Attaining Goals Everyone has goals. Not everyone has a plan for reaching those goals. Here are some principles to use in achieving your goals. Positive Thinking: Do not be a pessimist! There is something good to be found in almost everything. Do not blame other people, things, or circumstances or otherwise make excuses for your own shortcomings. When you fail to break your boards during rank testing, do not blame it on the wood or the holders. When something goes wrong, view it as a learning experience that will help you reach your goals. Self-Confidence: When you fail at something, learn from your mistake and either try again or move on to something more to your liking. If you keep failing the black belt test, keep trying, it will happen if you keep trying. Look at failure as a character builder. Look at success as an indicator of your character rather than as simply the successful completion of a task. By viewing success and failure this way, everything you do will build your self-confidence. Focus Your Thoughts: Avoid dwelling on things you cannot do or that are beyond your control. If you are shorter than other opponents at a tournament, there is nothing you can do about it. However, you can be faster than they are, so take advantage of it. Concentrate only on things that you can do or have control over. If you have no control over a circumstance or situation, no amount of worry will change things. Focus on what you can change. Set Achievable Goals: Set high but realistic, achievable goals. Unachievable goals foster failure. If you are a 10 year-old white belt, ninth degree black belt is an achievable goal. If you are a 40-year-old white belt, you need to set your goal a little lower. Set intermediate goals that lead to the ultimate goal. Successfully reaching each intermediate goal will build confidence toward reaching the ultimate goal. Reframe Unpleasant Tasks: There are times in life, when you must do something you do not enjoy doing to accomplish your goals, such as pushups or repeatedly practicing forms. Do not let them stop you; simply accept them as the price you pay for success. Reframing means you view unpleasant things, not as  something to avoid, but as steps toward your goals. Making Mountains Out of Molehills: Do not turn every minor inconvenience into a major calamity. Do not turn every setback into a disaster. Instead, look at the progress you are making toward your goal. An ankle injury that interferes with training is an inconvenience but not a disaster. You can use the healing time to increase you upper body strength. Dwelling on minor inconveniences can lead to anger, depression, and kill enthusiasm and motivation. Learn From Your Frustrations: When frustration arises, push aside unproductive, negative thoughts and ask yourself where the problem lies. Analyze the problem and different possible solutions, then choose the best solution and move on. If you cannot get your jump back kick to work against boards and frustration builds, stop and analyze your technique, make changes, and try again. It may take many repetitions and changes before success, so do not let frustration creep in. If too many difficulties, frustrations, and failures arise, you may need to rethink your approach.