Think about it...

Every year starts with you envisioning the best year of your life, you're going to lose weight, gain muscle, compete more and get that next belt level. Heck, you even start off the first few weeks stronger than you imagined and more motivated  than ever.

Then something happens, maybe you get a small injury, you go through a breakup with your significant other and decide to take a week off. By the time you get back on the mats the fire is not as big as it was at the start of the year. This is where most people fall off track and stay off track all year until Dec 31st rolls back around.

What can you do this year to make sure you stay on fire all year and make 2017 the best Jiu-Jitsu year ever? 

The first step is recognizing what you are up against! You have to mentally prepare yourself for the first morning you wake up and feel the urge to sleep in instead of going to class or getting up for the extra strength and conditioning session. Like I said the first few weeks may be easy but there will come a point when the "honey moon" phase wears off.

You have to fight those first few urges to skip practice or hit the snooze button! Once you overcome the first few "fight thru" phases, it becomes easier to continue pushing through the mental road blocks. On the flip side, if you let "fight thru" phase beat you, it becomes harder and harder each time to keep your momentum going.

The secret to reaching your goals in anything is to make the preparation and desire to train more than ever, become a HABIT.

There is a myth out there that says it takes 21 days to make something a habit. That has been proven over and over to be false. Certain habits take longer depending on certain factors such as what the habit is, how different the habit is from your normal routine, etc...

Another fact about habits is that they aren't so much formed as they are in a constant state of formation. The people who can get through the "tough" stage and get out of their normal "comfort zones" will succeed.

A great quote from the book "Organize Tomorrow Today" says

When "normal" people experience success, they have a tendency to respond by doing a little less. When mentally tough people experience success, they stay totally committed to what caused that success"

If you want to be extremely successful in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, you have to commit to doing things that many people aren't willing to do.

Here are a few goals to get you "thinking" about what you may want to get out of Jiu-Jitsu in 2017...

  • Commit to making 4 Jiu-Jitsu classes per week no matter what (all year) unless I'm sick
  • Enter 4 Jiu-Jitsu competitions this year
  • Start a new drilling plan and drill one hour per week (every week this year) during open mat
  • Spend one hour per week studying tournament footage or instructional content by Black Belts (every single week no matter what)
  • Add in two days of strength and conditioning work IN ADDITION to my Jiu-Jitsu training
  • Introduce 5 friends this year to the Jiu-Jitsu lifestyle.

Now these are only examples and you can use these or of course come up with your own goals. Here are a few ways that can help make sure you follow through with your goals.

  1. Get an accountability partner. Having someone else expecting you to show up for class or for your extra drilling session will make it harder for you to give in to the snooze button or the comfy couch at home after work.​
  2. Write Down Your Goals. Have your goals written out and look at them EVERY MORNING and EVERY NIGHT ask yourself if you followed through. If yes put a green star on your calendar for that day if no put a BIG RED X on your calendar for that day.
  3. Plan Your Training Sessions and Drilling Sessions For The Week Every Sunday: The act of writing out your weekly plans makes it easier to stick to. You will not even have to think, just show and do what's written down no matter what.
  4. Learn to enjoy the "uncomfortable zone": instead of giving yourself negative talk about the upcoming drilling session or training session, start giving yourself "positive talk" and embrace the uncomfortable feelings. Just like when you get put in a rear naked choke for the first time and you panic, you eventually start telling yourself that you're okay and you push through longer each time until you become "comfortable with the uncomfortable"
  5. Don't focus on the entire year. Take each training session one day at a time. Of course you want to plan out your month and weeks ahead of time but then stop looking at the big picture and only focus on what you must get done that day. I read an interview once with some Navy Seals and they said the ones who quit were the ones who focused on all the stuff they still had to get through for the next few weeks. The ones who made it through were the ones who only focused getting through the next task.

Whatever you decide you want out Jiu-Jitsu this year just make sure it's something BIG... You only have one life and we don't get any do overs. Make this the year that becomes a life style change and enjoy every second you have on the mats...

Jeremy Henderson "BJJ Black Belt under Robson Moura"​