If you’re looking to make the most of your martial arts practice, take some time to think about what it is you want to achieve. One way to narrow your focus and increase your chances for success is through goal-setting.
Putting aside some time to set SMART goals for martial arts will help you with creating goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based.
Be as specific as you can about the goal you want to achieve. For example, you might want to work toward your next belt promotion. To make this goal specific, you could set a goal like, “Earn my blue belt by ________.” And outline the specific things you will need to do to get your blue belt. Or if you’re working toward getting more fit through martial arts, a specific goal could be “I want to lose 10 pounds by _______.”
Without a way to measure the progress of your goal, you will never be able to gauge how you are doing. Starting with a specific goal will usually help you figure out a good way to measure your progress.
Your goals should challenge you, but you don’t want your goal to be impossible. If you set a goal and after a few weeks realize that you might’ve set the bar a little bit too high, then adjust your goal accordingly. It’s better to adjust than to give up and abandon your goal altogether. To get some idea of what’s achievable for you, take some time to think about the things you’ve been successful at in the past. Use your history of success to set the bar for your future goal.
Ask yourself if your goal fits in with your overall martial arts journey, as well as your lifestyle. Examples of relevant martial arts goals center around physical fitness, self-defense, or adding more self-discipline to your lifestyle.
Give yourself a deadline for your goal, as well as smaller check-in points. If your goal is one that will take a year or more to complete, then you should also set deadlines for short-term objectives. These mini-deadlines go a long way in keeping you motivated to achieve a long-term goal.