How Martial Arts has Shaped the Way I View New Years Resolutions
2021 is now here! I think we can all agree that we weren't particularly upset to see 2020 go. With a new year comes new opportunities along with new challenges and of course, the inevitable new years resolutions. Everyone makes them (or at least some version of them) because we all have dreams, goals, and ambitions. Hopefully 2020 didn't stomp those out of you yet. As a martial artist, I can say that this sport has permanently changed the way I view new years resolutions or goals in general.
On a side note: I'm not saying that if one of your resolutions was to get more fit or exercise more, you should try martial arts, but I'm not, not saying it. ;)
The reason doing a sport like martial arts shifts your perspective on resolutions is because from the start of your martial arts journey you have a goal in mind: black belt. Most people don't go into martial arts without at least that in mind. The great thing about martial arts is that within it you have a long term goal, black belt, but you also have mini goals too. There are multiple belts you go through before reaching black belt and of course many different strikes and blocks to learn along the way. Learning how to set up mini goals for yourself is helpful when it comes to accomplishing big goals (which is what people tend to set for new years resolutions). For example: If your new years resolution is to lose 50 lbs, that seems nearly impossible. But if you set mini goals for yourself, say 5 lbs at a time, this seems much more attainable and you are less likely to give up.
What is needed to achieve these new goals you have set for yourself? Regardless of what your goal is I can guarantee that you will need perseverance to complete it. Taekwondo teaches 6 main tenets: courtesy, integrity, PERSEVERANCE, self control, indomitable spirit, and patience. Perseverance is defined as persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. This lifeskill has changed my approach in difficult times. The endurance learned through taekwondo cultivated emotional, mental, and physical strength needed to make accomplishing new years resolutions a little easier.
Consistency is another key in accomplishing goals. Since martial arts classes are on a schedule and you have to take classes to be able to learn and move up in rank, I learned that having a consistent schedule was paramount to achieving goals. This carried over into all aspects of life.
Sometimes it's hard to persevere when you feel like you are all alone. Martial arts taught me that having other people in class that are not only going through the same thing as you are but are also motivating you too, is the best kind of atmosphere to be in. In addition to having likeminded people trying to accomplish the same goal, having a mentor (or, instructor, in the case of martial arts) to help and guide you can be a real game changer.
I know that sometimes you have to set goals and you will not love the journey but the last thing martial arts taught me about new years resolutions, is to do something you love to achieve them if you can. For example: If your goal is to lose weight and you love swimming, incorporate that into your workout regiment. If your goal is to make more money and you love photography, start a photography side business. It's so much easier to achieve your dreams if you are incorporating something you love.
In the spirit of martial arts, set goals and kick them in the face! Happy 2021, everyone!