Goals For 2016

By Dennis Lawson
Published on Dec 13th, 2015

The holidays are here! As we consider which gift to buy for that special someone, or whether we really need that SMART TV, many of us begin to focus on what we’d like to accomplish in the New Year. Perhaps it’s the next belt rank, training more often, or dropping that extra 10 lbs. that interests you.  Whatever your goal for 2016, here are some suggestions that will help you make those goals your new reality. Some motivational quotes are included to help when enthusiasm falters. 

First, always make sure your objectives are SMART. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Sensitive. For more on setting SMART goals see Lela Simon’s article – Do You Have Smart Goals at our webpage .

If you don’t know where you’re going you might not get there” – Yogi Berra - baseball player/coach

Keep a Positive Mental Attitude – As you move toward any goal, you’ll stumble along the way. Expect it. Pick yourself up, embrace and learn from failure. Few babies ever learn to walk without falling down.

A ship in a harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are made for.” – John Augustus Shedd - American author

Stay focused on the outcome you desire – All your efforts should move you toward your objective. Keep your primary goal in mind. Make a daily practice of writing down your goal in the present tense, as if, you’ve already achieved it.

Stay alert to your personal habits. Do these well-established patterns of behavior help or hinder you on your way to your goal? Make good choices regarding what you take into your body (high quality foods, few simple sugars and carbohydrates, watch your alcohol consumption, etc.). Just as important, be aware of the messages your take into your mind (positive self-talk, be aware of your “inner critic”, and be willing to ask those hard questions of yourself like, “Will watching that football game do anything for my exercise routine?”

Accept the credit and the blame for any results. With effort and desire, you can change unwanted habits and create new ones. You are the only one in charge of your outcome. 

As Thomas Jefferson, our 3rd president said, “I’m a great believer in luck. The harder I work the more I have of it!”

Train Hard! Whatever your goal – push it. Shove past your perceived limits regularly. Whatever worthwhile goal you set for yourself will take effort to achieve. Your comfort zone is like a thermostat. It keeps you where you currently are. To get to where you’d like to be, you’ll need to turn “the thermostat” up or turn it down. Change can be uncomfortable; become comfortable with your discomfort, embrace change!

Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail better.” – Samuel Beckett - Irish playwright

Let go of perfectionism. It’s just another excuse to stay in your comfort zone! Perfect is an illusion. “Practice doesn’t make perfect. But, practice does make permanent!” says Denis Waitley, PhD – author and speaker. None of us is perfect. Get on with it. Seek progress, not perfection. 

Refinement, too much time and often, too little progress.” Ed Parker senior Grandmaster of the Art of Kenpo

Create a process for your goal achievement. It’s great to “Begin with the end in mind” as the author of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey says. However, you’ll never achieve your objective until you create and execute some action steps to get there. My client, the football watcher (see above) wanted to lose weight. I suggested that he begin his exercise program with “baby steps”. During commercial breaks in the game, do nothing more than get off the sofa and move around. Just exercise a bit (jogging in place, pushups, perhaps, simple repetition of a form or set, etc.). It’s easy to find an excuse for missing your 6 AM gym workout. What’s your excuse for not getting up off the sofa?

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” Lao Tzu - Taoist sage

Finally, avoid the naysayers! Surround yourself with other goal directed people who will support your desire to change. Likewise, support their goals. It’s hard to remain stuck in your comfort zone when everyone around you is digging out of theirs!

Good Luck and Have a great 2016!

Filed under Philosophy and Opinion

Author Bio :: Dennis Lawson

Dennis Lawson has trained for 4 decades in Ed Parker's Kenpo. During his varied career, Mr. Lawson has been an IKKA Regional Director for Region #3, has acted as Master of Ceremonies for the International Karate Championships, and has published numerous articles in publications for the International Kenpo Karate Association, The Martial Arts Learning Community (TheMALC), and Kenpo 2000.

Mr. Lawson has had the opportunity to study other Martial Arts and holds advanced rank in Aikido and Takemusu Aiki Budo. Dennis taught, competed in, and promoted events in the New Orleans area for 20 years. Among his list of favorite achievements is choreographing and performing Kenpo for the Dance Council of New Orleans. His academic background in psychology and love of music allow Dennis to offer a unique and entertaining approach to tailoring "the Art" to the individual. Dennis has taught seminars in Ireland, Jersey Channel Islands, The Netherlands, Portugal, and throughout the United States.

Dennis holds a Sixth Degree Black Belt in Ed Parker's Kenpo and was awarded the title “Professor” under the auspices of The Martial Arts Learning Community (TheMALC). Mr. Lawson was inducted into the International Black Belt Hall of Fame as Master Instructor of the Year for 2006.

Other Articles by Dennis Lawson

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