Perseverance

Hopefully by now you have settled on some key goals, written them down, posted them somewhere you see them daily, and told someone what they are so they can help you stay on track. Some of you may have already started working on your goals, but those of you that haven’t… get ready, because now the real work begins.

Whatever your goal is, you will need to work to accomplish it. Some days will be easier than others, and some days may seem insurmountable. But through it all, you have to persevere — you have to keep going and not give up. You may even experience setbacks, and that is ok as long as you make sure you keep your eye on the goal and you keep taking steps to reach it. Remember, even if the steps are small, they will still help you make progress toward your goal!

Goals (in the Martial Arts)

Have you set your goal(s) yet? Sr. Master has. His goal is 40,000 push-ups this year. Yes, you read that correctly: Forty Thousand. That is the equivalent of 110 push-ups per day! And as of today, he has already done 1,760 push-ups this year!!!

Now maybe 40,000 push-ups is currently a little ambitious for you. That’s ok. How about trying for 4,000 push-ups this year then? When you break it down, it becomes a manageable 10 push-ups per day! Or maybe you just want to be able to consistently do 50 push-ups or sit-ups in 1 minute. Or maybe you want to consistently break your boards on the first attempt. Whatever it is that you want to accomplish, write it down, set your mind to it, and get started now!!!

Goals (in the Martial Arts)

It’s the start of a brand new year, and an opportunity to challenge yourself to improve. With that in mind, have you considered what your goals will be for your TKD training? The goals don’t have to be anything huge, but they should be things that challenge you. For example, if you are having trouble with a certain kick, perhaps a successful board break with that kick could be a goal. If you want to be able to do more push-ups, count how many you can do in one minute now, and then set a goal of being able to do 20% more in one minute by a certain timeframe.

Remember to make your goals S.M.A.R.T:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

Then write them down and tell someone your goal(s). Even better, encourage them to share one of their goals with you and you both can help keep each other on track. Then keep track of your progress. If you achieve your goal quickly, celebrate! And then set another goal that is slightly more challenging. If you are having trouble because you set too big of a goal, then revisit it and break it down into smaller goals. It will be much easier to stay motivated and keep making progress toward the big goal that way. And if you find yourself stuck and need a little help, talk to Sr. Master for assistance and advice. Because, aside from you, no one wants you to reach your TKD goals more than he does!

Integrity

In this season of giving, sometimes it is easy to forget that some of the most important gifts are the ones that can’t be bought. Most of us at one time or another have thought, “I want to be just like him/her.” The person who was the object of our admiration may not have realized it at the time, but they gave the gift of inspiration. And to inspire someone to do better, and to be better, is one of the greatest gifts of all.

You may not realize it, but you have the opportunity to be an inspiration ALL the time. People who are in leadership roles are probably aware that they are in positions of influence, but the rest of us may not be thinking about other people observing us, or learning from us. But it happens, whether we realize it or not. How you interact with others, how you treat your environment, how you approach challenges — at almost every moment of your waking hours, someone has the chance to witness your attitude and behavior and to be inspired by it. Younger children look to older siblings; older children look to parents and other adults; and we all look to our peers. If you are focusing on doing your best, being your best, and doing the right thing, then you are likely inspiring someone else to do their best, be their best, and do the right thing too.

There is much tragedy in the world today, which is all the more reason for us to be setting the right example. It’s easy to tell children to “do as I say, not as I do”, but we must all remember that actions speak louder than words. We must model the behavior that we want our children to practice. It’s a simple concept that can be extremely difficult to follow through on. But in the end, it is worth the effort. (And since we’re likely thinking about our goals for the next year, this could be a really awesome one for 2013! ;) )

Chief Master & Sr. Master Niblock would like to remind everyone to do the right thing during this holiday season — don’t drink and drive; don’t text and drive; be respectful to your family and friends (as well as everyone you meet along the way); and don’t let technology distract you from the moments that really matter! Enjoy your friends, enjoy your family (even those quirky relatives :D), and cherish the time you have together. Nothing is more important than that.

Everyone at Niblock’s ATA hopes that you have a safe and happy holiday season and we look forward to seeing you (ready to train) in the New Year!!

Integrity

‘Tis the season of giving. And during this hectic time, we know that requests (and sometimes demands) are being made for your time, your money, and your attention in general. There are gatherings to attend, gifts to buy, and holiday pageants that require creative costuming. Volunteer opportunities abound as well, and if you are like the vast majority of the population, you feel compelled to be able to fit it all in somehow.

But unless you have access to a TARDIS or Hermione Granger’s Time Turner, this may be a slightly unrealistic expectation.

So, in the spirit of giving, how about giving yourself a break? Now, please don’t misunderstand… we’re not advocating that you go all “Scrooge” on everyone. Nor are we encouraging you to drop everything and just lay around the house all week in your pajamas eating Cheetos. :P But we do want you to be mindful of what you are realistically capable of accomplishing and we also want to point out that it can often be beneficial for you to stop and take a breather. If you are too stressed out, you will probably not be able to fully appreciate and enjoy whatever activity you are participating in at the time, and consequently those around you may not be given the opportunity to fully appreciate and enjoy you — wonderful you (dressed in your Christmas sweater and donning reindeer antlers) in all your off-key, Christmas-carol-singing glory. :D

But seriously, remember that when it comes down to it, while the gifts can be great and the money and/or time donated do make a huge difference, the most important factor is still the relationships that are built or re-inforced during this special time of year. Do the right thing and take care of yourself so that you can be at your best for the people you share the holidays with. That will be the most wonderful gift of all.

Integrity

Integrity. Doing the right thing. What a great theme to focus on at the end of the year (during a hectic holiday season no less) and also as we look forward to the start of a new one.

Just because it is close to the end of the year, doesn’t mean that you should toss aside the goals you have been working on the rest of the year. It’s easy to brush off those goals, especially when you get crunched for time. But if you’ve been working out consistently all year, don’t stop now! Do what is right for your body and maintain your workout schedule as much as you can. If you’ve modified your eating habits, stay true to those changes and, though a small exception here and there probably won’t hurt, make the effort to stick with your new eating habits overall. (By the way, this is a great time to find new holiday recipes (or tweak old ones) to fit them into your modified nutrition plan. And with relatives in town, you’ll have taste-testers at hand who likely won’t hesitate to let you know what works and what doesn’t.) ;) And if you set your budget for Christmas giving, stay true to it so you don’t have the dread of receiving huge bills in the new year. Sure, the expensive, “techie” toys make great gifts. But don’t under-estimate the value of the less expensive gifts that come with a more personal touch — game-time baskets with a favorite team theme, handmade blankets for cozying up on chilly days, and small albums with photos & memories from throughout the year make special, priceless gifts too, as do “gift certificates” to watch the kids for parents’ much-needed night out. ;)

During the holiday season especially, it can be difficult to find peace of mind with all the stressors that encroach on your thought process. But if you continue focusing on doing the right thing for your body and your pocketbook, it can go a long way toward helping put your mind at ease.