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September 1, 2009

Goal Setting: A Key to Success On and Off the Mat!

Amal Easton

Goal Setting: A Key to Success On and Off the Mat!

It was an interesting week in Miami.

It was an interesting week in Miami.  I was welcomed with open arms at my adopted academy in South Beach, Fight Sports.  Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu is always great to see, he is so passionate about Jiu Jitsu and he is training super hard with his team, which includes his academy as well as Boca De La Riva’s academy  and Pablo Popovitch’s.  Cyborg leaves for Barcelona to compete in the World Championships (Abu Dhabi) in the middle of September and even if he puts in 6 hours each day on the mat and in the gym, to him, it is never enough.

Which brings me to my experience and thoughts for the week; Cyborg has two very gifted students whose dream is to fight MMA.  However, MMA is much more then just Jiu Jitsu.  Jiu Jitsu is an important part of the recipe, an essential part of the dish.  But conditioning, standup skills, takedown skills and putting it all together also play a crucial role.

I watched Cyborg become very frustrated when the two of them said they were going to accept offers to fight MMA in November.  He said “guys, that’s like pointing to an island 2 miles out in the ocean and saying ‘I’m going to swim there’, maybe you can, but more than likely you are going to drown!  You haven’t even tried to do laps in a pool!!”.

This sparked a bigger conversation with a group of us that I found really interesting.  It’s about setting goals.  It’s about looking at the end result you want to achieve and working backwards from there.  These two gifted BJJ fighters want to transition to MMA.  Their goal is to compete in an actual MMA event.  They both dream of it.  But how does that dream become a reality?

A friend of mine told me he watched a Tony Robbins DVD and on it, they spoke about how important goal setting is.  They gave an example about how they did a study on the incoming freshman class 20 years ago at Yale University.  Less than 3% set goals coming into their first year of college for their future.  That 3% currently earns more income than the other 97% combined from the same incoming class!

The goals we set for ourselves have to be small, incremental, achievable goals.

With my sales staff at the magazine DiningOut, I can’t just say “go sell $50,000 in advertising”.  What does that even mean?  You have to quantify it.

•We have 10 weeks in our sales cycle.

•At the end of the 10 weeks the goal is $50,000 in sales.

•That’s $5000 in sales a week.

•At $2000 an ad that is roughly 2.5 sales a week or an ad sold every other day.

•To sell 2.5 ads per week you need to have 10 actual meetings per week.

•To get 10 meetings per week you probably have to approach 75 potential advertisers for an appointment.

•To get 75 potential appointments you have to approach 15 people a day about advertising in the upcoming issue.

This creates achievable goals, but it also creates a system of management.

If your goal is to lose 20lbs…that’s a big goal!  What does it take to achieve that goal?  How do you quantify that?  I am not a nutritionist but I would imagine:

First off, you would probably want to come up with a goal about the quality of food and of how many calories you can take in in a day and stick to that.  You would then have to come up with an exercise regimen, a timeline,  and personal goals on a daily and weekly basis that you can stick to and achieve.

I asked Mike Tousignant how he kept so motivated on his training, because I felt sort of blah while training.  He told me that it was important for me to set goals for myself, otherwise I would just be going through the motions on the mat.  The way he does it is by competing.  For me perhaps it is competing, or some other personal test so that I can keep training with a sense of purpose.  With Coach Vellore I have been working very hard to learn stand up skills so that I can train with the MMA team over at T’s.  Not because I want to compete at MMA, because it is a little scary to me, but at the same time looks really fun!

Concerning my friends at Cyborg’s academy in Miami and what they will do.  We talked about it more and discussed how to make their MMA dream become a reality.  The first thing I did was text Brendan Schaub, Coach Vellore and Professor Easton and asked how can we help my friends?  I already knew what their answer would be, so as I waited for their reply I went online and started looking for cheap tickets to Denver.  We are spoiled in Denver, there are just so many resources at our disposal.  The texts came back in quick succession all with the same response “tell them to come train with us”.

The first step will be them coming to Denver and learning a new way of training, new skills and getting lots of advice from established MMA fighters.  Of course we will help them achieve their dream however we can, but first they have to see if they even like MMA!

The point is for your training, for your career, for your life, it is important to make achievable goals.

One of the guys I train with in Miami, his name is Peter, said it best when someone told him they wanted to make a million dollars.  He said “I have no clue how to make a million dollars at once, but I know how to make one dollar, and I can figure out how to do that a million times!”


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