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What You Need to Accomplish Your Goals

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What You Need to Accomplish Your Goals

So it's the New Year and you're now ready to establish some new martial arts and fitness goals. Unfortunately; most of you will write down your goals on a piece of paper. Put it away in a drawer and might look at it again at the end of 2017. And you probably didn't achieve your goals.  Instead of going through this vicious cycle, I am going to help you develop some new skills that will help you achieve your goals.

First Things First

First of all, if you don't know how to set goals, check out my post from 2013.  After reading and applying some of those strategies, make sure you come back to this post.  This is NEW material that I have been researching that will help you achieve your goals.


WHY is this goal important to you?  As simple as this sounds, most people can not clearly define "why" their goal is important to them.  Trust me, if you don't know "why" you will not have the strength and motivation to start AND sustain your goals.
So here is an example.  I had to gain weight and do a TON of pre-hab exercises before my shoulder surgery.
Why? Because I wanted to be strong to survive the surgery, survive the aftermath, and reduce my lay off time.  Did I enjoy the pre-hab routines and all the eating and supplements? Not all the time.  But I remembered my "why" and that was motivation to stick with my goals.

You Lack the Proper Skills

 “Habit is the intersection of knowledge (what to do), skill (how to do), and desire (want to do).”
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
I always hear this phrase "follow your passion."  Well passion is good, but to be honest, you need skills to back it up and to get ahead.
Imagine that you are passionate about fighting and one day you want to get in the ring and compete.  So you just jump right in and start sparring.  After all, you are pretty passionate about it right?
Without the proper skill, that won't last long.  After one or two beatings, I think your passion is going to be diminished.
Good intention and passion will only carry you so far.  You need to upgrade your game.  You need the most relevant information to reach your goals.  This means getting out of your comfort zone and asking someone who you respect and trust that has "been there and done it".  Learn how to to reach your goals by acquiring the skills from these experts.

Positive Thinking is Just Not Enough

I have been doing a lot of research into this, and would recommend that you check out Professor Gabriele Oetinngen's book, Rethinking Positive Thinking: Inside the New Science of Motivation
 I cannot possibly cover all her extensive research on how positive thinking is DEFINITELY not enough to reach your goals.  In a nut shell, you need to clearly identify the OBSTACLES that you will meet on your way to your goals.
Most people set goals.  But once they encounter a problem, they actually quit.  The reason why? They did not properly think of the obstacles they would face AND how they would deal with it.  They didn't visualize the obstacles in their FANTASY.
So for example let's say that your goal is to lose 10lbs and you have identified that one obstacle is your friends.  Your friends love your company and always beg you to come out for a few beers every Friday.  Now that you know this is a possible obstacle to reaching your goal, you can think of some strategies to deal with it.  Do you avoid going to the bar? Do you suggest another outing? Do you just have one beer? Water? At least now you will have a response to this obstacle and can properly deal with it when it happens.
Positive thinking is great, but you need to add a dose of reality.  What obstacle will you face, and how will you deal with them?
Gabriel also has a great system for setting goals.  The acronym is WOOP.  What does it mean? Google it, and trust me you will find it useful.

You Need to Be Tough

Setting goals AND sticking with them can be a challenge.  More people need this skill: toughness or better yet GRIT.  Check out this video of Linda Kaplan Thaler, the author of Grit to Great: How Perseverance, Passion, and Pluck Take You from Ordinary to Extraordinary.  Here she discusses grit and the toughness you need in life.
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"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." Aristotle

You Need Some New Habits

 We are what we repeatedly do.  Again, it is one thing to have good intentions.  But habits are what control you.  How did you get to work? You don't know...because it's a habit.  If your brain had to remember every step on how to operate a car, what roads to stop at, what does a red light mean, your brain would be overwhelmed.  So our brain forms habits to function for every day tasks.
Charles Duhigg does an excellent job describing habits in his book The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We do in Life and Business.  You can find a summary HERE.
However I feel that you should read the whole book to have a better understanding of habits.
In his book, Charles discusses the habit loop.  It is comprised of cue - routine - reward.  Over time this habit loop becomes automatic, and the cue and reward are intertwined producing...cravings.
So here's an example.  A cue could be getting home.  The routine is turning on the TV. The reward, is your brain turning off, not having to deal with the boss, and all the stresses of work.
How can we possibly change this? Keep the gym bag in the car.  When you finish work you see the gym bag, the cue, and force yourself to go to the gym.  Train, sweat, make friends, and have a fun workout.  The reward? You deal with the stresses of work in a more productive manner. Soon you will crave going to the gym.
So there you have it! Now you know how to set up goals, and I have shared with you cutting edged research in how to be successful at them.  Let's all succeed this year!  KOMBAT is here to help you CRUSH your GOALS for 2017!

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