Wikipedia says this about goals and goal setting:
According to Locke and Latham, goals effect performance in the following ways:
- goals direct attention and effort toward goal-relevant activities,
- difficult goals lead to greater effort,
- goals increase persistence, with difficult goals prolonging effort, and
- goals indirectly lead to engagement, and to discovery and use of task-relevant knowledge and strategies
A positive relationship between goals and performance depends on several factors. First, the goal must be considered important and the individual must be committed. Participative goal setting can help increase performance, but participation itself does not directly improve performance.
GOOGLE It! “Goal Setting”
Google it! Actually Wikipedia says a whole lot more. Anyone can type goals into their internet browser bar and read for days. If you are like many of us, you would rather hear the nuts and bolts of it all from someone who gets it! That’s me!
Let’s get into Goal Setting now!
For goals to be effective, people need feedback that details their progress in relation to their goal. This feedback needs to be positive, immediate, graphic, and specific. One of the most obvious ways martial artists get feedback is when a student earns a colored belt. There are many other forms of feedback. In a great martial arts school, they adjust which forms of feedback fit you, your student and your family expectations or needs.
Goals can be long-term, intermediate, or short-term. The primary difference is the time required to achieve them. Short-term goals are expected to be finished in a relatively short period of time. Long-term goals will be accomplished in a long period of time. Intermediate goals in a medium period of time.
As Americans, we are relatively good at the concept of short-term goal setting; however, the intermediate and long term goals are typically only realized fully by the most tenacious and determined people. I am here to tell you what tool is available to help increase your chances of reaching intermediate or long term goals. Martial arts training. Quality Martial Arts Training does just that!
Martial Arts Trains Goal Setting
Our Martial arts training includes constantly being reminded of very short term goals, such as standing still for more than ten seconds, listening to more than one direction or being respectful when things don’t go our way. The more we see success and praise it, while noting areas to improve and addressing them, the more we see growing success and readiness for longer term goal setting. In short, the more times you succeed at short term goals the more ready you are to see, hear, understand, set and even achieve longer term goals. Martial arts training maintains focus on the successes and needs of short term goals unlike other learning opportunities.
“goal setting can be lost in a society which has grown to reward instant gratification…”
Society often loses sight of goals and goal setting due to rewarding instant gratification rather than perseverance and indomitable spirit. Failure, when addressed positively, can be the best motivator and a significant tool for future growth and development. How many times have you seen a toddler or even an adult who throws an absolute fit when things do not go as planned? In martial arts training, that type of behavior is discouraged. A student that shows signs of entitlement, bully antics, disrespect or poor behavior receives the corrective action that best fits them. Most notable are push-ups but those should be used for more than a correction. Good training means your progress and measures to show progress will clearly slow down and be demonstrated well enough to encourage correction. Over time and many repeated efforts, the demand to be rewarded is replaced by a sincere drive to produce the quality results expected of anyone, not just a martial artist.
Set clear and achievable goals!
A visible path to both intermediate and long term goals is clear in Martial Arts training through the use of belts. The belts are the most visible tool used to help motivate. They are a great tool to motivate a student but also a great tool for a parent to see as leverage to get a desired behavior. When a student misbehaves in class or at home or even at school, belts become the first step in proving we are paying attention. Belts can be taken away but more likely a promotion to a new belt can be delayed. Once this happens, the student is given a very clear and achievable goal to get their belt back or get that new belt. As they realize this is not a secret and that absolutely everyone may be able to notice what is happening, a transformation begins. Those who stick it out excel, but for most kids and even adults it is easier to say I don’t want to than it is to stand in there and get through the tough, boring or challenging times. Students who learn how to accept martial arts coaching also learn how to persevere and motivate themselves, even when the goals seem unreachable. This trait is HUGE! Self motivation and perseverance are what makes fantastic future employees, successful members of teams, quality leaders and happy people!
Isn’t the goal in life really all about being happy with ourselves, being happy with who we see looking back at us in the mirror? One way or another I think many of us agree that no matter who or what we become, as long as we like who we see in the mirror, life has been good to us. Goal setting in this world of instant gratification can set us up to see that positive image of ourselves. Learning how to set goals and appreciating our own standards of who we are is also key to one of the most important goals of every parent…..happy kids with happy lives. If you are reading this you are probably already accomplishing the number one demand for any parent, BE THERE! Now that you are there for them, maybe let your local martial arts school help you set them up for happiness!