New Years Resolutions….In September

goal setting
A few weeks ago, I posted the following on my Facebook wall and got quite a few interesting questions through Facebook, Twitter and texting:

“After training a lot of people, watching other trainers, and just observing people in the gym I can say that the 3 things holding people back from getting better results are: clear attainable goals, nutrition and intensity. Sometimes when I watch people train, I have no idea what the hell they are working on; what their goals are. Secondly, you can work out all you want, but unless you clean up your diet, you will get nowhere. Most people lose the battle in the kitchen. And finally you need to train with intensity. Now I understand that you can’t train hard EVERY day and yes safety is always a concern. However when you come to lift weights, lift with intensity. When you hit the pads, try to punch through, not at them. Now there are definitely more things I can add to this list (getting the proper rest is one of them) but these are my top 3. Do these 3 things: set clear attainable goals, fix your nutrition and train with some kind of intensity, and for sure you will get ahead. I think I will write a post on this in the Kombat Blog and set up a nutrition workshop with Gaetan Boutin”

So I decided to write a post for each of these areas, starting with Goal Setting.  My objective is to just give some tips and hopefully stimulate some thought and action.

We are already 9 months into the 2013 year. If you are the type of person that makes goals at New Years time, take a moment and reflect on those goals. Have you achieved them, or are you even on the right path to achieving them? Maybe you need some help getting back on track. Hopefully you will find some good points in this post.

For me, goal setting is the most important step. It can be a small goal like improving your kick, or a pretty large one like competing in an amateur bout.

No matter the goal, I feel that it is very important to write it down, and from there start making some kind of plan to reach your goal.  There is a lot of great information out there about goal setting.  I would recommend doing your own research to see what method of goal setting works for you. But if you are stuck, check out this explanation about S.M.A.R.T Goal setting. It is a pretty good place to start:

SMART Goal Setting

Anthony Robbins also has a great 12 step from his book, Unlimited Power : The New Science Of Personal Achievement

The most important points I want to share with you on goal setting are these:

Do You Really Want It?

It is always a good idea to collect as much information as possible before starting on a goal.  However you can collect all the information you want, but you have to start.  I have seen people come to me with all of the information and science about their goal, but they still dont make that jump.  They are still thinking about it.

An example of this is the friend that says they want to come to your gym and train….but they are waiting to get in shape first. How does that work?!

Or, about 5 years ago this person walked into the gym, wanting to try Jeet Kune Do.  He was a Bruce Lee fan and can tell me EVERYTHING about Bruce Lee.  He didn’t try a class, even though he was so enthusiastic about training in JKD. I recently ran into him, and he STILL hasn’t picked up JKD, even though this is a goal of his.  He did however sit me down and started to tell me EVERYTHING about Sigung Bruce Lee.

When you have completed collecting all of this information, do you still have the DESIRE to complete your goal.  Do you do really want it?  If you find that you still have the DESIRE, then you have to start.  Having a hard time starting? Take a look at the next point.

Chop It Up

Now your goals can be big.  But my advice is to chop up that big goal into smaller ones.  This way it is more manageable, and easier to map out and you will have a lot of success accomplishing smaller goals, to eventually get your bigger goal.  So here is an example.

I am slowly getting back into Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with a Gi.  I love grappling without a Gi, so this will be a challenge for me.  By next year this time I expect to have particular rank in mind for myself.

Knowing the task I have ahead for me, I started to break it down like this:

For 1 month I concentrated on my “footwork” on the ground, working on bridging, rolling, shrimping etc.  I spent some time working on my core and some grip work using the Origin OrangaHang.

Then I spoke with Amir Yafawi, the Kombat Arts Brazilian Jiu Jitsu coach, explaining my goals, my injuries and how I would like to proceed.  Then for 1 month I committed to 1 private lesson per week.  That’s it.  Just one lesson. Easy and very manageable for me. No stress.

Once I completed that goal, I now moved to 2 private lessons per week.  This is this month’s goal.  My next goal is to look fora reliable training partner, that wants to train hard, without getting injured.  Once I manage to accomplish this month’s goal, I will move onto the next step.

Small manageable goals are the way to go.  Easy to accomplish, insuring a very high success rate, easy to map out and visualize and also easy to evaluate in case I need to make changes.  Chop up your large goal into smaller ones.

If you need more help on this, check out these books that I have read:

Just Start: Take Action, Embrace Uncertainty, Create the Future

The 50th Law

Self Manifested Obstacles

There will be many challenges in the way of your goals.  Most of them manifested by yourself.  To counter this, you need to develop a particular mind set.

Be prepared. Check out this military saying: Piss Poor Planning Promotes Piss Poor Performance.  If I am doing BJJ next day, I make sure that my Gi is washed and hanging (yes I hang my Gi on a hanger) right by my door, ready for me when I leave.  I do the same if it is legs day; I make sure my weight lifting shoes are there ready.  No excuses, no self inflicted obstacles.

Have a Plan B. Things don’t always work out.  So for me if I can not somehow make my private lesson with Amir, I already have a series of steps to make up for it:

1) Immediately re-book the lesson, or

2) Find a training partner and drill, drill, drill…or

3) Go through a series of solo drills involving wrestling and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu moves and the Origin OrangaHang

Let’s suppose nutrition is a goal you have, and you happen to forget your lunch at home.  I tell my clients to have a Plan B.  Know where to go buy healthy food in their immediate area.  This way they have a go-to move.  They don’t compromise their goals by being lured to a fast food restaurant by their co-workers, because they forgot their lunch.

Don’t Be Fickle. Once you have a plan, be consistent.  If you have a trainer, trust him or her and do the work.  Don’t all of a sudden switch training protocols or change your diet because of something you saw on YouTube or heard on the radio.  If you have concerns, speak with your coach about them.  Goals are achieved by grinding away at them.  Not jumping from one fad to another.  Of course you should always evaluate your progress, but don’t do a complete 180, unless there is overwhelming evidence that your current path will not lead you to your goals.

There you have it.  Some points on goal setting that will definitely help you.  

Write down your goal and have a focused definitive plan.  Make sure you really have the desire.  Chop up that goal into smaller goals.  There will always be obstacles. Some of them manifested by yourself.

Obstacles are what you see when you take your eyes off your goals – Vince Lombardi

In the next few weeks I will add some points here on nutrition that have helped me, especially because of my busy schedule

Kru Joey de Los Reyes

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