How do you feel about New Year’s Resolutions?

I took this quiz a while back. Tiffany from the Bellydance Bundle mentioned it. I was rolling my eyes the whole time, thinking, lordy, this does not apply to me! But the results were so interesting I immediately got Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Four Tendencies, from the library to read more (it is quite readable). 

Turns out, I’m a Rebel (I’m sure you are shocked ; ).

According to Rubin, Rebels do what they like, when they feel like it. The Rebel motto is, “You can’t make me, and neither can I.” Hence, Rebels tend to avoid New Year’s Resolutions, since “I’m going to get up at 7AM every day and practice,” is most likely to result in “Eff that,” when 7AM rolls around. Internal deadlines don’t work well for Rebels–unless they feel like it. This summed up my life alarmingly well. So many things now made sense. For example, no wonder I could never stick to a regular practice! 

External deadlines, however, have impact.

If the chips are down, and I am enmeshed in an external structure, I get shit done. For example, the trash gets picked up at my house once a week at about 7AM. That trash is out there by 6:59, especially the weeks when both trash cans are full and there is another bag of trash in the kitchen waiting to go. 

Structure works for me. This is why I started to teach dance–I couldn’t make myself practice, but I could show up to a scheduled class. This is why I create online courses. They give me structure. A reason to show up. Accountability. This is key. 

I didn’t understand any of this when I first designed the 90 Day Dance Party. Looking at it now, I can see my Rebel fingerprints aaalllll over its Do it YOUR way design. 

And therein lies the benefit.

For everyone. Including you ; ). 

Because all four Tendencies like accountability. And the 90 Days provides that. In spades. 

Let me be clear–tendencies are just that. One may incline towards them, but they are not the be-all, end-all of who you are. Still, it is an interesting approach, and you may find it as surprising and enlightening as I did. 

Why does the 90 Days work for so many people? 

Rubin posits four tendencies. Let’s look at how each responds to resolutions, such as New Year’s… and how that translates to the 90 Days.

1. Upholders. Resolutions are their best friend. They make a plan and they do it. The 90 Days is a great challenge. It lasts a good long time, so you can really sink your teeth into it. They are accountable to themselves, and this is a challenge you can do completely on your own if you wish. Plus, doing the 20 minutes every day has so many benefits, aside from turbo-charging one’s improvisation abilities. It’s a win-win all the way.  

2. Questioners. They make resolutions whenever seems best to them. The 90 Days is exceptionally versatile and adaptable. Questioners can put together a system that works for them and manage it just the way they want. There is lots of accountability via the FB group, and someone (me), to answer all their questions, every day. 

3. Obligers. They’ve largely given up on resolutions, since they just don’t work. The flexibility and forgiveness built into the 90 Days keeps the pressure off. It gives them a sense of safety and community, and keeps them feeling connected no matter what they do–or don’t do.  

4. Rebels won’t bind themselves with resolutions or other commitments, unless they do it for fun, because they feel like it. The 90 Days is a lot of fun. There’s camaraderie, new music, lots of connection, inspiration–the list goes on. It’s even fun for me, and I’m working my ass off. 

It works so well because of NGAMO

NGAMO stands for No Guilt And Move On. You missed a day? A week? A month? Okay. Let it go. Move on. Dance today, tomorrow, the next day. We’re in this for the long haul.

I’m going to share a little semi-secret with you. I’ve presented the 90 Days four times now–and I have never danced every day. Early on in the very first one, I realized my challenge, practice, and accountability would come from the Love Notes that I wrote each day. I write the Love Notes and facilitate the Bonus Pack of Joy (BPJ) Facebook group (and the ad-hoc group that sprouted up on the event page). Every day. Seven days a week. For 90 Days. That is enough. NGAMO.

What I thought would a daily paragraph of encouragement turned into thousand-word articles.

Magical things began to happen in the group. People made radical changes in their lives. Simply from dancing freeform improv for 20 minutes a day. And it continues to happen, every time. Many folks have done the 90 Days every time we’ve run it. Lots of people have kept the 20 minutes every day for years. People put stickers on their calendar for every day they danced. Total strangers come up to me at events to thank me for telling them it was okay that they didn’t dance that day. Yet they still felt this intense dedication to the 90 Days. 

Over the years, I’ve added curated daily music suggestions, and chosen or illustrated images for each article.  It continues to grow and evolve. There’s even a QuickStart guide to get everyone up to speed on all our practices and success strategies. 

The theme of improvisation winds through every element, from the Love Notes, which I wrote fresh every day, with no plan whatsoever (and just happened, so many times, to be exactly what folks needed to hear that day). systemEach kind of person is free to craft a system that works for them. For example, Tuesday is a long day, so I don’t dance on Tuesdays. It’s all about individual agency–just like Oriental dance.  

The 90 Days is all about the low bar

Over this year, I’ve found a new kind of accountability (new to me, anyway). I wanted to share that with you. 

Remember I never danced a full 90 Days? I did dance most of them. And recently a friend and I have hit 288 days of dance, which we’ve done via text message accountability, over the last 10 months. We’ve each skipped a day here and there, mostly due to travel or illness, but who cares? We danced 288 more days of the year than we would have otherwise, and maintained a very sweet daily communication over that time.

Each day, when one of us danced, we texted the other with the number of the day. And the other texted back a word of acknowledgement. Brava! Good. Well done! We set a low bar, and we succeeded.

That’s why I am offering this very special Sharegasm+1 option.

I have had such a great time connecting with my friend that I wanted to encourage other folks to do the same. It’s 25% less per person than even the earliest EarlyBird price–because I want folks to do this together

The 90 Days is a time to be connected to dance and other dancers. To be open to surprise and curiosity. To enjoy dance. To have fun. To feel joy, to relax, and to live. Let’s do this. And let’s bring a friend. 
More information is here: aliathabit.com/90days

I hope to see you there!
Love, 
Alia

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