (or partners) in crime. Having someone who is in it with you, with the same goals and similar struggles, can make a huge difference. Now, that contract we’ve been talking about can become a tangible thing that you both sign. You’re helping hold them accountable, and they’re doing the same for you. Together you can encourage and commiserate while you’re getting the practice in every day.
Whatever method seems to be the best fit, the key is working that method every day. You are important. Your practice is important. Give yourself permission to not WANT to practice, and – this is the important part – DO IT ANYWAY!
Malik Turley, Contributor: Malik has been teaching SOMETHING since age 14 (over 30 years). In everything she does, her goal is to affirm that all women & girls are strong, beautiful, and worthy of attention. She is proud to be the first certified Datura Style teacher in the Midwest, having been a member of the first graduating class of Rachel Brice's 250 hour 8 Elements program. Her dedication to Bellydance led her to create the 100Days Improv Challenge(tm) in 2014. When she's not bellydancing you'll find her teaching... (more...)