We’ve all been there. We start the new year with the best of intensions to lose weight, get fit, eat healthier….the list goes on and on. But then it happens. Life throws us a curve ball. We slip. We delay. We procrastinate. We give up. Why does motivation always seem so fleeting?
Guess what– even the most driven, successful people on the planet don’t feel like getting things done all the time. You might ask, “well, how are they still successful?”
When we look deeper into what motivation is, we see that it’s actually the driving force behind discipline. It’s what carries us from our goal to our accomplishment. In other words, motivation is wanting to get things done.
But when we’re exhausted, and we’re stressing over all the little things we have to do… that motivation and drive fades. So, what can we do to reignite that spark of motivation?
Here are three simple ways to hack your motivation and stay (or get back) on track:
Know Your “Why”
The number one motivation hack is knowing your “why”. When your goals have deep, personal meaning and purpose, it’s so much easier to stick it out when things get challenging. “I want to get fit.” Great goal…but why? “So that I can be a good example for my kids”. See the difference?
So…what’s your “why”? The reason behind your goal? Figure it out. Write it down. Post it somewhere you can see it every day. This is the influence that keeps you moving forward. This is what feeds and fuels your motivation. Remember, our goals are not just about achieving something, but about the person we want to become.
Building new, sustainable habits can be challenging. We tend to think more about eliminating “bad habits” first. “I have to stop eating fast-food.” Or “I have to stop spending all weekend on the couch binging my favorite show.” But, experts agree that rather than eliminating habits that don’t serve us or our new goals, it’s better to replace our old habits with new, more beneficial habits. Easier said than done, right? Fortunately, there’s a hack for this one, too. It’s called habit bundling. And it’s all about establishing a pattern or routine to help you reach your goal.
For example, “When I decide to pick-up fast food, I will go for a 20 minute walk or run.” Or “Every time I start a new episode of [insert whatever binge-worthy show here], I will do 20 push ups.” The trigger of “when I do this, then I will do that” removes the forced ‘I have to do this’ need for motivation, and becomes a standard practice over time. Repeated behaviors like this can turn into self-improving habits. “Instead or ordering fast food, I’ll go for a 20 minute run or walk and then head home for a healthy dinner.” The best part? It increases productivity while reducing mental stress.
Plan for Failure
Yes, you read that right. We all know it’s ideal to reach our goals flawlessly and in a timely manner. But, life frequently seems to have other plans. Staying motivated when difficulty arises is a lot more challenging than it sounds – especially if we get into a groove and an unwanted interruption occurs. Say you’ve been intentionally going for your daily run and eating all the whole foods with plenty of veggie (yay, you!). Then a hard freeze hits. You take a week off from running due to the frozen conditions and all of a sudden you’re having potato chips for breakfast and ice cream for a late night snack. Now,you’re frustrated, confused, stressed out, and losing focus on your goals. Sometimes, we can get so thrown off that we hyper-focus on the issue (I failed) rather than the solution (how can I get back on track?).
So, how do you stay on track when stuff hits the fan? Plan for failures and imperfection. Seriously. You have to drill failure into your practice. We can’t predict everything that could possibly go wrong– but expecting setbacks and knowing your alternative options when disaster strikes makes all the difference in your motivation. When you accept that life can (and will) interrupt your plans, you can keep the momentum going anyway. You can approach your tasks without being deflated. You’ll be more realistic about what you can achieve, learn how to make adjustments, and stay open to exploring other options. Don’t be afraid to plan for failure. Embrace it as a tool for staying motivated and achieving your goals. Flexibility is the path of least resistance.
Ultimately, being a motivated person just means that you’re in control of your life (despite old habits and possible set-backs). Remember, you’re fully capable of making the necessary changes in your life to achieve your goals. And you deserve to live the life you want. Take small steps, one day at a time, and before you know it, you’ll be celebrating your success. You’ve got this.
Ready to join our martial arts community and fuel your motivation even more? It’s easy to GET STARTED.
There is no shortage of benefits when it comes to training in the martial arts. But, as a concerned parent, you want to be confident in selecting a program that will be most beneficial to your child. Allow us to grant you the gift of going second.
We hear all the time how much parents love martial arts and we’re excited to share what they have experienced!
Here are the top 5 reasons parents LOVE the martial arts for their families:
1. It Keeps Kids Active
It’s easy to see that martial arts is great exercise and, unlike less engaging workouts, the process of training in martial arts is more exciting and fun for kids of all ages. We hear time and time again, “I never thought I’d get my kid off the couch and willingly attending a fitness class…but they LOVE martial arts!” That’s because every class is different and progress is easily measurable. Students love being able to learn new techniques and earn new belt ranks as they improve over time. Being able to consistently celebrate their progress keeps them engaged and excited to come to class keeping them active and fit.
2. It Teaches Discipline
Parents often notice the immediate focus on practicing good discipline habits during martial arts classes. From requiring students to use respectful responses like “yes, sir” or “yes, ma’am” when addressing their instructors and peers to practicing the martial bow, the importance of demonstrating good discipline during class is hard to miss. Perhaps even more important, an emphasis on self-control and self-discipline is also evident. Students learn to move on command, manage their emotions, and control their power when working with their peers.
3. It Teaches Confidence
Martial arts sets kids up for success by giving them a series of short-term goals that they can attain quickly while keeping them focused on the long-term goal of black belt. As parents, it’s so encouraging to see them develop stronger voices, carry themselves with more pride, and become advocates for themselves as they grow as martial artists. Through the course of their training, their confidence improves and they learn to believe that, with hard work and commitment, they can accomplish great things.
4. It Helps Them Avoid Dangerous Situations
Unfortunatly, parents today are no strangers to the idea that violence is a part of life. From bullying to child abduction, and even sex trafficking, keeping our kids safe is a major concern. One of the most important things martial arts teaches kids is how to be more aware of their surroundings and how to avoid putting themselves in potentially vulnerable situations. Clearly, the best way to avoid being a victim of violence is to not be there in the first place! Having said that, as responsible martial arts instructors, we also equip our students to be prepared to protect themselves from tricky people, if avoiding the situation is no longer an option. A solid martial arts program includes comprehensive self-protection training giving students the confidence they need to feel safe in everyday life.
5. It Creates Community
We’ve all heard that it takes a village to raise a child and any parent who’s ever struggled to find their tribe knows how true this can be. As parents, it feels great to see your kid quickly making friends during class. What is often unexpected is how quickly parents will befriend other parents within the academy community. Pretty soon, everyone is just as invested in seeing your kid succeed as you are. Imagine being part of a community of instructors, parents, and like-minded kids dedicated to helping your child become the best versions of themselves. It’s more than a village. It’s family.
When it comes to fitness goals, everyone knows how important setting goals is to staying on track and achieving lasting results. But, did you know that not all goals are created equal? In fact, setting SMART fitness goals can make all the difference. The acronym SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely—all of which are important in reaching your desired outcome.
Setting SMART goals will help you stay on track and remain committed to completing every planned workout and sticking to healthy meal options.
So, what’s the best way to start creating SMART fitness goals? Use the tool below to help you better understand what makes a SMART fitness goal so powerful.
Now, let’s put our learning into action!
Clearly, we’ve all heard a fitness goal like “I will exercise more”. While that is a great place to start, it can be difficult to measure your progress with such a vague statement.
And let’s face it, it’s pretty challenging to keep chasing a goal when it just doesn’t feel like you’re making any progress.
So, how do we revise this goal statement to set us up for success?
Instead of saying “I will exercise more”, we can easily turn this into a SMART goal by saying “I will attend 45 minute kickboxing classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the next 6 months”. As you can see this goal is now specific (kickboxing), measurable (45 min classes, 2 times per week), attainable (challenging but realistic), relevant (pertains to fitness), and timely (6 months).
It’s important to note that fitness goals typically fall into three main categories: physical goals, health goals, and behavior goals. Creating SMART fitness goals in each of these categories will set you on course to creating lasting habits that will yield long-term success and have you living your best life yet.
Ready to set some SMART fitness goals and get the results you deserve? At Invictus, we help you do just that! And it’s easy to GET STARTED.
Experts agree that martial arts improves academic performance in school-aged children. It’s true! And who doesn’t want their child to have better focus and higher grades?
In fact, participating in physical activity, such as martial arts, has a direct impact on the behavior and development of the brain.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, physical activity can have an impact on cognitive skills and attitudes, and academic behavior, all of which are important components of improved academic performance.
Here are three ways martial arts sets kids up for academic success:
According to a recent study, there is a link between children’s cardiorespiratory fitness and their performance in school. In short, the study determined that the more athletic a student is, the better their grades are in core subjects like mathematics and reading. Participating in an aerobic style of martial arts such as kickboxing or Muay Thai, can enhance executive function and overall brain health.
Additionally, another study revealed that children with higher levels of fitness perform better on a relational memory task. This is in part due to having a larger hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for relational memory performance. Reputable martial arts programs require students to memorize specific striking combos or forms at each belt rank. Of course, developing the ability to recall key facts and concepts quickly is critical to doing well on academic exams.
Best of all, exercise has been shown to improve creative thinking. Martial arts drills such as sparring require the student to creatively determine how to strike and defend themselves against a resisting opponent. Practicing this creative approach to thinking and problem solving is key to achieving academic success, especially in STEM classes.
Improved Classroom Behavior
Regular participation in a structured martial arts training program enhances concentration and focus often resulting in improved classroom behavior. Did you know that mixed martial arts training has been shown to improve social skills and lessen behavioral problems in boys with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)? Martial arts training encourages students to develop and practice strategies for self-control. Developing this skill can help children with ASD learn to better control their emotions as well as inhibiting rigid/impulsive behaviors.
Additionally, mixed martial arts classes provide a positive environment for hyperactive kids to release energy while improving their ability to concentrate. Kickboxing and Muay Thai classes combine high-intensity exercises with drills that require students to focus on hitting specific targets with technical accuracy. Children learn self-control and discipline while participating in regular physical activity that has been proven to decrease the severity of ADHD symptoms and improve cognitive function.
Boost In Self-Confidence
It is well-known that students who are more confident are better problem solvers. Alternatively, children who struggle with self-confidence tend to struggle with test anxiety. Fortunately, martial arts is great for improving self-confidence in children. Most martial arts programs will have frequent opportunities for students to demonstrate the skills they have learned in front of their peers and instructors. This may be in the form of a competitive tournament or even a test for a new belt rank. These opportunities to have their hard work and commitment recognized serves as a way to help boost their self-confidence. It also reinforces the idea that hard work and practice lead to progress. Consequently, they’ll be more likely to hit the books for extra study time when it comes to their academics.
It’s easy to see how participating in martial arts improves academic performance. Whether your goal is boosting your child’s self-confidence, improving their classroom behavior, or helping them score better grades, enrolling in a reputable martial arts program may hold the key to a less stressful, more successful school year.
Ready to experience how martial arts improves academic performance for your child? Try a FREE training session at Invictus! Which class below are you most curious about?