For Those Having A Hard Time Getting Motivated

For 2020, we are all about GOALS! ATA Martial Arts is all about setting goals and doing what we can to help each other reach them. Many of you set goals at the beginning of the new year and are already struggling with the motivation to push through and accomplish those goals. This may mean you’re struggling with motivating yourself to go to a work out or finding it hard to exert maximal effort in your training. Don’t worry, because you’re not alone! These struggles are commonly experienced by athletes of all ability levels, and from all sports. Goals are not as easy to accomplish as we first expect when we set the goals. Setting goals takes time, thought and effort.


When you set your goals, follow the “S.M.A.R.T.” guidelines to help you get the most out of your goal setting. Here is a breakdown of “S.M.A.R.T” to help you end 2020 with accomplished goals…



Set goals that are both specific and measurable: It is important that you set goals that can be understood and measured by yourself and others. Setting goals to “try my hardest,” “do my best,” and “finish as high as I can” are not measurable or specific. These goals do not provide any expectations for performance. It is better to set goals in a way that others can help you measure your progress, such as “practice kicking 45 minutes a day,” “improve my flexibility so that I can kick 60 inches high,” and “improve my balance so that I can maintain proper posture after 90% of my kicks.”



Make goals adjustable: Not all goals will be set appropriately for you. Rather than getting frustrated trying to reach a goal that is too difficult, or not working very hard to reach a goal that is too easy, it is important to be open to adjusting goals when they are not set appropriately. To do this, it is necessary that you continuously evaluate your progress towards reaching your goal to determine how appropriate the goal is for you. When a goal is inappropriate for you, adjust it. However, do not justify adjusting a goal because you do not want to work for it. Only adjust a goal when both you and your instructor believe the goal to be inappropriate.



Be realistic: It is very important to set goals that are appropriate for you. Setting goals that are too difficult or too easy to reach will not enhance motivation; it can actually lead to decreases in motivation. It is always a good idea to ask your instructor to help you set goals that are appropriate for your age, skill and experience level.



Make goals time dependent: Always set a timetable for reaching your goals. This means that you should establish a date by which you are trying to achieve the goal that you are setting. In setting a date, it is suggested that you set both short- and long-term goals. Long-term goals are set for 1-12 months away, while short-term goals are usually set for a period of a day or week. Appropriate short-term goals should lead directly to the accomplishment of your long-term goals. For example, if your goal is to improve the maximum height of a kick by 6 inches over a three-month period, you may want to set a short-term goal to improve the height of your kick every week.



Author: Jack Watson, Ph. D.

Edited by: McKenna Stephens


Special Note: If you have a story about how ATA has helped you Make It Possible that you would like to share with the ATA community, please email it to [email protected].

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