As we begin a new year once again, I’m excited for what lays ahead. Excited in the sense I’m living through history and how will I leave my mark.
Aim For Being Multifaceted
Those of us born into the blade, know training never ends. You are never “good enough”, you only reach new plateaus. You strive to improve the smallest facet of the overall skill set. I often comment about the importance of being well-rounded. No one and I mean no one can say definitely what type of trouble will befall you. All they can do is give you their best guess. Remember that, burn that into your training psyche. I’m not saying to disregard their opinions. I’m saying step back and assess. Through this lens we should see an unknowable, unknown event. That is the basis for any good training methodology. The goal is to be multifaceted, with a diverse set of experiences and abilities.
Setting Good Goals
The quest for being multifaceted starts with self assessment. Know thyself, strengths and weaknesses. The common mistake is to work on strengths only, forgoing improving weaknesses. The first goal of the new year is to identify and improve areas of weakness. Goal setting is not hard, but it is often done poorly or flat out incorrectly. Once the area of improvement is identified, assign a time period for completion. This first step is commonly omitted or poorly completed. Whatever the time period, it will be inaccurate. By that, I mean too short. Anything of value is measurable, so to is the goal. Establish an observable and repeatable standard to identify progress and or completion. The last step is identifying any obstacles that would interfere with goal completion. These are also often overlooked or ignored. One other suggestion is to reassess. Whatever the time period, establish a halfway point to review the progress. It may be necessary to adjust or adapt your goal. Armed with the recent experience adjustments to the time period and standards become more accurate.
Check The Ego at the Door
Getting outside the comfort zone is another worthy goal. Doing something new or different helps create better neural engagement and elasticity. Shooting courses are great examples. Taking courses from reputable instructors is a sound tactic. Those worth their salt will challenge personal growth and self discovery. No matter the subject, if there is no growth or discovery it is more likely ego driven as opposed to goal driven. If the goal is personal growth it will involve some failures and disappointments. Without failure, growth is stunted. Push outside the established comfort zones. Learn to fail quickly and fail often. Use the experience to grow. I’m no different than anyone, I don’t like to fail…at anything. I also know myself, if I’m not pushing or reaching for the next level I will become complacent. True growth happens at the outer limits of current abilities. Plus, it is fun.
Be A Good Rival
I’m a big fan of having a support group or training partners. The better my training partners, the better my performance. If you cannot find someone local, consider coordinating virtual training sessions with friends or family members across the globe. With today’s technology, there is no excuse. Find a good training partner who will push you. By the same token, be a good training partners to those below you. We all started as beginners, think back to the early stages of your training. Remember the frustration, anxiety and fear we all had. Use the experiences to help others. Share the hard earned knowledge, consider it a right of passage. Mentoring is a great way to see new self-improvement.
I love this time of year and the future opportunities. I know I will miss the mark on some of my goals, but I miss all the shots I don’t take.