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3 TOP TIPS to get you back on track with your goals

Updated: Feb 16, 2023

Irish dance nutrition, Irish dance strength and conditioning, what Irish dancers should eat

January is almost over. How did this happen?

Many people I’ve talked to have noted that they have already lost momentum on their 2018 goals or they never really got started because the New Year crept up on them. If you fall in one of those categories, don’t sweat it.

We’ve got three top tips to get your back on track!

How do you get re-energized to continue with your goals? Or how do you find the motivation to start them? There are so many “reasons” why we cannot start or continue our goals but most of the time, those are just justifications that we use to make us feel better about not making progress.

FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE BE KIND TO YOURSELF - Are you not where you would like to be with your goal? You would not have made it a goal in the first place if it was something that came easily, right? Take a deep breath, get back on track AND be kind to yourself. Give yourself some grace. You can do this!

Irish dance strength and conditioning, nutrition for Irish dance, what Irish dancers should eat

LIFESTYLE TRANSFORMATION - When people make goals around food, it is often in the form of a “diet”. This term tends to carry very negative connotations because “diets” are usually incredibly restrictive, include dramatic alterations that are difficult to maintain and are generally viewed as temporary. If you approach your eating goals as a lifestyle transformation, something you are working towards to help create healthier fuel for your body to grow, perform at it’s best and for your brain to function well, it will adjust your attitude toward making those modifications.

GIVE YOURSELF CREDIT - Make sure to notice what you are doing well. Do you have fruit every day at lunch? Do you drink tons of water and skip the soda every day? Do you start your day with breakfast every morning? Don’t forget to give yourself credit for the healthy foods you are already eating.

FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE - Rather than thinking about what you “can’t eat” focus on what you want to add more of and finding tasty options of those. Make it a challenge to find a way of preparing a food that makes even your younger sibling love it!

CONCENTRATE ON WHAT’S DRIVING YOU Why did you make this goal? Do you want to have more energy for dance? Do you want to feel light and well-fueled on competition days? Do you want to be able to eat at all on competition days? Do you want to feel stronger in your steps?

Put visual cues around your environment to help keep you focused on these things. Whether they are pictures of strong dancers/athletes you admire, images of you when you felt most strong, energized, etc. I have certain totems (an image of a key or a wishbone) that remind me of what I’m working towards and help keep me motivated.

FIND A PARTNER/TEAM TO MAKE CHANGES WITH YOU It is incredibly difficult to try to improve your fuel when your friend is sitting next to you at dance class eating candy and soda. This does not mean you have to avoid your friends but encourage your friends and family and ask them to get involved!

Make it a family challenge to make the tastiest brussels sprout or broccoli dish. Or talk with your friends about the one-ingredient banana ice cream you made the night before!

When I find myself struggling with working toward my goals, I’ll write what’s holding me back down and try to figure out if they are true barriers or just my way of procrastinating. Then I use the tips above and follow the advice of Nike and “just do it”.

Here’s to a healthy New Year!

Jessica Gahl, strength and conditioning for Irish dance, nutrition for Irish dance, what Irish dancers should eat


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