Guest Column

by Sifu Serena Truong

Chances are you’ve missed at least one Kung Fu class then, it somehow turned into a week or month of absence. The reasons range from injuries, lack of motivation, career moves, and life in general. This is a Kung Fu vacation; an extended period of absence. Here are some practice tips in reestablishing a routine to continue your Kung Fu journey.

The first step is to plan for your return and make time for your Kung Fu practice. Determine what classes suit your schedule and what attendance frequency suits your physical pace. Moreover, what weekly goals suit your commitment capabilities. Be deliberate in aligning your weekly goals with a strong vision of your end goal, as this will act as your primary source of motivation.

It is crucial to remain realistic in weekly goal setting to avoid losing motivation. Your previous progress will lure you into setting goals above your current capabilities. This will lead to frustration when a struggle to obtain weekly goals ends up emphasizing your current deficiency.
Next, you must overcome your initial inertia; Inertia states that everything is naturally resistant to change. In general, anti-procrastination strategies are capable in combatting inertia as it is a form of procrastination. An effective method is restructuring your environment for success.

This involves removing distractions and adding reminders. The most treacherous distractions are premature rewards such as a session of video games, social media, or binge eating prior to completing your task; these activities will diminish your motivation. In contrast, helpful reminders include energetic music, an alarm and simply wearing your uniform to prompt you to act.
Keep in mind that it takes 21 days to break a habit and 66 days to build a habit. If your Kung Fu vacation surpassed two months, then you will have to break your initial habit of absence before being able to build a habit of attending regularly.

Finally, remain consistent in meeting your weekly goals and personal quotas. Methods of maintaining consistency include tracking your progress, revaluating your goals regularly, maintaining a clear vision of your end goal, and having patience with yourself. Remember that any progress is still progress.

Keep a journal to track your development and ability to hit your goals; reviewing this record will assist in maintaining motivation or reflecting on areas for improvement. As you progress, set aside time to modify your goals to accommodate changes such as time, health or mental strain. Ultimately, consistency will develop your habits and build momentum in reaching your aspirations.
Everyone’s Kung Fu journey is unique and returning from ‘vacation’ is not simple. You should not condemn yourself for taking a Kung Fu vacation. A ‘vacation’ is completely natural in life and your Kung Fu journey. It is a necessary period of reflection, personal development and time to process change. Do what makes sense depending on your situation.

As American author, Napoleon Hill stated, “A quitter never wins, and a winner never quits.”