Pole goals are awesome.
They help hold us accountable, give our training purpose, and most of all, we feel like absolute badasses when we actually achieve them.
Now we’re halfway through the year (roughly), we might start looking back on the goals we set ourselves at the beginning of the year. This can either feeling pretty damn awesome about achieving them early, or shitting ourselves that there’s only 5 months left in the year and we’re not even one step closer than we were in January.
That’s why, for the next 2 months, we’re running a series of posts all about pole goals.
From how to set your goals, my advice for helping you to achieve them, and what to do once you do, Pole Goals 101 is your go-to place for learning all about…well, pole goals!
Today, we’re starting with the foundation of any fitness endeavour and goal setting exercise – knowing your why.
Whenever we do anything in life, there’s always a why behind it.
Why are you doing laundry? Because you’ve run out of clean clothes.
Why are tidying the house? Because you’re embarrassed you let your messiness get out of hand – again.
Why are you washing the dishes? Because you’ve got company over later and you don’t want them to see the state that you live in 90% of the time.
When we talk about finding your why, what we mean is finding and understanding the reason why you’re doing what you’re doing.
Of course, you don’t only do the dishes when you’ve got company coming over, because you might have run out of meal prep containers, need a protein shaker, or simply hate the look of used dishes in your kitchen.
Your why is supposed to vary, but at its heart, it should generally be the same –
You’re doing dishes because it’s a chore you have to do to keep the house clean.
Your specific why might change from day to day, but in the end, that’s what your why boils down to.
It’s exactly the same with pole goals.
Every one of us has a reason why we do pole dance. It might be the same reason that we started, or it might have changed entirely. It might simply have evolved to encompass new things that you’ve learned about yourself and your motivations along the way.
That why is what keeps us going back to pole class and keeps us motivated to train.
That why is what you need to find, and understand, to set yourself achievable pole goals.
Once you’ve found your why – whether it’s one or many – then you’ve found the foundation upon which solid pole goals are formed.
Your Why as the Foundation of Your Goals
Let’s say your why is that you love the strength you get from training pole dance.
During class, it might be that you’re happier when you train holds and strength tricks, and while you don’t mind training spins, you prefer those that require strength over momentum and flexibility.
With this as your motivation, you might have some internal idea of things you want to achieve through your pole dance training, but these ideas aren’t really structured. You tell yourself it’d be nice to finally get a deadlift aerial shoulder mount, or one day you’ll get your Iron X, but you don’t really have any solid plans.
Your love of strength-based moves is your motivation – or, at least, one of them.
So why, if you’re motivated by becoming stronger, would you set yourself goals that don’t fit your why?
With a discipline as diverse as pole dance, there can often be a fair bit of pressure on pole dancers to train everything.
We see other dancers on Instagram with perfect deadlift inverts, dancers with oversplits, dancers with choreo that flows like water, dancers with the sexiest, slinkiest flow we’ve ever seen, and dancers who perform daring acrobatic tumbles and flips on the pole. And we can’t help but be in awe, thinking how awesome it would be to add those skills to our repertoire.
But we weren’t built to train everything.
Some things, you might not even like.
Some tricks might terrify you.
Some things might feel impossible with how your body is currently.
Not only does training everything sound exhausting, but training things you’re just not interested in is a huge waste of time.
Life is far too short to spend energy on things that you’re not passionate about.
How to Build Why-Focused Pole Goals
I’m going to share with you an awesome trick I learned a while back, inspired – oddly – by my partner’s experience with project management techniques as a Software Engineer.
If you’re familiar with the concept of Agile project management and user stories, then you can probably see where I’m going with this.
Step 1: “As a…”
Having your why at the start helps keep you focused while setting goals, and reminds you why you’re setting these goals.
Let’s say at the end of the year, you have the goal to be able to finally do a deadlift shoulder mount. Previously, that might be all you wrote down.
With this method, you’d write down your why like this –
As a person who loves building my strength through pole...
Step 2: “…, I want to…”
Here’s where you get to the meat of your goal setting, by writing down what it is exactly that you want to achieve. So now your goal looks like this –
As a person who loves building my strength through pole, I want to achieve a deadlift shoulder mount…
You’ll start to see now that your goal is sounding a lot more like an affirmation, or a promise to yourself.
You’re telling yourself that this is who you are, and this is what you’re going to do.
Step 3: “…, so I can…”
In this final step, I want you to think about why exactly you want to achieve this goal.
Going back to the point I made previously about how we can’t train everything, it’s a good idea to understand why you’re setting this goal in the first place. Your reason can be as deep, shallow or silly as you want it to be. Hell, if you want to achieve Poisson just because fish are your favourite animal, go for it.
Once you’ve found your reason, your goal will be complete, and will look something like this:
As a person who loves building my strength through pole, I want to achieve my deadlift shoulder mount, so I can play with new shapes in my next showcase routine.
Now your goal is affirming who you are, what you want to do, and why you want to do it.
It’s a bit of a mouthful, but trust me – it works.
With this one sentence, you’ve made three very important steps towards creating a goal that’s realistic, achievable, and most importantly, motivational.
- You’ve affirmed who you are, why you do pole, and how that relates to your pole goal.
- You’ve affirmed your goal in the context of what motivates you, reminding yourself why it’s something you’ll enjoy working towards.
- You’ve told yourself why you want to achieve this goal and made it personal.
Knowing your why is the foundation of every successful pole goal.
Not knowing the motivation behind why you train what you do can lead you to feeling aimless, lost, and like your training doesn’t actually matter in the long run.
The last fitness endeavour I tried before I found pole was Kickboxing. It was fun, sure, but I never really knew why I went.
I was spending two hours a week training towards something I only vaguely liked, just so I could grade and…do more Kickboxing.
It eventually got to the point where I pulled out of the class because I had no reason to go. I had no desire to improve outside of what was required for grading.
And then I found pole, and found my motivation to train.
I learned that what I wanted wasn’t to lose weight, but was to love my body and feel more confident in it. I love the strength training aspect of pole, and adore training Exotic/Russian Exotic/Stripper Style. I love having a space and form of movement that allows me to express my sensuality, free from judgement.
I had moves to work towards, aspirations I wanted to achieve, and training I wanted to do outside of the studio to work towards it.
This is why I love focusing my goals on my motivation behind training, and write them in such a way that with each sentence, I’m reminding myself why I love training.
It can be hard, sometimes, to remind yourself why you love doing what you do.
But reminding yourself, and staying mindful of these reasons, are step one of creating pole goals that are realistic, achievable, and most importantly – motivational.
While you’re here, there’s a couple of things I want to mention.
Firstly, our guest post submission box is now open! Head over here to find out how to submit to us, what we’re looking for, and why we’d love to hear your voice.
Second, Lacey of Laceyfitspo and I have been working hard on building networking circles for all of the pole and aerial bloggers and creatives out there.
I’ve created the Pole and Aerial Creatives Network over on Facebook for any and all creatives who work within the pole and aerial industry, whether they own a studio, run workshops, host blogs, create artwork – if you create, sell or host anything for the pole and aerial community, this group is for you!
Lacey’s also created a group chat for pole bloggers over on Instagram so we can share ideas, give each other feedback, and cheer each other on. If you have a pole blog or write for one and you want in, drop either Lacey or me a PM on Instagram with a link to your blog, and we’ll invite you in!
Join me next week, where I’ll be chatting about how engineering your environment is one of the best ways to make sure you work towards your goals every day.
Hey, if you loved this post, please consider buying me a coffee. For less than a high street barista coffee you could help keep Sass and Clacks running and providing the pole community with awesome content. Thanks! <3