With the consistent demands in today’s world leaving many of us overwhelmed and exhausted, stress has become an unwelcome companion and a constant presence that can leave us feeling completely void of all energy and motivation. The demands of work, family, and daily responsibilities can take a toll on our mental and physical well-being, leaving us yearning for a sense of serenity amidst the chaos.
But what if I told you there’s a pathway to stress release that doesn’t involve escaping to a remote mountain retreat or booking an exotic vacation? Would you believe that you could find relief right here, amid your everyday life?
It’s important to recognize that martial arts are more than just a physical discipline; they are a comprehensive tool that has been helping individuals rediscover their inner calm, regain control over their lives, and effectively combat stress.
While we become overwhelmed with the daily grind, martial arts can teach us how to set goals and work towards them with discipline. Through prioritization and the inherent accountability that comes with training in martial arts, one can learn how to regain the loss of control that causes them so much stress.
By learning how to organize our tasks and responsibilities through goal setting and developing a sense of discipline that funnels into your personal life, you will notice that reducing stressors becomes easier over time.
The Art of Goal Setting and Discipline
Martial arts by nature are encompassed by setting goals. As you progress through the curriculum, it is second nature to desire your next achievement (belt rank or proficiency in technique). Those goals are set out for you when you train and are easily trackable in our user-friendly online dashboard.
As you increase your skill level and aptitude, it will take discipline to adhere to the expectations that come with advancing within martial arts. At intermediate and advanced levels, more precise execution and attention to detail are vital pieces of the art of combining discipline with achieving your goals.
So, how do you bring the art of goal setting with discipline in martial arts into your personal life?
Well, setting a goal(s) provides a clear, pre-planned pathway to achieving something – it allows the individual to track their progress by holding themselves accountable and adhering to that same discipline. It is easy to become overwhelmed when we don’t take the time to outline our priorities, so setting specific goals can reduce your stress significantly.
One of the most comprehensive and easily understood tools of goal setting is to set S.M.A.R.T. goals. S.M.A.R.T. goals allow you to break down the goal setting into smaller, more manageable pieces that are geared towards a critical thought process.
SMART Goals are…
When setting a goal, be specific about what you want to accomplish. Avoid vague or general goals.
Ask yourself: What exactly do I want to achieve? Why is it important? Who is involved? Where will it take place?
Example: Instead of a vague goal like “Get better at martial arts,” a specific goal would be “Improve my roundhouse kick technique to enhance my sparring performance.” Utilize your online dashboard to pinpoint what you need to work on and what is coming up next in your individual training routine.
Goals should be measurable to track your progress and determine when you’ve achieved them.
Ask yourself: How will I measure my progress? What are the criteria for success?
Example: In the goal to improve roundhouse kicks, you might measure progress by the number of successful kicks executed during your home practice sessions. Because we have integrated the concept of video modeling within our program, this is easy to measure – your personal video challenges will be available for your review 24/7 online so you can self-assess and work on perfecting your technique.
Ensure that your goal is realistic and attainable. It should stretch you but remain within the realm of possibility.
Ask yourself: Is this goal achievable with the resources and time available to me?
Example: Setting a goal to become a black belt within a month is not achievable, as it typically takes years of consistent training. However, setting a goal to attain your NEXT belt in a specific amount of time is much more achievable and will not put you at risk of discouragement. All our training content is geared towards purposeful learning – you begin with the basics and build upon those fundamentals as your skill level increases. With this design, you will only progress when you’re ready and when your next goal is achievable.
Your goal should be aligned with your overall objectives and aspirations.
Ask yourself: Does this goal make sense in the context of my martial arts journey and my personal growth?
Example: If your goal is to become a skilled martial artist, improving your roundhouse kicks is relevant to your progress. Because martial artists truly never “finish” learning, it is always possible to exchange your goals for different areas that you wish to work on once you complete one. If you achieve precise roundhouse kicks, consider working on perfecting a strike next.
Set a clear timeframe for when you intend to achieve your goal. This adds urgency and helps you stay on track.
Ask yourself: When do I want to achieve this goal? What is the deadline?
Example: “I aim to improve my roundhouse kick technique within three months.” This provides accountability and sweeps back around to the concept of being measurable. To stay on track, keep your goals prioritized, and reduce stress, it’s imperative to remain accountable. Within your online dashboard, it will be easy to keep abreast of your achievements and your upcoming challenges.
By applying the S.M.A.R.T. framework to your martial arts goals, you transform them from vague intentions into well-defined, actionable objectives. This clarity not only helps you stay motivated but also allows you to track your progress and adjust your strategies as needed. Whether you’re aiming to improve a specific technique, advance in rank, or achieve any other goal, using the S.M.A.R.T. criteria will greatly enhance your chances of success. It’s a powerful tool for harnessing the discipline and goal-setting skills that martial arts can instill, ultimately contributing to your stress reduction and overall personal development.
By embracing Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound objectives, we give ourselves a clear roadmap for growth. In the context of martial arts, these goals become the steppingstones to mastering techniques, advancing in rank, and ultimately becoming the martial artist we aspire to be. Yet, the benefits of S.M.A.R.T. goals extend far beyond the dojo; they provide a framework for achieving success and finding balance in all aspects of our lives.
Through rigorous training and unwavering commitment, we not only refine our physical skills but also nurture the discipline required to set and achieve our goals. This discipline extends beyond martial arts, enabling us to navigate life’s challenges with resilience and determination.
Remember that the benefits of martial arts are not confined to the dojo; they funnel into our daily lives. By setting S.M.A.R.T. goals and integrating discipline, we gain the tools to reduce stress, find balance, and ultimately achieve the serenity we all seek.