Better Together

Take Steps to be an ATA STRONG Family

The new school year is just around the corner, and this is a time when families begin establishing schedules and building routines.  In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we tend to get drained, but one way that you can keep your goals for this school year in sight and achievable is to use our ATA STRONG guide! 


Be specific with your goals so that you know exactly what it is that you want to achieve.  Having a general goal is a good start, but without having a specific goal, there isn’t as much direction. 

For the Shoup family of Lement, Ill., when dad, Keith, was working toward his Mastership a couple of years ago, it became a family affair with all four of their children getting involved.  Each of the children- Kolton, Kenton, Karson and Kailyn- were all training in Taekwondo, but each one had interests of their own. 

Therefore, it became a family priority to keep the children engaged while also supporting dad, explained Sr. Master Kelli Shoup- mom.  With each child and the parents focused on their goals, the family laid out a plan to keep everyone involved in their activities and working toward their specific goals. 



Without a deadline, you will be more likely to put off achieving your goal.  According to the article “On the Importance of Goal Setting:  Why You need to Set Goals,” it’s a good idea to have a goal written down with a set date for accomplishment.  Whether it’s testing for your black belt or purchasing a new car, this gives you something to plan for and work toward.

Instill deadlines for your team or your family.  Keep the timelines realistic and flexible.  It is important to stay disciplined with your goal setting while also enjoying the process.



Your goals should be relevant to every facet of your life.

To make your goals attainable, it is important to set one that can easily fit into your regular schedule and not be out of sight.  Are you willing to put in the time to reach your goal?  Are there certain resources you need to achieve this dream? 

For example, if you want to be a member of the ATA Legacy Program, sit down with your instructor and make a plan.  It may require a little more training, but the rewards in the classroom will carry over into school, work and home. 



When you’re setting your goals, think about what it is you want long-term and don’t be easily influenced by others.

Setting a goal is an ongoing process, so it’s important to build in reminders to keep yourself on track and make time in your schedule to review these goals. 

When the Shoups went through the Mastership process, they followed the ATA manuals.

“They were a great tool and walked you through the guidelines to achieve your goal,” said Master Keith Shoup.

Remember this is YOUR goal so be encouraged by those around you but stay focused on what YOU want to achieve!



Sometimes even the best plans get off course, but that’s no excuse to quit or give up.

Getting a little off track can happen, but it doesn’t have to adversely affect the road to achieving your goal. Maybe you didn’t pass your last belt test or midterm.  That doesn’t mean you don’t still want that new rank!  It just means that you have to adjust your plan and look for opportunities to master the skills that are challenging you.

Set up some private lessons with your instructor.  Try to squeeze in an extra class each week.  You can even get your family involved by doing target practices and board breaks at home- and challenge them to do the ATA FIT test with you!



Establish smaller goals to reach your bigger ones.  The article “On the Importance of Goal Setting:  Why You Need to Set Goals” notes that “proper goal setting can help you break larger, intimidating aspirations into smaller, more achievable stepping stones.”

In other words, setting smaller goals helps create a plan that you can start working on right away and helps provide motivation to really achieve those major goals. 


Stay ATA STRONG with your goals and, in time, you will see the success!



Author: Lauren James (edited by Jenny O’Connor)

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