My stories as I remember them during my journey in the Martial Arts

Friday, January 1, 2010

A New Year New Goals... Lets write them down and get to it!

A new year is here and it is a time for reflection. Many people choose this time to set new goals. Some will stick to their goals others will fall by the wayside. I have never really been one to set New Years resolutions but this year I decided to take this time to renew some goals I have set on the “back burner” for a while. One of them was this blog. I will make a commitment to set something down here once a week, at the very least.

Goals are something we all need not only in our Martial Arts training but in our daily lives. Life is often times difficult to navigate and to get through good times and bad we need to be the “driver” behind the wheel of our own life. Actively choose not to be the passenger that is just along for the ride, get behind the wheel and direct your life and keep it on the road of your choosing. Keep your internal talk positive, and when things seem to be against you, remember nothing worth achieving is going to be easy. There will always be days that you may not perform your best, or keep on track. We all have times when we can get out of focus. They key to overcoming the “dips” and “valleys” that are a natural part of the journey of life and the Martial Arts, is to just pick up where you left off. Do not dwell on a failure as negative or of lack of motivation on one day as failure. View failure as a learning experience and incorporate that into life and training. One day off is just that one day. Success or failure is not treading on the action you take on one day but on the action you take over time. The most successful people have often times failed to succeed a number of times. The reason they eventually made their goals happen is: they never gave up. They took what they had learned from their experience and moved forward from that moment, that place and that time. Soichiro Honda, the founder of Honda Motor Company, failed many times on his way to success and his quote “Success is 99% failure” points to the direction of real success. Be prepared to fail in order to succeed. Do not fear failure, embrace it. Failure will give you strength as long as it is embraced and dissected into a self teaching experience. Don’t ask “Why did this happen to me”. Ask, “What choice will put me back on track now”. When you miss one day of training, one run, one work out, just come back to it the next day. Do not let one day’s lack of motivation derail your goal. Write down your short term goals and when that day comes, and it will, that you lack motivation go over what you have written down, reenergize yourself with the excitement you had at the moment you wrote down those goals and the feelings you had when you originally went through that process.

We all want to reach our goals, but wanting it and making it happen sometimes get separated. The way to keep the want and the reality together is to break the large goal into a series of small goals and set tangible time frames for those small goals. Each small goal is a step on the stairway leading to our final long term goal. As each small goal is achieved celebrate and reward your achievement and then get to work on that next small goal. Make the goals specific too. A goal that is not well defined becomes unwieldy and easy to abandon. Make sure these goals are realistic too. A goal to loose 30 pounds in one week is good example of an unrealistic goal. It is not only unhealthy but is not practical either. That is why self analysis of your goals is very important. Review your goal well and determine the reasons achieving that goal will be of benefit to you.

Many of us know how important goals are and if you have been in the Martial Arts you are well aware of goals and how to reach them since you walked that path from belt to belt. Even if you have been in a program that did not emphasize goal setting you obviously set them even if it was not a conscious effort. It is always effective to remind ourselves of how important goal setting is. That is part of the reason I put this all down was to remind myself of this. Keep on your journey move forward and never give up. Write down your goals. Review what you have written and keep setting new goals. I will see you all in 2010 and I hope we all achieve the goals many of us are setting right now. My quest this year will be the achievement of my Third Degree Black Belt. My plan is to reach this by the third quarter of 2010. (The Final date is to be determined by my Sensei, Instructor and friend Rick Iannuzzo.) I will document much of my journey here. I will see you on the path and on the Journey in the Martial arts.

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