A New Year is upon us and soon a new year on the Chinese calendar will also be upon us too so this is a natural time to take stock and think about what you would like to achieve in 2019 or in the Year of the Pig. For many people, learning a martial art will be on the New Year’s Resolution list and that is an admirable goal indeed.

Goal setting is a worthwhile endeavor but it is important to set the right kinds of goals. The biggest mistake people make is setting goals that are indistinguishable from a wish list. Goals such as “I want to be fluent in Spanish” or “I want to pass a violin exam” or “I want to go up three ranks” or “I want to get a black belt” or “I want to learn a martial art” are examples of this. They might be worthy goals but just setting them as goals will not help you achieve them in any way. Setting such goals is setting yourself up to fail. If you want to succeed, however, the trick is to set the right kind of goals.

Goals should be set around things that will lead to results rather than being the results itself.  For example, if you set – and meet – the goal of practicing the violin for one hour five days week you will be well placed to pass that violin exam.

And so it is with learning a martial art. Do not aim to go up in rank in every three months and to earn a black belt in three years. Set goals such as training at least once or twice a week – something specific and tangible that you have control over. If you then met your goals of training, say, twice week you will have gone a long way towards going up three ranks or getting that black belt.

So if your goal is to learn a martial art, start now, set the right kinds of goals and you will learn faster than you ever imagined. Then 2019 really will have been a memorable year for you. What are you waiting for?

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