How to Create SMART Goals in Jiu Jitsu and Life
Creating Smart Goals:
We’re excited to be back in 2015 and hitting the ground running. With the New Year always comes new resolutions. Normally, “resolution” gets treated as a dirty word, kind of like “Brussels sprouts” (just kidding, we love Brussels sprouts. Where do you think Coach Robbie gets his muscles from?). Even though resolutions get a bad rep, January is a great time to set goals for the year. We’d like to take a second to talk about how to set smart goals that we can work hard to improve ourselves.
1. Goals should be specific:
Specificity is really important. The more specific we are, the better we are able to plan to achieve our goals. Be specific enough so you know what you have to do to achieve your goals, but general enough that you allow yourself to have some fun while getting there. For instance, saying “I will eat a vegetable with every meal” is a great goal to have. However, saying “I will eat broccoli with every meal” may be a bit too specific, even though there is a clear recipe (pun intended) on how to get there.
2. Goals should be measurable:
Measurement is important for a few reasons. Primarily, if you can’t measure it how will you know when you’ve attained it? Measurable goals are also good for motivation! When you see yourself making progress toward your goal in a tangible way, it gets you excited to continue on. You could say you’d like to eat a cup of vegetables a day, or play outside for 30 minutes every day. Both of these are measurable and specific goals. We know exactly what we have to do to achieve them! Try plotting your progress on a chart, say, the cumulative amount of vegetables you’ve eaten this year and watch your progress grow.
3. Goals should be attainable:
Making sure your goals are attainable will help to keep you positive when times get tough. For a white belt to have the goal to get their black belt this year would not be a good goal. Black belts take years of dedication and hard work to earn. Someone who has had their brown belt for four years, however, can set the goal of working hard to earn their black belt with the hope that their effort is recognized and they are considered ready for the promotion. Remember though, attainable should not be confused with easy. Even if they are attainable, we should have to work hard for the goals we set, otherwise, it would just be something we did everyday anyway.
4. Goals should be relevant.
By relevance we mean that they should be important to you and something that propels your life in a direction you’d like it to go. If you have no intrinsic motivation to achieve (your goals aren’t relevant to you) then you won’t pursue them with the necessary vigor. Admittedly, relevance isn’t normally a problem in goal setting. After all, why set a goal if it’s not relevant to you? With that, let’s move on to the final recommendation of goal setting.
5. Goals should be time bound.
Setting a time limit on our goals gives us structure in which to apply our effort. Even the best goals will feel like hard work sometimes and we may not enjoy it fully. Putting a time limit gives us a light at the end of the tunnel. We know that by the time we decide, we should have met our goal. Even better, is that having a deadline lets us know when we can celebrate!
Don’t forget to celebrate your achievements with family and friends! One of the best parts of reaching your goals is sharing it with the people you love! Remember, these guidelines for goals don’t only have to pertain to martial arts. They are useful in all aspects of your life! We all have goals in school, our jobs, socially, and personally. Try to apply these principles to goals you have in other parts of your life and see how your plans shape up and you achieve them more quickly. You might even have to set some new goals before the year is up!
To start off the year of goal setting, some of your coaches decided to share their goals for the year.
Coach Luke: “My goal this year is to win the Pan American Games and the World Championships at purple belt. I also plan on working hard to earn my brown belt!”
Coach Robbie: “I’d like to be more mindful and present in my training every day. I plan to have at least 5 Muay Thai or MMA fights this year.”
Coach Andrew: “My goal is to win an open division in a tournament at purple belt. I’ll be working on my Thai Boxing 2-3 times a week to try to get my hands ready for an MMA fight!”
Coach Tim: “I’m going to vocalize why/how I appreciate someone 3 times throughout the day.”
Coach Lua: “Woof woof woof … woof woof” (loosely translated) “I plan on sleeping under the kettle bells for at least an hour in total each day and figuring out how to work the doorknob to the office so I can come hang out during class time… I’d also like to hit the omaplata sweep on Yogi.”
Make sure you share your goals with your instructors so we can help you reach them this year!
On January 24th we will have our Kids Bots Competition team at it again! Billy Bentley, Owen Garcia, Patrick Leppanen, Elton Leppannen, and Anthony Oram will be starting off the year right at the NABJJ All Americas Tournament At Cal State Dominguez Hills. These kids have been working very hard and we are very proud that they are pushing themselves past their comfort zone and competing!