Setting goals and achieving them is a basic element of martial arts training. Sure, kicking and punching are standouts but at its core, martial arts and the representation of the “black belt” stand for EXCELLENCE. The “black belt” reference has been adopted and referred to represent excellence in everything from approaches to primary education to lean manufacturing expertise in business and sundry references in between.
Approximately 50% of the population makes resolutions to improve their lives each New Year. It is a timely approach to turning a new page in your life. Most of the time, the first couple of weeks go fairly well. However, by the time February arrives, most of those well-meaning folks who sought to improve their lives are back where they started.
Weight loss, exercise, fitness, stopping smoking, better money management, and debt reduction are among the most desired self-help improvements. All are great initiatives but in the reinvention of one’s self, failure or inability to change habits significantly contribute to the high failure rate for New Year Resolutions. Unrealistic goals and expectations often contribute to that failure as well. While set to motivate, these resolves are better defined as false hopes that can lead to poor self esteem and depression.
Changes in behaviors that require immediate or drastic changes are difficult and represent the basic reason for failure. That is, unless you can change your thinking and approach to your daily habits; you have to change your thinking and "rewire" your brain.
So, if you made New Year's resolutions, here's some tips to help you make them work:
- Focus on one resolution, rather than on several.
- Set realistic, specific goals. “I will lose ten pounds in 30 days” is a more focused and specific target that is more likely to be achieved than just planning to lose weight.
- Make small steps toward the goal and celebrate success along the way.
- Assess your progress and adjust your targets as you go. Too big of a goal is the most likely reason to give up on it.
- Make self-improvement a habit. By focusing on efforts that will benefit you regularly, you develop a way of thinking that is more likely to deliver results.
- Set your target and share it with a trusted friend who will help you to be accountable. It is easier to do things with a buddy than to go it alone.
- Think in the present. “What can I do now to reach my goal?” EXAMPLE: If you are trying to lose weight, skip the sugar – remind yourself that indulgence now is more work later.
- Be aware of what will make you happy – now and later.
- Remember, you set your goal for a reason. It is achievable.
- Don't let a momentary slip hold you back from achieving your goal. Reset and get back on target.
SMART goals are Specific; Measurable; Achievable; Realistic; and Timely.
At Makowski’s Martial Arts we are available to assist you to reach your goals. Our highly skilled and knowledgeable instructors are committed to providing our students with training and motivation to deliver excellence. The results are obvious; physical and mental skills that challenge and deliver the goals that you seek to achieve.