New Year’s Resolutions… Goals…. I’m sure we have all either made new fitness or pole goals or noticed that others have. It’s that time of year when pole classes fill up, leaving you on the waiting list if you didn’t sign up weeks in advance. In a few weeks, everything will go back to normal, you will get back into your regular classes, and goals may seem to be forgotten.
Why is that? Is it because people no longer care about their goals? Probably not, however, in order to reach your goal, goals need to be set up properly. At work, you may have heard of SMART Goals; pole goals are no different. They should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results Oriented and Timely. In the beginning of class, I often ask people to introduce themselves and tell the class what their pole goal is. I usually hear a pole move or something really broad like “flexibility” or “strength” or “confidence.” These are all wonderful goals, but stated so generally that it’s hard for one to figure out if they have yet made this goal.
What do you mean by flexibility? Back flexibility? Hip flexibility? Do you want to get your splits? Maybe you already have your splits, but you want to get your rainbow marchenko? First, make your pole goal as specific as possible. For example, I want to be able to get strong enough to lift into an iron x and hold it for 30 seconds by April. Is this measureable? Yes, you can measure your progress by seeing if you are lifting into the move and by timing it. You will increase your time the more you practice.
Next, decide if your pole goal is attainable. If your pole goal is a rainbow marchenko, and you can’t do a backbend or even touch your toes, this goal may be so far out of your reach that you’ll end up giving up before ever really trying. Choose something that is challenging, but still realistic. A goal should be something that will help you get results.
Will this goal make your performances stronger? Will it help you become more fit? Why do you want this goal? Decide when this goal will be completed. If you already can lower into your iron x and hold it for 5 seconds, you are closer to lifting it than someone who can’t even handspring.
Set your goal to be completed by a reasonable time. For example, you may give yourself 4 months. Some people may use competition dates to set goal times. This is good as well. Sometimes competitions help you hold yourself accountable to your goals. The most important thing is to do something about your goals and record your progress. Come to class! Practice! Take pictures and progress videos to help record your progress. You don’t need to post them on social media if you are not comfortable, but at least take them for yourself.
Often times, reaching pole goals will require additional practice than coming to class once a week. Instructors can show you how to do something the proper way, but it is up to you to practice. Even a goal such as attaining a flat right split by spring would be difficult to achieve by only going to one pole dancing class a week. You will either need to go to class several times a week or practice what your instructor taught you at home.
The best thing to do is to practice both at home and attend regular class! Practice what your instructor taught you at home, then the next time you come to class, you can take it to the next level. Before you know it, you would have reached your pole goal and will set a new one.