This year, “Be Proactive, Not Reactive” is one of my favorite mottos, and I apply it to every facet of my life.

I use it for handling situations, discussing issues, motivating my students, and setting and accomplishing personal goals.

The power of the saying lies in resolving a problem or conflict before it is an issue.

For example, if a student does not work to his/her fullest ability and is disappointed with performance results, they may blame other, external factors (the dance, the stage, the time of the performance, the costume, etc.). This is being reactive. The proactive student will request goals and commit to home practice strategies months prior to the performance. The proactive student will be pleased with his/her performance because he/she committed to being as successful as possible in advance.

In every situation you handle, consider this question and pose it to your students and parents. It can be applied to almost everything and will (usually) provoke some solid insight and shift the focus to the root of the problem.

For more conversation on being proactive versus reactive, check out the following:

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Habit 1: Be Proactive by Stephen Covey

Are You Proactive or Reactive? by Judy Belmont

Be Proactive, Not Reactive- Or Should We? by John Harrington