So, we are half way into the year and I am wondering… how are your new year’s resolutions going?

I am not a massive fan of new year resolutions myself… I’m much more of a ‘living life on your terms, making it work for you’ type of person; and that can be anytime of the year.

However, it’s good to try new things.

I regularly like to take myself out of my comfort zone. I find that the more you do this the easier it gets.

It’s true, I promise.

I experienced a big self-inflicted life event in 2006, which was good and bad. Bad in that I don’t really want to tell anyone about it (yes that bad), good in that it made me stop and really look at my life.

After this huge wake-up call I had an important, life-changing realisation…  that I was the only one who could change my life after what had happened.

I sought help, sorted myself out, and went on to work with 1000’s of people also struggling with unhealthy habits and addictions.

These days I’m looking out for other people.

Because often I feel as if someone was looking out for me.

In the early days as I was trying to sort myself out, I met a lovely lady on a training course. She must have been able to see that things weren’t great with me and asked me if I liked to dance? I said yes and met her at her local jive night later that week.

I loved it, it was such fun and everyone was so friendly. I went every week, doing classes at first and then moving on to freestyle.

I had the dancing bug!

I danced every week, met loads of new people (none of whom drank or took drugs) and best of all, they didn’t know me; in fact they knew nothing about me. I could just turn up, dance, talk to some people, have a great time and leave.

Partner dancing gave me exactly what I needed during an incredibly difficult time. And the best bit is that you simply can’t drink and jive. Seriously! You just can’t do it.

My life continued to take some twists and turns and was tough for a good few years. But thanks to dancing I had somewhere to escape the difficulties for a while.

I can see now that one of the big things that really helped me to change my life, was pushing myself to try different things.

To try new things, with people I didn’t know.

I am a natural introvert so it wasn’t and still isn’t easy sometimes. But when you find something you love, it’s worth it. The trick is to keep going, to keep moving forward.

For me it was dancing, and particularly partner dancing.

So, I am going to urge you ladies, if you do one thing this summer go to a partner dancing class. Modern jive, salsa, swing, tango, take your pick! It doesn’t matter which you choose.

Go to lots of classes until you find one that works for you.

Trust me, it’s fun. It’s cheap; anything from £5-10 for the evening, and it’s not usually a drinking culture so you can have a glass of water if you want.

You don’t have to go along with anyone else, lots of people go alone so although you’re on your own, you won’t be alone.

Nowadays I can go anywhere in the world, look online for a dance class, turn up, dance and make new friends. It’s an international network of people.

If you are not a big conversationalist, that’s ok too, you don’t have to say much, because you are dancing.

You laugh too, laughing is so good for you. At yourself and probably with others.

If you want romance, lots of single men and women meet new partners at partner dancing. The pressure is off. You go to a dance class, get to know new people, slowly, you become friends, it can go from there.

There are so many benefits. In fact, the only thing that people struggle with, is actually going.

Going anywhere for the first few times is always tough.

But there are some things you can do to help yourself

  • Ask a friend to go with you the first time, a friend can do anything for you once, even if they hate dancing.
  • If you have to go on your own, remember that there are others that will be there on their own too, feeling just as nervous and uncomfortable. By the time the first class is finished you will feel ok.
  • Be brave. Don’t let your nervousness stand in your way of trying something new, it could be the thing that makes a real and lasting difference for you.

See you on the dancefloor!

Stephanie Chivers is a habit/addiction specialist. She is passionate about making sure you have access to good information so you can live a happy healthy life. On line coaching programmes, 1-1 coaching, blogs, top tips video and a book: There is no magic button.

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