Resolutions Or Dreams And Goals?

By Dennis Lawson
Published on Feb 15th, 2010

Here it is mid-February. It's usually around St. Valentine's Day or Mardi Gras that our New Year's Resolutions fall by the wayside. Resolutions are when we determine to accomplish something, but goals are dreams with a time schedule. It is our dreams that bring out the best in us. Your dream is a personal vision of who, what, when, or where you want to be. To achieve your dream, properly set your personal goals. Goals must be clear and easily perceived if they're ever to be accomplished. As Denis Waitley, Ph.D. says, "Goals should be just out of reach, but not out of sight." The Master Key to Mental Fitness is Concentration. To achieve any goal you must: FOCUS --- To concentrate the body, mind, and breath. A more detailed definition as it applies to Martial Arts is: FOCUS --- Is the result of the entire body working as a unit at the very instant the target is struck. The concentration of mind (knowledge), breath, strength, and method of execution must unite as one, in conjunction with; body momentum, gravitational marriage, torque, timing, speed, penetration, and other Principles of Motion. It must be remembered that it is not just the concentration of weapon meeting target, but the entire body meeting the target as one unit that fully defines FOCUS.

Before you can focus on any goal, you must decide precisely what you want to accomplish. You can increase your chances of success if you write your goals down. Jim Rohn looked at this the opposite way. He viewed this idea as "If I don't write my goals down, I'll have only a 1 in 100 chance of succeeding!" Depending on your dominant and secondary learning modalities, you may want to dance your goal, paint it, sing it, or make a "dream" collage. Whatever method you prefer to "lock in" your image of "dream success", do it! Then, write it down, visualize it while relaxing and breathing deeply. Having a group of friends or colleagues who understand and support your dream process or share your goal is an invaluable aid to getting your goals accomplished. Share your dream with supportive associates. Don't share dreams with "dream killers" --- those naysayers who seem happiest when they're telling you what can't be done.

Set yourself a time frame for accomplishing you goal. One of Steven Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is to begin with the end (your goal or dream) in mind --- then you work backward. You might consider using this idea. From there it's easy to develop a "To Do" list which establishes a step-by-step process to achieve your goals in the estimated time frame. A well organized plan will allow you to do something everyday that will move you closer to your goal. A written goal will help you concentrate your mind (focus) on your goal when the sometimes urgent demands of life try to distract you from what you dream of accomplishing. So, now you may have eight or ten goals running around in your mind and you're wondering, "How can I accomplish all of this?" First, cut it down! Remember that your mind can only concentrate on one currently dominant thought at any time. Limit your goal setting to one to three goals that you determined are the most important to you. Then, divide each your goals into action steps. Make your goals SMART. SMART is an acronym for: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Sensitive. Finally, watch the way that you talk to yourself. The voice in your head can be a powerful ally or another naysayer, it's up to you. Your self-talk must consistently support your progress toward your goal. Phrases like, "I'm moving in the right direction. I'm doing well. I'm succeeding." should be a mental reference to reinforce your direction. When you stumble say, "That's not how I work. I do better that that! I'll improve on that next time." This self-talk will to keep you inspired. A martial artist develops the ability to concentrate and focus through training and personal discipline. To set goals and achieve them; take your training out of the dojo and make it part of your way of life. True artists live their dreams!

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

Are you a martial artist and have advice or experiences you want to share? If so, contact our editorial team about becoming an author. Be part of our community, contribute an article.