Have You Accounted For Your Goals?
on MAR. / 23 / 2011 | 0 comments
By Jeremy M. Talbott
It seems that while summertime is a slow time for most schools, here at Sharkey's Karate we seem to be constantly bombarded with events. This year is no different. From July 17-August 17 one of our school's biggest projects will once again be our Annual 30-Day Boot Camp. Each year we have kids, and some adults, traveling in from all over the U.S., Canada and Europe to train for 30 days at a live-in camp with world champion instructors in sport martial arts and extreme martial arts, as well as top notch instructors in traditional Karate, Kung Fu, Wushu, Kenjutsu and TKD.
With their training regimen usually running between 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. every day, I was once asked what kind of crazy kids would such a thing. I was quick to point out they are the same crazy kids that can be seen winning top awards on whichever circuit they compete. So is it the continuous daily routine of punching and kicking that helps them achieve such awards? Well, to a point, yes it is. However, there are two things that are instilled in these campers during their training time, which seem often to be lost in the daily routine of life; goal setting and work ethic.
Now goal setting and work ethic are not some unique epiphany found solely in the martial arts. They have been around for centuries in the work force and at home, but at the same time are rarely seen in either. Sure we may get motivated on the first of January and put down those resolutions to get fit and those goals to achieve better financial situations, but come the first of March, are you still keeping track? The same goes for the martial arts. You know that in order to get a form down, you need to practice the motions consistently and correctly every day, if only for a few minutes. But do you choose to run that form at home for five minutes or do you switch on Oprah instead?
At the very beginning of the camp, the campers are given a three-ring binder notebook. They must fill the inside with what they hope to achieve by attending the camp. They list their individual goals in order of importance, as well as group goals. There are also log sheets to keep track of what they did for the day to help them reach that goal. Each day this journal is reviewed and each day the campers are held accountable for their progress. Instilling this fundamental practice not only betters their martial art training, but helps them achieve success in other areas of their life as well.
Martial arts teach you a work ethic from your very first class. In order to achieve your next belt you have to undergo countless repetitions of kicks, punches and blocks. Regardless of what your goals are in martial arts, or in life, you know as well as I that if you want to move upward you have to do the work. We also know that the temptations to lead you astray from those goals are plenty.
So take a tip from these crazy kids. Grab a notebook and write out the goals you wish to achieve. Set down a reasonable timeline and the steps you need to take in order to achieve the overall goal. At the end of the day revisit the notebook and write exactly what you did to further yourself in your goal. You will find, in time, that the one person you to which you are truly accountable is the one person who will not accept excuses for your lack of progress—You.