Do you set BJJ or training goals for yourself? Are you a New Years resolutioner?
Personally I've always been rather goal orientated, not just in my training but in most aspects of my life. I've found that setting both short and long term goals for myself and then working out a plan to achieve them has meant that I've managed to be successful at a lot (not all) of the things I've attempted.
With BJJ though a mistake I've made in the past and I see others still doing is to set that goal on things that I don't actually control.
What I mean by this is goals like; this is my year to get that next belt or I will get 2 more stripes this year are up to your instructor to decide if they see the requisite improvement to award you those things. So this year I decided to make my goals 100% things that I can control.
Here are my goals for 2017;
I will train jiu jitsu at least 4 times a week. We all know the only real way to improve at BJJ is time spent on the mats, so I have committed to making it to the academy a minimum of 4 times every week for the entire year. That's 208 sessions of at least 90 minutes each. I know that this will help me improve my skill levels but also my strength and conditioning both of which will hopefully lead to my instructor deciding that I am ready to be promoted but, if it doesn't, my primary goal of improvement will definitely be met. 4 sessions a week may be too many for you to fit into your schedule but look at what number you can get to and commit to making it every week no matter what.
I will eat right. I recently cut all red meat from my diet and have moved to eating a vegetarian diet at least 3 days a week. This isn't for everyone and I'm not here to preach veganism, or similar, but I have noticed that I have more energy and, most importantly, I have less joint pain which was my main goal. Less pain means my goal of training more is easier to do and more energy helps me in all aspects of my life. Eating well also means that I recover quicker and I find that I sleep better too.
I will party less. I'm not a big drinker but last year I probably had a big night about once a month and I could definitely see a difference when (sometimes if) I went to training that week, so this year I plan on being hangover free all year. This means I can have a few drinks with the boys or for a special event but that's it and always home before midnight so I get the sleep I need.
I will take care of my body. I'm 41 and I definitely don't recover from a hard session like the 20 somethings do so I've committed to stretching a lot more, particularly first thing in the morning and straight after training. I've also bought a foam roller which I am using religiously to iron out the lumps in my back and legs. Neither of these things are very glamorous but I'm hoping doing both will reduce the chance of injury and increased flexibility can't hurt, right?
Obviously injury could derail some of these goals and some might argue that increased mat time leads to increased chance of injury, but there is an opposing view that the better conditioning that extra training gives you counter balances that and, coupled with the other things I've mentioned, that's the theory I am prescribing to.
What are your thoughts on this and what goals are you setting for 2017?
Remember, the rolls never end, hope to see you on the mats someday.