Impact Martial Arts

Why you fail to reach your goals.

Posted: January 02, 2019

Happy 2019 Friends,

According to our friends at Best Self Journal, a recent British Study found that 88% of Resolutions don’t last. Social media probably hasn’t made it any better over the last few years either. Worse, is the money wasted on fad diets, REALLY expensive supplements and Highly Priced Gym memberships or basement training equipment that goes unused (except for hanging laundry on) and collects dust instead of giving you “SHREDDED ABS”.

The problem isn’t your intentions. The problem isn’t you set your goals too high or that we don’t believe in you, WE DO! Most adults (and sadly a lot of kids today) have weight they would like to or need to lose, but if you ask me it is the lack of a thought-out plan, a formulated goal or system. I tell many hopeful martial arts school owners to “Begin with the end in mind”. What does that mean exactly? What did it “look like” when you’ve closed your eyes, and in your mind already accomplished that goal? Next, what did you have to do to get there? In essence, work backwards from the goal. Then I jokingly say, “If you aren’t willing to work HALF-DAYS (12-Hours that is) in this business, it’s probably not right for you.”

Losing weight, getting fit or earning a black belt will not come from joining a gym (at least not where I teach). It comes from showing up, and equally as important, “WHO” shows up. If you and your old habits show up to class, I can probably expect your cancellation notice shortly after you join. But if “YOU”, the you that is determined and going to show up early, stay late, keep your hands up, your chin down and mouth shut, that’s the you that will be rewarded with the sweat of your brow and the desired outcome or accomplished goal.

If you don’t know my background, I used to punch (no pun intended) the time clock at 5:00a.m. every morning to stack beans and tuna fish cans on grocery store shelves. Kneeling, crouching, reaching and hustling so the aisles are clear and ready to shop before 8:00 so people can help me restart the stacking process again tomorrow. So, the very fact that I’m sitting here, drinking a cup of coffee at the Panera Bread across from the Martial Arts Academy I own, writing this post at 8:00a.m. on a Wednesday morning, is a direct result of putting my goals into action. In fact, I remember the toughest days of stacking cans, sitting on an upside down and empty 5-gallon bucket of Mayonnaise and writing down a goal or idea on my break. At that time, it was about the only thing that would get me through the work day, until it was time to teach classes (after a shower – especially after the days in the Seafood department, YUCK). Finally, the day came, June 13, 2016 - to be exact, when the hard work paid off and I could quit my “JOB” to pursue my career in small business, but the real work was simply just beginning.

Now days, each one of our members, age 4 to 74, is working towards a desired goal or outcome. Usually, it’s not even the belt, but the person they will become in the process. In fact, what people foreign to martial arts generally don’t know is how naturally goal, reward and result driven this sport is. In 26 years of training and nearly 2 decades of teaching, I’ve yet to find a goal, skill, technique, accomplishment or award that I can’t work towards.

So, before you already toss in the towel on your resolution, put it through this test. No, I didn’t create it, but it’s proven to work in your health and fitness goals as well as your personal and financial goals too.

Here is the formula we use to make sure we have SMART goals:

S - Specific

“I want to be thinner”, isn’t very specific. Have you clearly thought through this goal or is it simply a wish? Also, is it simplified enough that it is specific? For example; in Martial Arts, nobody signs up to become a yellow belt, you join to become a black belt because of the person you become in the process. Which leads me to a great martial arts quote, “If the belt is your goal, you’ll quit when you get there. If knowledge is the goal, you will never stop training.”

Here’ an example of a more specific goal:

“I will lose 10 pounds by or before February 28th.” As long as you have 10 pounds to lose, you’ll get there, but we can always chop off a foot if we need to (KIDDING.. Kidding..)!

M – Measurable

“I want to win 1st place in a tournament”, although is specific, isn’t very measurable. As a matter of fact, the last thing I want a student to do is take home the gold in their first tournament. Don’t get me wrong, I’d be proud of he or she, but I don’t want to create and ego or expectation to do well. I think a more measurable version of a goal will be, “I will lose 25 pounds and go from a size 7 uniform to a size 5 by the time I test for my Green Belt on March 9th, 2019.”

Another example of this is something we use with our student’s attendance cards. We call it “the gift of affirmation.” Each attendance card has their name, the belt color or goal they are working toward and when they will test, so they can accomplish it. For example: Ken Hoops will test for his 6th degree black belt at World Championships in June 2020.

A - Attainable

Let’s look at the last example I gave. For me to test for my 6th degree, I need to train, not just teach a class now and then. I need to get after it. Because June 2020 is coming whether I’m ready or not, and if I wait until May 2020 to start training, I’ll set myself up for failure, big time! You must make your goals attainable. You wouldn’t sign up for a marathon the day of the race, right?

At our Chanhassen Academy it’s simple, no matter how “good you are”, you can’t test if you don’t come to class. Period. Belts aren’t given out here. However, after you attend a certain number of classes and do a certain amount of work outside of class, you’ll earn all you belt stripes and you’ll be eligible to test. And depending on how many classes you attend will determine how what belt you will be eligible to attain.

R – Realistic

Want to lose 50 pounds over night? Me too! but without cutting off a limb and donating a couple organs, I’m not realistically going to get there. I think this is where people really screw up their goals. They aren’t being realistic, so be REAL!

Write it down!

What do you really want? More than simply the idea of it. Every martial artist likes the idea of getting paid to help people by teaching martial arts for a living, but as I mentioned before, if you aren’t planning to do it for free out of the goodness of your heart, which would require millions of dollars, it’s going to take some work.

I use a planning too called the Best Self Journal (get it here), to plan my main 3 results goals, 90 days at a time. So, I don’t just write down a goal (which that alone increases the likelihood of accomplishing it significantly), but how I’ll progress towards each goal, the actions and tasks I must complete to do so.

Bonus tip: In addition to a quarterly journal that I write in multiple times a day and use to plan my day, week and quater, I have been part of a mastermind community for nearly 3 years, which has kept me accountable and on track to accomplish my health, personal and business goals. I attribute much of my success to the inner circle of people and our facilitator, Vincent, of our weekly 90-minute calls.


Let me guess, want to take a dream vacation, or write a book? When?

Want to make a six or maybe seven figure income? We all do, but in what amount of time do you wish to do it in?

A year..? 2 years..? A decade..? Put time on your side.

Want to earn a black belt? It took me five years because I didn’t make it my goal to do it in less time. It wasn’t until I got really serious about it so it could actually happen, then in December 1998, I accomplished my goal. I had many failures and powerful lessons along the way (based on lack of a SMART goa)l, but it happened. So, like any good story, take my advice... don’t do what I did! Put your goals through the SMART filter. I guarantee they will gain even more clarity and you’ll get even more amped up to accomplish them.

Lastly, I’m not here to hassle you about your goals. If anything, I’d like to see you succeed and crush them. So I encourage you to try using this method to make the most of your resolutions this year, and make this your most prosperous year yet!

Ken Hoops

P.S. – Normally, this is where I say, we have a great trail program, but space is a little tight in our current location. So, at the time of this writing, we aren’t currently taking new enrollments, but you can join the waiting list and get notified about when our next registration will open up and receive emails and special offers, but never SPAM. Just hit the link to our trial offer section and join the list.