Goal Setting

Summer is finally here and it’s time to start setting your summer training goals! Goal setting is a critical component to training well and requires careful thought and organization. Below is a formula you can use to start setting your goals TODAY:

  1. Clearly define your goal.

    If it involves losing weight, give an amount you want to lose. If it involves promotion, give the belt color you want to get. “I want to lose 20 pounds.”OR “I want to get promoted to my next rank which is Green belt.”

  2. Set a definite date by when you will achieve your goal.

    a)“Today is (date) and in 3 months, on (mm/dd/yyyy) I will have…. (lost 20 lbs, been promoted to my next rank, etc.)

  3. Explain how you plan on achieve your goal.

    This is your ACTION PLAN. The more specific you are the better!
    a) I will get promoted to my next rank by attending each of my scheduled classes every week and by attending open mat twice a month to practice my shadow boxing.”

    b) “I will lose 20 pounds by attending each of my scheduled classes every week and by using the fitness center twice a week.” Be sure to include important dietary changes you will implement to accompany your workouts (not eating fast food, cutting back on soft drinks, eating more salad and veggies, less processed foods, etc).

  4. Write or type out your goals and place them where you will see them regularly.

    Good places are on your bathroom mirror, next to your bed, on the dashboard in your car, at your desk, on your computer monitor, etc. Seeing your goal daily and repetitively will help you stay focused on what you have promised yourself you would do, how you plan to do it, and by when you will do it by.

  5. Recite your goal out loud every morning when you wake up and every night before you go to sleep.

    Turn your goal into a healthy obsession. By always keeping your goal on your mind you are less likely to get distracted and more likely to follow through on your plan.

  6. Keep a journal of your progress.

    Every time you come to class – note improvements that you’ve made, or areas you want to improve. This is where you can keep track of mini goals: “Today in class I did 15 pushups, by next week this time I want to do 20 pushups. I will prepare for this by doing pushups at night before I go to bed starting with 10 pushups on the first night. Each night after that I will add one more pushup until I get to 20 pushups.”

This is just one of many ways to set a goal. If you have any questions about goal setting, talk to your coaches! We are here to help you become better and we want you to succeed.

Training, the Heart of the Martial Arts

The martial arts have been part of my life for 43 years. From the beginning, I had friends that trained with me, but I spent a good deal of time with myself. Both are important to your development in martial arts and almost everything you do. The most successful that reach their potential and make the greatest strides, hold training as the heart of martial arts life. The ones that push themselves to higher levels and are more consistent have steady training partners along the journey.  Consistent training over time will accelerate your growth and make training more fun.

It is important to know that everyone has talents. At the beginning, we are all unsure how to develop our new skills and talents to reach our full potential. To become the ‘good, better, best’ that you can requires consistent training – consistency is king!   Start where you are, start with small deliberate steps, but be consistent.  Watch techniques, training methods, skills and drills being taught with focus and mindfulness. Keep the image of your instructor doing the skill as you start performing the repetitions with your partner. Practice by yourself in front of the mirror, on the heavy bag, or grab a partner and take 5 – 10 minutes to drill back and forth.  You can also watch the skills being performed over and over with some intense focus. A great source is TeamAcademyCoaches.com to watch the techniques of the month.  You can watch matches, fights, training, and techniques. Watch them over and over until you start to form a mental blueprint. Picture the movement, body mechanics, position and structure. Finally, focus on your body performing the same skills.

Once you begin to feel more comfortable with the technique, it is time to up your training. Keep in mind, ‘Technique is everything.’ You want to drill with precision and sharpen your technique.  Quality is more important than quantity.  ‘Repetition is the mother of skill, but discipline is your Daddy.’  You want to get your reps in but, you need to be specific, detailed and disciplined with those reps.  , it takes discipline to show up and do the reps necessary to reach your potential.  One of the best ways to be more disciplined is to have a solid training partner that shows up.

A training partner that shows up ready to work is important to keep you accountable. They will also give you feedback and make training more fun. Your instructors, top competitors, and top students all do consistent training outside of class with consistent training partners. Pick someone you like to work with and then, “Think like a gardener, work like a carpenter.” It is important to remember that skills grow over time and you have to water, weed and cultivate your skill like a gardener.  You need to plan and prepare your training to build a strong foundation. Connect your skills and techniques together like a carpenter building a beautiful house. ‘Training is the heart of the martial arts lifestyle.’ Training over time with great training partners is where the magic happens.

Being a Good Training Partner

Coach Greg Nelson talking about the importance of helping our partners train and how to be a good training partner

 

 

What is Meaningful to You?

minnesota thai boxingPeople that are at the top of their game, whatever it is, know what is meaningful in their life.  Meaning is a powerful driving force but, how do you know what you find meaningful when asked. High performers worldwide were asked some basic questions about what living the most meaningful life means to them. They were  asked, “what do you find meaningful to you when you have two options put before you?” Now when you have two bad options you can choose neither.  When you have one good option and one bad option, simply choose the good one. Yet, when you have two good options or opportunities put before you, how do you know which one is going to be best?  High Performers choose the one that is going to be most meaningful. So how do they choose what is the better more meaningful option/opportunity?

First, it was found that meaning is closely associated with enthusiasm. Simply put, which choice excites them the most. Which choice would they want to spend the most time doing for the longest time. Which one would they talk about the most, geek out about, they wake up thinking about and wanting to do it. Second, there was a deeper level of connection. They found it to be something that was right to them. It had greater depth and/or they found a better connection to the people associated with one option and found deeper relationships. Third, they find more satisfaction by doing one over the other. They feel that they will be more fulfilled, more satisfied at end the of the day. Which would make them feel more proud, or engage  them more helping them grow. Which would require them to give more of themselves to the process and give them a real sense of personal satisfaction.  When I was battling cancer and unsure whether I was going to live. I did a lot of thinking about what I did. Was I satisfied with my life? Did I have any regrets? What would I do different? Was I completely engaged? Did I give back to others? Did my life have meaning? Personal satisfaction is a huge thing and high performers find themselves asking, am I satisfied with what I’m doing? If not they either change their approach or change what they’re doing. Lastly, is there coherence or does it fit with your overall life story. Does what you choose to do make sense in the broader story of your life. Does what you have in front of you bring you closer to where you want to be?  There is a feeling of alignment, do you feel you are going in the right direction…

Here is a simple question you can ask yourself to help find more meaning and be more intentional in your life:

  1. How can I make what I’m doing more meaningful to me? Take some time and focus on the opportunities in front of you.  In the end you will be happier. You will do better and find so much more meaning if you are enthusiastic. You will find connection and satisfaction, and feel a sense of coherence in what you’re doing.

 

Energy

Who doesn’t want a high level of energy, happiness, and joy. Who doesn’t want to be more alert, engaged, fully present and alive? We all do! Energy and vitality, health and well being are all at the top of my life goals. Having more energy alone will make you more optimistic and positive: you are going to be more patient, productive, and more happy person. More energy benefits everyone in your life, because it is such an important part of being the best that you can be. I am going to have a series of articles breaking down some of the best physiological practices used by the highest performing people in the world.

Taking care of yourself should be your highest priority. Being a lifelong athlete and martial artist fitness has been a huge part of my life. In the last few years I have dedicated myself to increasing the fitness of my brain, body and breathing. In each article I am going to focus on one best practice for your Brain, Body and Breathing.

The brain is your body’s priority and requires a lot of energy to run the body. oOne of the most important things we can do is sleep 7+ hours a night. There is tons of research on the importance of sleep. Here’s what I did to sleep 7+ hours, increase my energy, focus and productivity.

  • I started going to sleep 30 – 50 minutes earlier. Over time adding 3 hours more sleep.
  • My room is completely blacked out. Blackout curtains and all light sources covered or removed. I also have a nice padded eye mask. Any light seems to wake me, so I take no chances.
  • I do not look at any screen 50 minutes before I go to bed. No phones, computers or TV. Instead I will read or listen to fiction, write and/or listen to relaxing music.
  • I lowered the temperature of my house to 67 degrees.
  • I try not to eat 3 hours before I go to bed.
  • I go to bed and wake up at the same time as much as possible. I haven’t heard my alarm in my house in a long time.
  • I do not drink coffee or any caffeinated drink after 2 pm. Caffeine has a half life of 8 hours and I do not need any caffeine after my morning mushroom coffee.


Regarding our body, we need to make sure we drink a lot of water all throughout the day. You should drink clean water immediately after you wake up. You usually haven’t had any water for 7+ hours so it is necessary to drink when you wake up. Throughout the day it is important to drink at least every hour. If you sweat a lot you have to replace that water and continue to drink every hour. , I do not drink sodas only kombucha or vinegar drinks besides water. Most people do not drink enough water, so…drink a lot more water.

Breathing is often taken for granted. When we sleep we breathe deeply yet, when we are awake most people do not breathe as well. One of the easiest ways to get a jolt of energy that will pick you up is to bounce and breathe. Close your eyes, make a light bounce up and down in place, like you are doing basic footwork, and breathe. You should inhale completely and exhale audibly.

All of these ideas are connected. As we investigate more best high performing practices. You will find that you too will start to increase your energy, focus, health, happiness, productivity, & well being.

Bring Up Your Energy with Greg Nelson

 

Bring up Your Energy

Without a doubt most people want to have more energy. They want to feel enthusiastic about things to come and excited about what they are doing. Drive, motivation, excitement, energy and total focus are all important to finding personal success. There are many videos, books, podcasts, seminars, and courses. Each giving you the information to be your best. Yet, it all starts with your physical health and vibrancy,  your mental attitude and emotional well-being. One of the most important ways to affect all the above is to focus on what is going to give you more ENERGY! Here are 6 simple ways to boost your energy by having great health and vitality. 

1. Get 7+ hours of sleep a night. I use to feel this was a joke. Now, as a habit I get 7 hours of sleep. Set a sleep schedule and stick to it. No screens 30-90 minutes before bed. Make sure there is no light anywhere in your room. Set your room temp at 65-69 degrees. Try not to eat 2-3 hours before bed. It took me about 4 months to sleep 7 hours a night

2. Drink 4-5 liters of water a day. The first thing you should do in the morning is drink a big glass of water. Stay hydrated throughout the day. Get a liter container and fill it up and drink it 4-5 times a day, or a 1 gallon jug full of water and drink it down.

3. 2-3 healthy meals a day. The one plate rule at each meal; only have one plate of food. For me I now eat 80% greens and 20% meat and carbs. Of course this is an individual thing. But, if you are serious about your diet, go see a nutritionist. Get a blood and saliva check and see what you allergic to, deficient in and recommendations for you.

4. 5-6 workouts a week. Having a consistent Martial Arts class schedule will take care of 3-4 of those workouts. You should do some kind of strength training, endurance work and mobility training on top of that.

5. Meditate 1-2 times a day. Meditation does not have to be any specific kind but, find something that works for you. There are apps such as Headspace that you can get to help calm down your brain and release tension.

6. While working take a break every 50 minutes. Step away from your desk and rejuvenate yourself.  Such as getting water, doing some light exercise, deep breathing, take a short walk. Anything that will allow you to refocus and regenerate, to invest some energy into the next 50 minutes of work. I have started focusing on these 6 ways to generate more energy. I have increased my health and well-being. I have increased my physical, mental and emotional vibrancy. Start making these 6 areas a habit. You will have more enthusiasm for upcoming tasks.  You will have more motivation and increase your health and energy.

Opera Non Verba, Deeds Not Words…..Just Do It!

The Evolution Of Combat Sports

Talking about how the different combat martial arts, such as Thai Boxing, have developed as sports especially in the United States

 

What Is Hard Work

Tkickboxing-minneapolis-minnesotahere can be different interpretations of what hard work is.  First, who’s asking? A professional or former college athlete? A high school athlete that hasn’t done much for 10 years? A person who has never done sports but has excelled in academics?  Is it me asking as a man in his 50’s that at one time pushed my limits on a daily basis? Bottom line, what hard work is for one person may seem crazy to another. Vince Lombardi said, “The dictionary is the only place success comes before work.  Hard work is the price we must all pay for success. I think we can accomplish anything if we are willing to pay the price.” You need to know what you want before you will be willing to work hard for it. Everyone has different goals in the martial arts; get in shape, relieve stress, build confidence, make friends and have fun, compete, become a champion….and everyone has a little of the above at varying levels.

Until you understand what hard work is and accept it as part of the process, you are likely not going to achieve your goals.  Being your best is about wanting it enough to do what is required and more. You have to be willing to pay the price of commitment, with consistency and discipline; you have to form new healthy habits if you are going to succeed in reaching your goals.  The key to reaching your own version of success means you have to accept what it will take. After that, you have to develop the habit of doing what you know you should and what is necessary. To be your best you must have the will to prepare to win the day.

“The dictionary is the only place success comes before work.  Hard work is the price we must all pay for success. I think we can accomplish anything if we are willing to pay the price.”

 

Most people think they have the will to be great at some level.  However, many do not acknowledge the price that must be paid. At the beginning levels the cost is minimal. You have to begin by creating some consistent training habits.  As you improve that price goes up. If you know why you are training, you will be willing to do the work. A martial artist knows that victories are won in the classroom and through training with consistency.  It is by making a choice to get up and get into The Academy to train on a consistent basis that little victories are won. Your body and mind become accustomed to your routine and you will eventually start to ask more of yourself.  By knowing why you want to train and then following through over time, you become ever closer to becoming that confident, disciplined and hardworking individual you have always dreamed you could be.

Opera Non Verba, Deeds Not Words…..Just Do It!

Martial Arts Goals As You Age

Listen to Coach Greg talk about how your goal for training can evolve over time as you get older