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So, you've made your goals for the new year. What is it that you want? What are the celebrations you've planned along the way?  Why not make this a memorable journey.  In the book, The Power of Moments by Chip and Dan Heath, milestones are accentuated as the most powerful ways to help you to keep your goals.

We just celebrated the milestones of our students at Graduation this past weekend.  I am so proud of the progress that they are making toward their goal of Black Belt Excellence!  

This week I am challenging you to step out of your comfort zone and to do something that scares you -- just a little bit. Maybe it is calling someone you haven't spoken with for a while. Maybe it's speaking or singing in front of a group. Maybe it's cutting sugar completely out of your diet for this week. Maybe it's getting to the gym and picking up the weights - that one always scares me a little and I celebrate every week that I make it through all of my workouts for the week! Maybe it's writing a blog! Or maybe it's just taking some time and going out in public. Everyone has different challenges, but I would love to see you tackle those challenges.

Once you accomplish that goal, celebrate it. One example from the book that I am reading is that if I keep jogging all the way through 3 songs on my iPod, then I give myself permission to buy three more songs.  How about this one:  If I read three informational books, then I can read a novel just for fun. Or:  If I write for 15 minutes every day this week then, I level up in my plans to write a book and I get to reach out to an author that I admire. If I practice guitar for 15 minutes every day this week, then I can record a song and put it on YouTube. These are just suggestions to motivate and give your goals some life and energy! 

Make some milestones for your goals and celebrate the journey!  Life is supposed to be fun!!!

Here are some basic steps to finding success in this new year!!
1. Know What You Want!
My friend John wrote some good advice on his Facebook post just before the new year.  He said, " New Years advice. Pick hard goals, with measurable outcomes, and write them down today. The details will fall into place."  I'm thinking that is a great start! You have to know what you want before you can get what you want. This applies not only to fitness goals, but any personal goals you might have.  

I'll share a couple of my goals, I want to be able to do 100 snatches with a 16 kg  (or lose 10 lbs and snatch 12kg) kettlebell by the end of the summer and I want to write a book. That's one of my fitness goals and one of my career goals. Since I took some time off during November and December, I feel like I'm starting from scratch. But I have my goals, they are measurable, they have a time line and are written down. I am now well on my way!  What do you want? WRITE IT DOWN!

2. Have A Plan!
Have a plan of action. Make sure that you know how to get what you want. In martial arts, we have rank goals to help students to master techniques and become proficient in the art. These belt ranks are the built in plan that we provide for our students and help them and us to judge progress and build skill.  

For my personal goal, I have a plan from Strong First. I would like to eventually get instructor certification from them and so I am following their training plan. I also have a plan to write consistently every day. 

When I trained for half-marathons, I would follow a training plan. When I was in university, I followed a degree plan and made it work.  So, what is your plan to your goal?
3.  Have a Success Coach!
All successful people have a mentor or a coach.  This can be the very thing that has kept you from fullfilling your goals in the past and it can be the very thing that will help you to achieve greatness. There is a great deal of power in developing a personal team of mentors.  Think about the synergy that can happen when two people work together toward the same goal. Imagine that being multiplied when one employs several mentors.

I'll admit, it is difficult for me to submit myself to the coaching of another person.  However, I have submitted myself to business coaches, fitness coaches, martial arts instructors, university instructors and pastors to achieve my goals.  Since I am in the process of writing a book, I have submitted myself to some amazing writers and individuals to help me in my journey there.

4. Take consistent action!
Taking a little action daily can make huge changes over the course of a year. One of my friends recently told me that she kept track what she ate every day for the past year. She made small changes in her diet on a consistent basis.  She lost 50 pounds, but what she gained was so much more!

My personal trek has already begun. I started the year off strongly on January 1. I have challenged myself to writing daily and to stick to my workout plan. What consistent action will you take?
5. Review Your Progress!
 Throughout the course of the success cycle, it is important to review your work and check to see what changes need to be made.  In our self defense school, we have stripe tests. These are monthly check-ups to see if we are progressing at the rate that will help us to achieve our goal at the end of the testing cycle. Then, of course, there are our rank tests. These tests help us to break down our goal of black belt into smaller chunks.  This helps us to track our progress and ultimately achieve our goal!

So, tracking progress. I'll be looking at page numbers and word counts a lot over the course of the next year to make the goal of writing a book a reality. I'll also be marking increases in weights to my workouts to achieve my goal of lifting 35# kettlebells!  How will you keep track of your progress?
6.  Renew Your Goal!
Last year, I had to reconfigure my goals.  It was a difficult year. I dealt with physical limitations and medical issues that caused me to veer off course, but I was able to rank up twice in Krav Maga and acquired my black belt in Han Mu Do.  So, this year, I have reset some goals.  Actually, I have reset a LOT of goals.  I am looking forward to a successful 2018.

What are your new goals for the year?  Leave them in a comment below!