When asked when they are coming back to their martial arts or fitness class, many say: “I’m going to try to come in tomorrow.” What I hear is, “I’m not coming.” In the words of Yoda, “Do or do not, there is no try.”
You don’t “try” to get fit. You don’t “try” to get your black belt. Before you set a plan to reach a goal, you have to decide that it will happen – that failure is not an option. By seeing your success as a certainty you’ve already taken the first step towards it.
This takes huge mental commitment. It helps if the goal is very important–even essential to you. The more importance you place on it, the harder you will work to achieve it and the less willing you will be to accept defeat.
Make A Plan
The next step is to make a plan. If your goal is long-term, it’s helpful to set up smaller steps to benchmark progress and keep you focused.
For example, if you want to lose 50 pounds, a short-term goal might be to lose two pounds a week. Once you have set a short-term goal, make a daily action plan. What can you do today–right now–to serve this goal?
Really commit to doing something every day to work towards your goal. After all, if you’re not moving closer to your goal, you’re moving further away. To use the weight loss goal again, you might commit to working out five days a week.
Decide at the beginning of the week which days that will be, or decide to work out the same days every week. Decide what time you will work out every day.
The first thing this plan does is make it easier for you to succeed. You don’t have to think about whether or not you’re going to work out when you wake up in the morning. You already know.
You have a plan. It removes the option of inaction.
The second advantage of this plan is that consistency leads to habits. It only takes 21 days to form a habit. That means if you work out consistently for three weeks, it will become part of your routine. You’ll even start to miss it on days you don’t get to work out. You won’t have to think about “I have to work out to reach my weight loss goal.” Working out will just be part of your day, part of your healthy lifestyle.
Use your short-term goals as a time to do a self-progress check. Martial artists earn many belts before they reach their long-term goal of black belt. They have to know their self-defense and pass a fitness evaluation to earn each belt. These subsequent tests are their progress checks.
Think about your goal and how you can measure what progress you’ve made. A great way to help you stick to your commitment is to tell someone else about your goal and ask them to hold you accountable.
If you can find a friend or family member who shares your goal, you can work together to support, encourage, and help each other overcome obstacles. A healthy sense of competition can be very motivating, too!
What goals are you working towards this fall? Let us know in the comments below!