How To Get Your Pole Life Right in 2019
It’s that time again. A new year is upon us and we are ready to dive right into tackling a lot of the goals and resolutions we have set forth for 2019. If you’re anything like I was when I started poling 5 years ago, your pole goals might look a little something like this:
“Get my middle split.”
“Learn to deadlift.”
“Perform in a large showcase.”
“Get a flat jade.”
“Get a flexy back.”
“Point my toes at all times.”
“Do an Iron X.”
“Land all inverts with straight legs.”
“Get left and right oversplits.”
It took me years to realize why a list like this was setting me up for failure.
Don’t make the same mistakes that I and several others before you have made. If you want to get your pole life right in 2019, follow these tips to stay on track and successful:
1. Avoid making a laundry list of goals.
The biggest problem with that list is that I was trying to do the ABSOLUTE most. I mean, I really thought that as an intermediate home poler that was teaching herself, I was going to every little thing on that list. HA! And every single year that I made ridiculous lists like that, I kept getting slapped with disappointment and the reality that I was being unrealistic. Making a long list of goals to achieve over a long period of time is perfectly fine, but trying to cram all of these things into 12 months is goal overload. Focus on the goals that are LIKELY to be achieved within the year, and focus on a reasonable number of things to achieve. Don’t go overboard.
2. Assess your level of readiness for the things you want to achieve.
A common problem I see as an instructor, especially among newbie polers, is a lack of understanding between their actual skill level and their perception of their own skills. Example: You just learned how to invert two weeks ago, and now you’re asking me how to do an Iron X. Ma’am…. No…. Listen…. Let’s bring it down about 8 notches and work on perfecting that invert! Let’s make sure those legs are straight and those hooves are pointed! Let’s make sure those biscuits are rising as easily as Pillsbury! Work towards goals that are attainable for your skill level NOW, not the skill level you plan to be.
3. Set a plan, and track your progress.
So, you’ve culled down that list of goals to maybe 2 or 3 things that are really attainable for this year, but how are you going to achieve them? Are you going to the studio 3 times a week to train? Are you going to supplement your training by going to the gym or taking different classes, like yoga or aerial silks? Are you going practice at home? Take a moment to sit down, have a Coming-To-Jesus with yourself and your schedule, and plan out when and how you’re going to actively work on your goals. I’m old school, so I prefer writing it down in a notebook or planner, but you can also do this on your mobile calendar app and set reminder notifications to help keep you on track. Once you get that routine going, make sure to track your progress. You can do this a number of ways-- enter data in a tracker app, write it down by hand or in the notes section of your phone, take progress photos every week/month/quarter, or record yourself before, during, or after your session. Keep yourself accountable, but make sure to do it in a way that is easy for you. I’m a visual person, so I find that photos and videos are the best because I can visibly see the progress.
4. Be kind to yourself.
More often than not, we put too much pressure on ourselves to fully accomplish the things we have set out to do. What’s the problem with that? We forget to be kind to ourselves and remember that, at the end of the day, we’re still human! It’s okay if you need to take a rest day. It’s okay to take some days off because you have a vacation planned. It’s okay if you want to have a cheat meal. It’s okay to start small and work your way up instead of diving in at full intensity. If you go too hard too quickly, you’re bound to stop. Think of your resolutions and goals as new, healthy lifestyle changes that you slowly build up to. Take your time, celebrate every little milestone with a loud, resounding “YASSSS”, and remember to thank your body for the amazing things it is doing and will continue to do for you.
Let’s make like Michelle Obama in the glittery Balenciaga boots and slay the heck out of 2019! We got this!