I’m asked as a motivational speaker, if one should bother making New
Year resolutions. Well, it turns out that the last two weeks
December is one of my favorite times of the year. Not only
because it's a festive holiday season, but also because it's a time for
personal reflection on how my year went. It’s also the time
I set my New Years resolutions for the upcoming year. My
resolutions are my personal goals that I want to achieve during the
next twelve months and one of my major ones for 1999 was to try my very
best to win a world championship in karate. Another was to
certified as a ski instructor.
By 1999, I already had many years of successful martial arts competition at the black belt level so a world title was realistically within my reach. Achieving such a goal would be symbolic for me on a personal level because I was never athletic during childhood. I was the little kid who always got bullied by the other kids because of my non-athleticism.
But when I started in martial arts, I finally found a physical activity that I was able to excel in. Winning a karate world championship would certainly make up for all those younger years. My training throughout 1999 was consistent and progressed well. Qualifying competition went well and I was ready for the world championships in December.
The world championship event I was competing in that year was held at Niagara Falls. I breezed through the elimination rounds and then three days before the finals, I tore my anterior cruciate ligament or ACL during a practice session (this incident is also described in my book, The Life Champion In You).
Fortunately, Niagara Falls was only about an hour away from where I was living near Toronto so I rushed to my doctor to see what can be done. He said that surgery was the only way to fix a torn ACL. I told him that since I've come so far making it to the finals for the first time, I wanted to at least try to continue competing if at all possible. I didn't want to bow out and quit.
My doctor was a sports medicine physician so I guess he understood the psychology of athletes. He knew that sometimes athletes just don't think straight especially when world titles are on the line. The divisions I qualified for were not combative ones and didn't involve any contact, so my doctor agreed to let me continue. He taped my knee up really tight, put me on strong painkillers and wished me luck.
I went back to Niagara Falls and ended up going against last year's world champion in the finals. Being faithful to my New Year resolution, I performed with everything I had and ended up winning as a karate world champion in my division. I could barely walk afterwards but for me, it was well worth it. I felt that I had finally redeemed myself after all these years.
As for my skiing, I didn't make it as an instructor that year. Even though both martial arts and skiing were part of my New Years resolutions, I didn't have the same commitment to the ski slopes as I did with martial arts. I scheduled time for martial arts and actively monitored my progress on a weekly basis. Even if I didn't win in Niagara Falls, I would have still achieved my New Year resolution since I really did try my very best. However, I couldn't say the same for my skiing, at least for 1999.
I learned that in order to be successful with New Year resolutions, one must make total commitment to them. This involves scheduling dedicated time each week of the year to work on goals progressively and continuously monitoring the results making adjustments as required. This active approach ensures forward momentum over time to achieve success. As a motivational speaker, I spend a good portion of time during my motivational speeches on explaining this in detail for achieving goals whether they are New Years resolutions or other goals set during other times of the year.
To possibly book me as a speaker for your event, see my Speaking Programs.
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