Adult Student’s Corner
The mental theme in August was Motivation. It’s timely given that the lazy hazy days of summer are wrapping up and we are heading into the action-packed season of autumn with the usual higher levels of activity associated with back to school, and a return to a more stringent routine. I think it’s safe to say that most people experience a slow down or some absences in their training over the summer months, given vacation time and the opportunity to take advantage of other seasonal activities in lieu of time in class.
So, how do we regain and maintain our pre-summer momentum as the summer comes to a close? Here are some thoughts:
- Revisit the WHY. There is an underlying motivator behind everything we do. You started Kung Fu for a compelling reason – it is what motivated you to come here in the first place, train rigorously, and stick with it. Sometimes we forget what motivated us to do something, and revisiting that allows us to rekindle the fire that got us moving in the first place. It’s also good to confirm whether or not those reasons are still valid. Sometimes they no longer apply, which is ok, and a good piece of information to help you decide how you will move forward.
- Set a goal for yourself. Nothing motivates a person like a well thought out goal. Write it down on paper and post it somewhere where you can easily see it. Maybe it’s a grading, or maybe it’s smaller, such as “I will know my tiger form, facing four directions, by the end of October”. Maybe the goal is simply “I will commit to three classes and 3 hours of outside training a week – no matter what.”
- Develop an action plan to meet that goal. This is your goal broken down into steps, or mini goals – in other words, it’s the path that will get you to your larger goal. Again, put it down on paper. Look at it everyday, and ensure you have something to action every day to keep the momentum going.
- Make sure you incorporate milestones into your action plan that you can celebrate along the way. Celebrating is a great way to maintain momentum!
- Find a partner in crime. This is someone who will train with you, and help you to stay on track. Make a pact with this person so that when one of you is feeling unmotivated, the other will encourage you to stick with it.
- Recognize no one is perfect and we will have to alter our plans and goals sometimes. Cut yourself some slack, but think ahead of time about what you can do to increase your motivation when you find your energy depleting, you are distracted, or procrastinating.
Finally, acknowledge when you are staying motivated and sticking to your action plan, and reward yourself – this is part of an on-going process of self-reflection that allows us to continue to grow as individuals!