Happy New Year!

January 3, 2011  |  Cheers for Charity, Life Beyond Cheer

It’s officially 2011… wow! Every January 1st, I am reminded how quickly time flies in life. I remember the turn of the century like it was just yesterday, and now we are 11 years into the millennium… amazing!  And I must say, the older you get, the quicker time goes by (you will hear your mother tell you this your entire life and not believe her until you hit about 25, but it’s actually quite true). So my New Year’s Resolution…? Start treasuring life, hold on to every day as if it’s the last, and not take the small things for granted.  This New Year, what will your resolution be?

We always hear the typical list of cliché resolutions that are rarely followed through for 365 entire days: eat right, join a gym, work out five times a week, and lose weight, which are all soon followed by no parking spaces at the gym and a 20 minute wait for a treadmill until approximately March. Don’t get me wrong, these are wonderful resolutions, but they are also lifestyle choices. If you choose to pledge one of these as your resolution, it will include a lot of dedication for the rest of your life. Why not choose short term goals this year?

As a cheerleader, you should have two sets of short term goals: individual goals and team goals. Let’s talk about what some of these should be…

Individually, your focus should be on a number of things from cheerleading goals to school goals, and you can’t forget life outside of those two things that completely consume your time (it’s difficult but you can do it!). Broken down, it will look something like this:

  • School goals – This is the most important goal, as it not only will help you in the future but it makes you stand out in the present. Most cheerleading teams have standards when it comes to scholastic ability; this year, don’t just “get by” – make your advisor, coach, and team proud!
  • Cheerleading goals – From getting your back handspring or mastering a full up stretch to strengthening your proficiency as captain or encouraging more community service, there’s always something you can do individually to amplify your team. If you already have all the skills, make your GPA or charity work a priority. Be a good influence and your team will follow.
  • Personal goals – As I mentioned in my resolution above, life is precious and glorious. Don’t forget to enjoy the small things in life that are often forgotten when consumed with work, work, work. Sometimes, you’ve got to play, play, play! Take up a new hobby. Travel with your family or friends. Get healthy and stay consistent with it. And if you need a break, put on your jammies, prop your feet up, and watch a silly movie or mindless TV. After all, if your priorities are in order and you’re on your way to accomplishing the goals above, you deserve it!

When at practice, a game, or competition, you should take your team goals as serious as you take your own individual goals. When you join a team of any sort, you are automatically required to be a piece to the puzzle. There may be a lot of pieces, and each piece may be dramatically different, but eventually, they must all fit together to become a success. Here are the main goals you should share with your team:

  • Accomplishment/Award goals – Every team has a prize in the back of their minds they hope to achieve to officially conclude their season. After all, if you’re working together for a common goal, you want something to show for it in the end. It could be top three in a local competition. Maybe your team wants a bid to Worlds. Your team may even hope to get the Sportsmanship award at your school banquet. Or you could even be in the running for a charity or community service award. Whatever it is, work hard, and you will be rewarded in one way or another.
  • Outside of the Gym goals – A lot more comes with being a cheerleader than practice, pom pons, and prettiness. Cheerleaders are ambassadors! They represent their school and community; therefore, it’s important to set scholastic and philanthropic goals. Shoot for a higher team GPA than the year before, encourage the entire team to get active on campus, and start performing more service within your community!

Most people see the New Year as a new start in life. It’s a way to erase all the bad and continue with only the good. Create a list of sensible goals that you know you’ll accomplish; when 2012 rolls around and you have a list with check marks from top to bottom, you will not only feel like a rock star, you will go into another year with higher hopes than the year before. And always remember, it’s ok to slow down, take a deep breath, and be happy to be alive… don’t take your life for granted because 2012 will be here before you know it!
(Image Credit: Zazzle.com)

– Andrea LeTard

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