Staying Focused In Your Belly Dance & Fitness
Do you go through phases of being super-committed to your belly dance practice or workouts, then fall off the wagon? I think we all exhibit this pattern with something in our lives. For me it’s keeping my office out of a state of chaos so I can actually concentrate on work. Success with long-term commitments, is not about the big push, it’s about the consistency and building positive habits.
I picked up two tidbits that have helped me greatly. The instructor at the BodyPump class I attend once a week passed on what she had heard from another trainer.
Never go 3 days without a workout.
Ok, so maybe you can’t practice or workout (or clean your office) every day – work and family keeps you busy. But if you look ahead at your week, you can probably find a half hour for yourself every 3 days. Put it on your calendar and keep that date with yourself with as much integrity as if it was with someone else. Maybe one day is your regular belly dance class and three days later you do your personal practice. If you sneak in a Quickie video in between – good for you!
In terms of fitness, “use it or lose it” is the truth. This is why consistency is so crucial. Studies show that you can lose 20% of your aerobic fitness gains after just 2 weeks of slacking off. The same is true for flexibility and muscular strength. If you are not very active in your daily life outside of your dance and workouts, it can evaporate even more quickly than your cardiovascular capacity.
Never skip a Monday.
Start your week off on the right foot. Boom. Harness that “New Year’s resolution” kind of energy in a small way at the beginning of every week. On Sunday evening, I take some time to check-in with the week ahead of me and make sure I’ve marked out time for the things that are priorities that week as well as the things that are maintenance. I put workouts in the maintenance category because without it, just like my car, it will break down if not consistently taken care of. A dancer never wants that to happen!
Developing these two habits with your belly dance practice and supporting exercise will not only help you maintain your skills and fitness, it will give you the opportunity to make those tiny gains that add up to bigger progress over time. One of my favorite authors, Chris Guillebeau, wrote that we overestimate what we can do in a day and underestimate what we can do in a year – or even a month. It’s all about the small efforts adding up. Think about that on Sunday night – then act on it on Monday!