Getting Into “The Groove”

It’s September 28.  School has been rolling for almost a month now and most of us feel comfortable with where we are in our life at this point. We have landed into what I call “the groove.”  In this post, we will explore whether or not falling into the groove is a good thing and whether there are occasions when we should get out of it.

What Is The Groove?

Most of us have figured out how to get around the hard stuff in life and how to manage the amount of work given to us on a daily basis.  We have established somewhat of a system.

The nature of humans is such, that when we figure something out, we economize our actions to do only what resembles the bare minimum.  However, even though the bare minimum lessens work, it’s not necessarily the most efficient way to get things done.  Here is an example:

This morning, I had three tasks to get done on top of all my school, ballet, and homework: write a blog post, put away my laundry, and email my editor.  I was sitting at the table, waiting for my breakfast to finish cooking, and I thought: “which task should I do first?”  I pondered on this for a while, and felt that the bare minimum – the easiest way out – seemed to be to write the blog post, but the most efficient way of doing things would be to put away the laundry.  The reason, I concluded, was that I can’t put away the laundry while I’m at school, at dance, or in the car, so this would be my only chance to take care of that task!  As you can see, my further thinking about the most efficient way to get things done got me out the “groove” and functioning better.

In other words, the groove is resorting to the bare minimum of what could be done about the tasks that direct your day.  A routine, however, is a rational choice to live a better way.

Is The Groove Good?

In some respects, yes, the groove helps us be better dancers by establishing a routine and bringing consistency to our lives.  I wish to emphasize, however, that the groove is different from an established routine. It is difficult to get out of a the groove if you want to change something in your life. A well-chosen routine has other implications.

For example, I’ve been noticing that I forget to turn off my bedside light and make my bed in the morning ever since school started.  If I established a routine, I could have easily incorporated that task into it.  However, if I were in the groove, I wouldn’t have been able to add it to my routine because the easiest way out of the situation was to completely avoid doing it at all.

In conclusion, having an established routine that is easy to change is better than getting into the “groove.”  However, the groove is quite unavoidable.

Staying Motivated When In The Groove

Most of us got into the groove a few days or weeks ago.  Afterall, school has been going on for a while now and the excitement/adrenaline that went along with it starting up has worn off. It’s time to re-inspire ourselves to be better at what we do and to motivate ourselves to work hard once again.  Here are a few tips to stay motivated:

  • Deliberately think about what tasks you are choosing to complete at what time.  Are the tasks you are deciding to do right now the easiest, or the most efficient?
  • Let your successes motivate you.  If you had a great ballet class or did well on a test in school, take that to heart and allow it to inspire you to work harder to achieve that grade or success level once again.
  • Find a special project or something to work on in addition to your regular workload.  The more you vary your days, the harder it is to fall into inefficient habits.

How To Get Out of The Groove

Now that we are in the groove, we have to get out of it so we can establish a healthy routine and start making the best choices for ourselves.  Here are the steps to get out of the groove:

  1. Recognize that you are in the groove, and figure out what you are sacrificing because of it.  What’s lacking in your life?  Are your grades falling?  Are your jumps getting weaker?
  2. Add something (worthwhile) to your daily routine to contradict the effects that the “groove” is having on your health and successes.  
  3. Find out what you are doing wrong and then make an attempt to fix it.
  4. Continue to use this strategy to add more efficient activities and routines into your life.  Remember that the best kind of routine should be adaptable to current needs.  Set up a time for “extra tasks and special projects” to work on things that don’t involve the same, boring workload.

Happiness and The Groove

Believe it or not, the groove affects your happiness in addition to your successes.  Doing the same thing every day without any variation or change has an effect on your views of life and the way you do things.  Adding special projects or doing something unique every day can help you stay inspired and motivated.

This is even more incentive to find a way out of the grind and get into a proactive routine that is better for your mental and physical health.  Don’t do the bare minimum. Make an effort to get out of the groove, as it will turn you into a happy person.

Thanks for reading today’s blog post!  I really hope it helps you find something to change in your routine and be more successful.  I’ll see you on Friday with more tips and advice.  Keep stretching!

Make sure to check out my Dance is Art Challenge!  Follow the steps below to participate:

  1. Find a piece of art in your community or online.
  2. Take a quick video of improvised choreography or a photo of a dance pose inspired by the artwork.
  3. Post it on Instagram with #danceisartchallenge and tag @gouletballet.

The winner, voted on by the public through Instagram, will receive a pair of decorated pointe shoes.

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