To achieve your dreams you must define them in precise terms. If you already know the auditions you want to apply for, the companies you want to work with, the mentors you want to approach, the universities you want to attend, the festivals where you would like to perform, then write them down. This is your starting point.

Begin by writing down about twenty things you would like to achieve, attend, learn etc. be wild. Let your imagination go. Aim high. When you aim low it’s harder to find the motivation, enthusiasm and determination needed to produce results that are worthwhile. It is also true that the competition for the more difficult goals tends to be less. An extra advantage if your goal involves vying with others for the same thing. When you have twenty or so narrow them down to the five that are most important to you. This alone should help motivate you. What you are left with should look pretty exciting!

“A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.” – Bruce Lee

Some tips to help you achieve your new goals:

1. Break each one down into small steps. Monthly, Weekly , Daily. Take the pressure off by charting everyday progress.
2. Take action now.
3. Write down the cost for each goal. Break it down into it’s component parts.
4. Identify your fears and face them in small steps.
5. Accept your mistakes along the way as a learning tool.
6. Make your intentions public. Share your list and progress with friends and family; you can even blog about it. It will be harder for you to quit.
7. Make a New Year goal for a friend and let him/her do the same for you.

Some more specific ones:

After you write your list, look closer and do your homework. For example if you would like to work with a particular company, research them. Learn everything you can find out about them in the public arena. Contact company members to give you insights into what it is like to dance with them. E-mail the company and ask to take a class with them. Look for a way they can benefit from you and offer your help. You are showing interest and building contacts.

It’s always helpful for dancers to think about enrolling in summer intensives. It gives you more experience, improves your connections, brings you out of your comfort zone, and expands your interests.

Now is the time to check for good programmes and get your application documents ready. Lots of Universities, Festivals, Companies, etc., have intensives to choose from. Search for recommendations from friends, dance forums etc. Check Dancing Opportunities’ Intensives Page and find the intensive you’re looking for.

Carefully read the bios of teachers and look for videos of them. Use the information to your advantage. A Summer Intensive is a good way to get to know the tutors and to learn more about the University Programme you want to enroll in.

Find out the costs and deadlines so you can start saving money and/or applying for funding or scholarships.

If you find your list involves new habits like “start eating healthy”, “stretch every day”, “run every day”, etc. note the following to help the habit become permanent:

Practice the new habit after something you already do every day like waking up in the morning, having breakfast, etc. Find something that can trigger your new behavior, something that is already a habit and add the new behavior change after it.
Always start small. It should involve little effort. For example. Start by running 5-10 min a day. If you choose stretching, pick up 2 exercises and do them everyday. You can always expand in later weeks when you start feeling comfortable with your new behavior.

Perform your new habits at least once a day. Want to start eating more fruits – have an apple in your lunch break. Make it a routine.

Reward yourself after achieving your everyday goal.

To learn more about building up new habits you can read  “The Power of Habit”.

Don’t let fear stop you from creating new opportunities and taking advantage of them. Yes, there will be times when you are rejected, you will feel uncomfortable. The only way to overcome the fear is by doing. Want to learn hand stand – start by doing it everyday using the wall for support.

When you don’t know where to start – learn by taking action. It’s the same as going into the dance studio without an idea and simply improvising. With time things become clearer. Make mistakes, adjust and try again.

“Go and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. Make. Good. Art.” – Neil Gaiman

Good luck with your new endeavors !