KJN’s Corner: Setting and Achieving Goals

KJN’s Corner: Setting and Achieving Goals

Kwan Jan Nim Veronica DeSantos, Master Instructor and Owner of DeSantos Premier Martial Arts in TorontoI was shocked when I heard that most people spend more time planning their vacations than their lives. I learned this at a success management seminar I went to several years ago.

I also learned that a twenty year study on planning and goal setting was conducted. Of the entire graduating class of 1953, only 3% had written their goals down, 14% had unwritten goals, and 83% had no specific plans (just some general ideas). Twenty years later, in 1973, the net worth of the 3% exceeded the combined net worth of the entire 97%!

So I did an impromptu survey and asked several people where they wanted to be in five years. Did they have a specific plan?

Guess what? With a few exceptions, most people I questioned only had a vague idea of what they wanted. Almost no one had a written five-year plan!

Allow me to quickly summarize the three-day seminar in a few sentences. We were taught that it is best to have a big goal that is four to five years out. Then take that goal and divide it into annual segments, then into quarterly portions, and finally into monthly, weekly, daily and even mini goals. Then set up a quarterly “review, rejoice and renew period”.

This is where one reviews ones progress towards that goal. Focus on the little successes one has made toward achieving the big goal and then renew the vow to reach the big goal.

I got so excited! Our main goal is to improve our student’s lives by teaching successful life skills, since there are so many things in martial arts that make a perfect metaphor for success in real life and goal setting perfectly!

I got even more excited when I realized that this is what we’ve been teaching for years!

You see the big goal (one that is four to five years out) is earning the Black Belt. The annual segments are Purple Belt, Brown Belt, Red Belt and finally Black Belt. The quarterly goals are the coloured belts in between. The monthly break down is equivalent to earning the stripes on the belts. The mini goals could be perfecting on technique.

The review is the belt testing. The rejoicing is in the sense of accomplishment and joy that comes in earning a new belt. And at the conclusion of every belt test we ask our students to renew their goals in the Martial Arts.

You have heard that success isn’t a destination, but a journey. Well, living a successful life doesn’t just happen…It is a result of consistently applying the formula for success. Which includes: having worthy and admirable goals, living with commitment, modesty, courtesy, integrity, self-control, perseverance and indomitable spirit.

It only makes sense to help our students develop the habit of goal setting and planning their lives…For some of our students, the first time they have written down a long-term goal is when they joined the “Black Belt Training”.

This is one reason we take the “Black Belt Training” so seriously. We are helping our students practice the act of living successful life…one step at a time – one belt at a time.

For many, earning their Black Belt us the first big, long-term goal that they have realized. I and the rest of the staff feel so privileged to have helped along the way!
Yours for successful kids,
Veronica De Santos