This article is an excerpt from the book It's Your Turn! The Success Blueprint for the Dance Teacher. This chapter focuses on how taking action will make a Big difference to you both professionally and personally!

"Why stop dreaming when you wake up?" Walt Disney

What a terrific question by the man that turned his dreams constantly into reality. I am sure he had many moment of doubt. But he never let that stop him for a minute. He knew if he had a dream and then worked out a plan and then had the courage to take action, he could do it! I recently watched a television show on the life of Walt Disney and I was just so inspired with his life work. I remember growing up and watching the Wonderful World of Disney on Sunday nights. I can remember the excitement when my parents took my sister, my brother and me to Disneyland in California and then to Disney World in Florida. All the movies, television shows and theme parks were the dreams of this one man. A man who developed a plan and then put it into ACTION!

Nothing else beats action. The person with the plan or goal that is a masterpiece is trumped every time by the person who has a lesser plan but takes action to move the plan forward. Walt Disney said as much in the interviews during this television show. You can't always have everything set up just right. If you wait for all of the lights to turn green, you will never leave your driveway. Don't let your dreams and goals stay as such. To turn anything you want to do into reality you must take ACTION!

So here are important questions I would like to ask you:

What are your deepest dreams?

Where do you want to go in your life?

Where do you see yourself five years from now? How about ten?

Do you have a plan to get you there?

Do you think you can really achieve your dreams and goals?

Do you take action?

Will anything stop you from achieving your goals?

Teaching dance really is a wonderful profession. Think about how lucky we are. We get to create something new almost every day! We get to work with children of all ages and see them turn into young adults and we have an incredible influence over them. The skills we give them will enhance their lives no matter where their life takes them. Teachers spend a lot of time giving and need to make sure that they take time to make sure that they are on track. Don't loss yourself in what you are doing day in and day out. Make sure your life is headed in the direction you want it to go!

Think about this!

To turn your dreams into goals and then into reality you need a non-stop action plan!

Here are two ideas for developing your action plan. We have used this formula and found that it works for both professionally and on a personal level. Since our profession is an extension of us, we need to align both of these-or your yin and yang will be out of whack!

A. Create a two-part mission statement. If you do not have one for your work, develop one as soon as possible. This mission statement will describe what you want your work life to be, your vision and how it will impact your employer or business associates. Once you have done that, create a personal mission statement for what you want your job to do for you. It is very important because you will be able to make all your decisions based on the principle of this personal mission statement. This may seem a bit selfish, but if your life's work does not serve you, then you will be swimming upstream your whole life.

B. Create goals and action plans . Once you have your mission statements set up, you can then start to focus on your goals and the plans you will make to achieve those goals. Make both professional and personal ones. I have found that the best way to do so is to make a list of goals on the right side of a piece of paper. Leave room in between each one. On the left hand side of the paper write down the action you intend to take to help you reach your goals. Now set a time frame in which these goals will be achieved. A tighter time frame is best, as it will make you work at your action plan with a bit more urgency.

Dance teachers are great at creating lesson plans for class and choreographing routines. So developing a plan like this will be a natural extension of what you do best. Just make sure that you put action behind your plan! Create your action plan and write down your goals. Decide what action you can take that would help you meet your goals today, then in the next thirty days, six months or one year. Don't let your goals fall by the wayside.