18 Things You Should Do To Make 2018 Great

18 Things You Should Do To Make 2018 Great

Let's make this the best year ever!

We are just days from the start of a new year. For some, that means leaving things behind and for others, it means new beginnings. Looking at 2018 also forces you to ask yourself some pretty nice questions. What direction do you want your life to go in this year? What will make you ultimately happier? What can you do to make your year great? Here are 18 things that I think definitely will.

1. Take yourself out.

The best way to learn more about yourself is to take yourself out once in a while. Whether it's dinner, a concert, or the movies you will feel better and independent.

2. Save up

I was the absolute worst at saving money in the beginning of 2017. Then I decided to change it and save some of my paycheck each month. Even as little as $5 will go a long way in twelve months. Then you can buy yourself something nice at the end of the year. Or it's there just in case of an emergency.

3. Get organized

Adding a little order in your life will certainly make you feel great. Give yourself a little to do list every day and make sure you do at least most of the items on it. Also, tidy up your room twice a week.

4. Stop procrastinating

I'm a little hypocritical when it comes to this because I procrastinate a lot. It's so easy to say "I'll just do it later" but it actually adds more stress. Do us both a favor and do it right now so that you have time to relax.

5. Travel

The world is a pretty big place. Please consider taking a trip to somewhere you've never been. Of course, it can be very expensive but it's always worth it.

6. Relax

It's so important to unplug sometimes and let yourself breathe. Go for a walk, take a bath, or just listen to some new music. Whatever helps you relax make sure you do more of it in 2018.

7. Read more books

There are so many amazing literary works out there. Right now I put myself to a goal of fifty books in 2018. I suggest that you do the same. Also, if anyone has any book recommendations let me know.

8. Learn a new language

Communicating is the key to our society. You never know when you're going to need to talk to someone in a different language. It's also always a great asset to your resume. Caspisci?

9. Open your mind

Sometimes our routine limits us to thinking of the same old things. Learn to be more open-minded and really listen to other people's opinions.

10. Meet new people

There are 7.6 billion people on this earth so you need to meet more of them. I know it can be hard to open yourself to new people but it's nice to do once in awhile.

11. Be kinder to yourself

I'm all for a fun night out but sleep is also extremely important. Getting enough of it helps keeps you focused and healthy.

12. Quit your bad habits

I know this is easier said than done but it's important you try. Whether it be biting your nails or smoking, you can do it. I believe in you.

13. Exercise

I'm not saying you have to go full blown bodybuilder, but you should probably do some sort of exercise at least twice a week. Do some jumping jacks, jog around the block a few times, and treat your body like the temple it is.

14. Visualize what you want to accomplish

You probably have a list of everything you want to do in the next year. Ask yourself what you can do to get yourself where you need to be.

15. Drink more water

I'm one of those people that never want to drink water. I'm making it a goal of mine this year to drink the recommended eight glasses no matter how hard it may be.

16. Get more sleep

I'm all for a fun night out but sleep is also extremely important. Getting enough of it helps keeps you focused and healthy.

17. Binge watch a new show.

There are so many great shows out there it's nice to just sit down and watch one. My personal recommendations are Shameless, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Supernatural.

18. Don't stress yourself out!

Most importantly remember that you are human. You make mistakes and you are doing the absolute best that you can. Nothing is worth getting extremely stressed out over.

Let's make this the best year ever!

Cover Image Credit: pixabay

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A Letter To My Dancers

Everything your dance teacher wants you to know.

When anyone (especially a child) chooses to invest their time, talent, and passion into dancing, it's nothing to take lightly. These kids spend more time with me at the studio than they do at home with their parents. Before long, they're my "kids," too. When I only have an hour to lead a warm-up, teach choreography, and rehearse a number, there isn't much time to express the thoughts and feelings I'd necessarily like to. Being a dance teacher is the most spectacular and rewarding job - and I want my students to know that. Between the great rehearsals and the frustrating ones, the competitions and recitals, and the endless hours we spend together each week, there are just a few reminders I need to share with them.

Dear Dancers,

Please love yourself and love what you do with every ounce of your being. Do it with so much passion that your heart wants to burst. Dance is the most special thing; it's something we are privileged and lucky to have, so don't take it for granted.

Please believe in yourself. You are worthy. You are talented. You are strong and capable of everything you set your mind to. Strive to be the best version of yourself every day, not the reflection of the girl next to you. Dance like you. Move like you. Experiment and find what makes you, you. Be an individual. Trust me when I say I don't want 20 carbon-copied robots. I want you.

Trust that I have your best interest in mind. Sometimes my choices and decisions won't make sense, you might be confused, hurt or frustrated, but keep the faith that I'm on your side. I don't want to see you fail, and I'll do everything in my power to help you find the success you're looking for.

I want you to succeed, but for me to do that, you need to tell me what you need. Do you need the counts again? Do you need me to review the transition to floor one more time? If you understand, tell me. If you don't, tell me that, too. Be vocal, be present, be smart, and be prepared. Practice on the sides. Pay attention to the small details. Ask questions. Don't be late, and definitely don't forget your choreography. Take responsibility for your responsibilities and lead by example. Do you have any remote idea how many children look up to you? Who want to be just like you someday? Dance just like you? Kids watch, listen, and copy. Make sure the behaviors you're teaching them are behaviors you're proud of.

Make memories with your dance family while you still can. Cherish every 9 a.m. Saturday morning rehearsal, every competition you attend, every fundraising event, and every team sleepover. It'll be gone so fast. You're going to miss these days. Please, enjoy them.

Don't compare yourself to other dancers. You are you, and nobody can do "you" better than yourself. Don't wish away your abilities by secretly wishing you had Suzie's feet, Betsy's port de bras, or Charlie's center. The only thing you need to worry about is being a better version of yourself than you were the day before. You are your only competition, so don't be too hard on yourself. Be kind to your mind and body. You work day in and day out to perfect your craft and artistry. You work to mold and create yourself. You'll be rewarded with time if you keep fighting and don't give up. Usually when you want to throw in the towel, it's after you don't get the part you wanted or you don't make the team you hoped to. What you need to understand is the answer isn't "No," the answer is "Not yet." You know you're trying and working hard, and those efforts don't go unnoticed -- even if it seems they are.

Please, remember that it's not going to always be fair. You're going to be let down, and you're going to feel disappointed from time to time. You're not always going to win the trophy. You're not always going to get the featured solo part, and not everyone can be the front row and center dancer. This doesn't mean you're "bad" and this doesn't mean you're not "meant" to dance either.

Quite frankly, it's just how it works, you guys. It doesn't mean I don't like you, and it doesn't mean the dancer who does have the solo is my favorite. The dancer just might be more talented. Yeah, I said it. They might have better lines, straighter knees, or stronger stage presence, and that is entirely okay. You're going to run into this for the rest of your adult life. Someone is going to be smarter, more qualified, more desirable for a particular job or position. So instead of despising and resenting these dancers (and especially me), try to learn from them instead. You'll learn more from each other than you could imagine. But if you take away one thing from this, know that you are still worthy of my best training, my best analogies, my best choreography -- whether you are featured, in the third row, or even off-stage for the turn section.

As your teacher, it's my job to teach. Learning (and learning correctly) requires close attention to detail, incredible focus, and a plethora of corrections on my part. Yes, I will go out of my way to critique you, and I will continually tell you what needs fixing until it's fixed. I might have to tell you over and over and over again. And you know, I might even get frustrated with you once in awhile because of it, but here's what you need to understand: This doesn't make me mean or a bad teacher. This doesn't mean I hate you. What it does mean is that I see potential in you and I want to help. I just have to ask, do you see what I see in you? Do you see the talent and abilities I see?

Corrections are good. Success is an incredibly long and never ending process that takes time, but the corrections I give you are helping you get one step closer. So next time you catch yourself getting upset about receiving the same critique week after week or you want to complain about how mean I am, please remember that my intent is not malicious. I'm doing my job.

It's also my job to instill perseverance, dedication, discipline, trust, humility, confidence, creativity, bravery, and strong work ethic into you. I want to push your limits. Test you. Challenge you. I want to mold you into the person you want to be. Even though you probably don't even know who that person is, I do.

There are so many possibilities, opportunities, and challenges that are out there once you enter the world of adulthood. The dance world is so much bigger than your studio, competition routines, and conventions. At the end of the day, no one remembers or cares (especially your future employers) if you won a quadruple diamond platinum plus on your lyrical solo in 2016. They don't care about your first place overall at Showbiz. They don't care if you're Teen Miss Winner of the World. They don't care. What people do care about is your character, your heart, and how you made them feel.

Dancers, I will always support you. Whether you want to pursue a professional dance career in Los Angeles or New York City, in a company overseas, on your college dance team, I will support you. Whether you want to teach dance or choreograph locally in town, I will support you. Whether you don't want to dance at all and maybe be an engineer or a cosmetologist, I will support you. I will always fuel your dreams, goals, and desires, no matter where they'll take you.

I love you and I'm proud of you.


Your Dance Teacher

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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