Tip​ ​#1​ ​–​ ​Think​ ​of​ ​the​ ​benefits

It helps if you clarify the reasons why you decided to do more or less of something, in this case Martial Arts. Generally if you’re trying to improve something in yourself be that quitting smoking, lifting weights or practicing more BJJ, what will push you towards achieving that goal will be the ‘WHY’. Self Defense, Competition, Physical Fitness, Healthy Lifestyle, Self Confidence… there are many reasons you may start training and if you really want to improve, reminding yourself why you’re doing something will certainly help. And remember, the ‘WHY’ can change or evolve over time as you achieve goals.

Tip​ ​#2​ ​–​ ​Stay​ ​mindful

Use mindfulness to stay on track. So, whenever you’re struggling with unproductive thoughts and you happen to catch yourself making excuses, just try to observe those thoughts and let them go. We tend to cling to negative thoughts and instead of simply letting them go, we feed on that negativity and that harms our productivity. So next time you’re feeling lazy and start to make excuses why you don’t feel like training that day – note that, perhaps write it down and do it anyways. You’ll feel much better afterwards ​and ​you’ll ​appreciate ​your ​persistence.

Tip​ ​#3​ ​–​ ​Set​ ​goals

Setting goals is the next thing that you could do in order to ensure success and strengthen your willpower. Try to be reasonable while doing that though and start with something small – do it step by step. Everyone starts at a different starting point and there’s no shame in starting as an absolute beginner. Remember, being frustrated with your ​current ​ability ​is ​wildly ​counter-productive ​and ​should ​be ​noted ​and ​avoided. Set goals that will improve yourself based on your own goals, don’t chase other students or compare yourself to others. Everyone progresses at their own pace and another persons goals may be radically different than your own.

Tip​ ​#4​ ​–​ ​Track​ ​your​ ​progress

Tracking your progress might be the best motivator when it comes to staying on track. Why would you stop doing something that clearly benefits you and makes you feel good? You probably won’t be able to see the slow improvements and observe positive changes in your body/posture/flexibility/mobility when you’ll look in the mirror daily. Taking ‘before & after’ photos to compare over time, and  filming your your open mat training can come in very handy, as you can literally keep an eye on your improvement and progress!

Tip​ ​#5​ ​–​ ​Turn​ ​it​ ​into​ ​a​ ​habit

It’s highly likely that once you get past those first few weeks of training you won’t want to stop. You’ll want to come in more and more as your body gets used to it. Eventually, you’ll develop your own routine based around your favorite classes and coaches. Just like that, you’ll have develop a new ‘habit of training’ and it’ll ​get ​easier ​and easier the more dedicated and disciplined you are. Before you know it, it will actually be harder to NOT train then it will be to come into the Academy. That is precisely why the biggest amount of effort is required in the first few months of training. Just like anything worth doing… if it were easy, everyone would do it. But we’ve always known that with great persistence come ​great ​benefits.

To finish off, the next time you’re feeling “unmotivated”, come back to these five tips and hopefully they will help you get over those particularly difficult days and help you stay disciplined with your Training. Keep in mind that the level of improvement and progress you’ll achieve is completely up to you and your willpower. If you’re not willing to put in the work, you won’t be able to reap the benefits. So go get on the mat and get after ​it!

– Prof. GEO