With summer around the corner and many activities competing for your time, how can you stay motivated in your martial arts training? Temptation is high to skip training and put your martial arts goals on pause. It’s important to remember that martial arts is an ongoing journey of skill mastery and self-improvement. The more you put in, the more you get out. So what do you do when the temptation to skip training comes along? Martial artists learn how to become self-disciplined and self-motivated. They understand the importance of consistent training though it may mean forgoing another activity for the moment. This doesn’t come naturally, it’s a learned skill that helps you stay focused on your goals. It’s a skill and a mindset that will help you succeed in every aspect of your life.
Here are 5 ways to stay motivated in martial arts:
Create a reward system. Having something to look forward to after completing training can make going to class a more positive and rewarding experience. Perhaps reward yourself with a healthy snack or tea after training. Protein shakes have become a lot tastier and now with protein donuts in the mix, there are many enjoyable treats that won’t undo the training you just put in! For children perhaps it’s a comic book or playtime with a toy they really love. Whatever the reward, make sure it’s a healthy one and something that you’ll truly look forward to!
Small goals. Results aren’t immediate in martial arts so setting some smaller short term goals are really important. These can be by the week or month. It could be a class attendance goal, fitness, or small skill improvement. When you complete the goal you feel a sense of accomplishment that helps boost your motivation!
Visualization. Remember that you won’t reach your goals if you don’t put in the work. Write down your long term goals for martial arts and be descriptive. Envision what achieving that goal will look and feel like. Keeping yourself focused on the bigger picture can help you overcome moments of low motivation. For children, try creating a poster board with images and lots of color to hang on their wall and be reminded of regularly.
Make it a habit. When something becomes a habit, it’s easy to keep doing. Lack of consistency can lead to low motivation. Decide on your training schedule and stick to it. Also try scheduling time to practice at home between classes. Just 10-15 minutes at a time can make a big difference in your skill development and also reinforce the habit of training.
Team up with a buddy. We often let others push us more than we’re willing to push ourselves. Having a friend who can call you and make sure you’re keeping up with training can be very effective and the camaraderie creates an encouraging experience to keep you going. If you’re a parent of a student, try connecting with another parent whose child trains with yours. See if you can coordinate schedules and encourage your children to motivate each other. Knowing you’re going to see your friend in class makes training more fun!
"Everyone must choose one of two pains: The pain of discipline or the pain of regret."
— Jim Rohn.