Building good habits can make the difference in what level your game is at. if you are habitually training multiple times per day, you have a good diet and you’re sleeping and recovering right, it’s obvious to think your game will improve. The trouble for many is getting to this point. I’m going to break down an easy way of forming good habits you need to improve your game. This can be applied not only to martial arts, but sport and life as a general.
Ok so you want to start making things go better for you. The biggest mistake most people hit is doing too much too early. My Dad for instance might decide he wants to lose weight and will change his current diet which doesn’t really have any consistency to it, to an all salad and low calorie diet, it will last for a couple of weeks max and then he gives it up. The message is baby steps.
Take one aspect of your life and do something proactive. Keep doing it over and over again until it becomes natural. An example put forward by Elliot Hulse of Strength Camp is taking a walk every morning to lose weight. This has a couple of effects: your calorie usage for the day goes up, meaning you will start losing weight if all else stays the same but you also start to build momentum. Elliots video on the subject is just below.
So yeah great you can get up and go for a walk every morning or whatever it is you’ve changed as a small start. From here you can start building momentum.
This happens in two ways. The first, particularly if you’re a martial artist or a sports person as we tend to be pretty kinesthetic people is that movement gets you going, gets blood pumping around your body, most ideas I have for new posts, lessons, buisness plans all tend to come during my walk.
The ultimate momentum builder is the habit of building habits. You’ve just started to build positive habits throughout your day with that one simple start.
You can progress from here. For instance the next step might be cleaning up your diet so the next step is to record everything you eat WITHOUT changing what you eat, again don’t do too much too soon. You can then build on it and start cleaning up your diet, sorting out a healthy macronutrient intake and so on riding on the back of the momentum you’ve build from the small initial steps.
You might want to start indroduing more exercise. If you’re a martial artist you probably already go to training a few nights per week, you might want to form a new habit of hitting the gym for strength and conditioning twice per week as well.
The point is once you start building habits successfully, use the momentum to build more positive habits at a good pace, never too much too soon.
So here comes the science part. What we’ve discussed is the most powerful form of goal setting in sports psychology: the process goals. It’s been found that people react to these goals the best. I find it’s helpful to write down performance goals associated with the process goals (I.E, I want to increase the speed I can run 1.5 miles or the number of times I tap people out per session, I want to lose so much weight etc.) so that I keep the mid-term goal envisioned, but the most important part is the process goals. These are “I’m going to turn up to training 3 times per week”, “I’m going to walk every morning” “I’m going to record all the food I eat” type goals, focus on these but keep the longer term plan in mind.
Jugganought’s article on Goal setting: http://www.jtsstrength.com/articles/2015/05/06/the-sport-psychology-of-goal-setting/
Hard Work Becomes Effortless, the power of 21.
What might have been hard in the past will soon feel effortless. It will become a part of your life. Doing the odd healthy things in an unthealthy lifestyle won’t make you healthy as much as the odd unhealthy things in a healthy lifestyle will make you unhealthy.
Some people talk about the power of 21, the idea that if you force yourself to do that thing for 21 days, maybe it’s get up an hour earlier. After 21 days it will feel natural, it won’t be a chore to do it. Eric Thomas does a great video about this and I reccomend all readers watch his stuff, he’s great for getting you motivated.
The takeaway is that you don’t need to change your whole lifestyle at once. In fact, doing this can really screw you up and you can end up worse than before. Start small, build momentum using the power of 21 and set your goals properly.
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