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How to Set and Meet Your Pageant New Year’s Resolutions

Miss America 2017, Savvy Shields, Ringing in the New Year in Times Square in New York City. Photo Courtesy of the Miss America Organization Instagram.
Miss America 2017, Savvy Shields, Ringing in the New Year in Times Square in New York City. Photo Courtesy of the Miss America Organization Instagram.

2017 is officially here and if you set some New Year’s Resolutions prior to the clock striking midnight and have stuck with them through the first week of 2017, congratulations.

If you’re someone who has fallen off the wagon a bit, we’re here to help you get back on.

And, if you haven’t set any resolutions for the new year so far, not to worry, it’s not too late. There are still 51 weeks left in the year and we’re here to help you get started.

Making a Resolution

Before you decide on a resolution, Veronique Hoebeke, Associate Editor of Resources to Recover in an article, “Four Questions to Ask Yourself Before Making a New Year’s Resolution,” has four questions for you to consider.

  1. Who is this for?
  2. What are my priorities?
  3. Do I have the right resources for this?
  4. Does this serve my natural strengths?

These four questions will help you pick the right resolution for you and in the long run allow you to accomplish it and not feel burned out.

In pageantry, we follow similar guidelines.

“When it comes to setting resolutions, first decide in 2017 to go and do what makes you feel most alive,” said Sarah Wall Beckman, interview and pageant coach.

Perfecting Your Walk

A common phrase is that it takes 21 days to form a habit – whether that’s going to the gym every day or eating a certain way.

However, a 2010 study by researchers at the University College of London found that it took an average of 66 days for their study participants to form a habit.

So, get to practicing that walk as soon as you can just like you would do it on stage. That way, no matter the nerves, your body will just walk. (Read: 5 Ways to Master Your Runway Walk)

Getting In Shape

When it comes to gym workouts, if you were once in shape and want to get back into shape or have been working out but haven’t been in the gym in a while, get back in there! (Read: The Best Workout Moves to Build a Pageant Body)

You know the phrase, you can’t forget how to ride a bike? It’s true. Believe it or not, your muscles have retained the information they formed when you were working out and getting leaner and stronger, meaning that this time around they can do it again and faster.

It takes 3-6 months to lose your muscles size, but they regain it back faster once you get back into the routine again.

Think about it. If you were once able to throw some wicked back flip and you randomly try it, you’ll probably face plant on the first try. But after a few practice rounds, you’ll nail it. Why? Your body remembers.

Choosing a Platform

Maybe you’re planning to compete in a new pageant system and need a platform. Maybe you’re no longer passionate about your old platform and are seeking a new one. (Read: A Graceful Platform Change)

Getting involved in something you are passionate about is a great New Year’s Resolution.

“Stay away from ‘should’ platforms that have typically scored well in the past and do something outside the box if that is what makes you come alive,” Beckman said.

Be More Passionate/Involved

For some pageant girls, the struggle is simply finding what it is that they are passionate about. For others, it is being passionate about something but fearing how it will be seen in the eyes of the judges and the public.

“Secondly, give yourself permission to daydream bolder than you’ve ever dared,” Beckman said. “We will never accidentally end up achieving something amazing that we didn’t envision first.”

I recently watched an interview with Nastia Liukin, 2008 Olympic All-Around Women’s Gymnastics Gold Medalist. Everyone was expecting Shaun Johnson to bring home the gold. Nastia has suffered injuries in the months leading up to the Olympics and she was 18, which is relatively over-the-hill in elite gymnastics.

But Nastia had a dream the night before the All-Around that she stuck her landings and described it as feeling “real” upon waking up and still being in her room. She went out on the floor and stuck the landing on her vault as she had in her dream. She then continued a spectacular performance through the other events and won, just as she had in her dream.

Nailing Interview

The key in the interview competition is letting the judges get to know you and to not have your guard up. Be genuine, gracious and gratuitous.

“In your interview, nothing will light up your face, and your WOW factor, more than sharing a platform mission that makes you come alive!” Beckman said.

When we really care, it shows with every fiber of our being. When we want something to be successful, even if that means we sacrifice a bit of ourselves to make that happen, it’s evident in our voices.

If there is some skeleton in your closet you are fearing will come to light, you need to take care of it and come to peace with it. Make a plan on how you would address it should it come to light and discuss it with the directors so they can be prepared, too.

Clean up your social media accounts as those can often haunt contestants in today’s society and yes, judges do look. (Read: Social Media Etiquette Guide For Titleholders)

Live your life as if you already have the crown. A contestant who is passionate and able to speak freely without fear is one unstoppable force.

Scheduling and Planning

“A dream written down with a date becomes a goal,” said Laura Clark, director of Miss Earth United States and International Ms. “A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan. A plan backed by action makes your dreams come true. Set attainable monthly, weekly and daily goals to prepare for your pageant.”

Time manaement is a key factor in pageant success. We plan gym time, meal prep time, beauty appointments, spray tanning, appearances, fundraising, platform work, careers, internships, homework, school, try to get 8 hours of sleep, and there are only 24 hours in a day and 365 days in which to do it all. (Read: How to Balance It All and Succeed)

No matter what your resolution is: More platform engagement, two appearances a month minimum, running a half-marathon before your pageant, eating healthier or cutting back on some not so healthy habits, or getting 8 hours of sleep a night; you have to be committeed to making it work in an already packed schedule.

It certainly is possible. But, you have to plan, make a schedule, and own your resolution.

“For example, if your goal is to fundraise all of your pageant expenses, set aside one evening a week to directly contact people and businesses who might support you,” explained Clark. “At the same time, record how you can save through sacrificing things you don’t need, like your daily Starbucks run or borrowing an interview dress rather than buying one.”

Making It Work

There are so many components to pageantry that it can be overwhelming, so the key is to set attainable goals with a plan on how to accomplish them.

“You can create goals and a plan for every part of your pageant prep, such as becoming more comfortable with your swimwear poses, getting in your best shape or tackling interview questions,” said Clark.

One of the biggest mistakes people make when setting and giving up on resolutions is that they expect instant results. But that’s not the way it works. A knowledgeable trainer and a coach can give you the tools to progress toward your resolutions throughout the year and ultimately accomplish them.

Going Forward

To find a trainer, pageant, coach, or even a retailer who could help you accomplish your resolutions this year, visit our directory.

We would love to hear how you’re doing on your resolutions.

Good luck!

Which dress do you like better?

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