Why Black Belts Set Goals
“Breaking the surly bonds of earth” with jump sidekicks. They make it look easy.

This month we’ve been talking goals and their importance to growth in the martial arts, as well as in life, school, work and family. (Check out the January Ripple Effect Karate Times for more depth on the subject).

Goals. Why are they so important? 

I wanted to be a white belt before I wanted to be a Black Belt. I just wanted to get started, get out on the floor, into the action. I wanted to learn technique. I wanted to train with my daughter. I wanted to spar. But I hadn’t found a way to find the time to even don a uniform. Yet.

But one day, I kept saying. One day.

How often do we say this to ourselves? How often does that magical day actually come?

My daughter had been training for a year and a half at Ripple Effect when I decided: I’m getting myself out there. I’m gonna start too. And I put a plan in place to make it happen versus just hoping things would work out and allow it to happen.

I talked to my wife, we figured out a way to get both the kid to her (upper-belt) karate classes and me to mine. The fact that she could SWAT my lower-belt classes helped keep it manageable.

You’ve probably heard the goal-setting acronym SMART.

My goal was specific (enroll in karate, take that first class). It was measurable (I’m either out there or I’m not). It was achievable (I’m can memorize my creed, learn six punches and kicks and show them off in front of class to earn a white belt).

New belt, new goal.

It was realistic (I’m not trying to do jumping 540 spin hook kicks right off the bat). And it was time-sensitive (I’ve gotta start this summer, or I’m gonna keep putting it off).

I’ll admit this process was very new to me. But it felt good, decisive, like a real accomplishment. There’s probably a Latin phrase for it, like carpe diem. This was carpe karate.

Goals get things rolling. They’re a pull, committing you to make things happen.

Don’t forget to share! See you next week!

P.S.: Check out these Ripple Effect goal-setters.

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