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Questions to ask yourself when goal setting


What do your goals need to be for you to live the life of your dreams? Having goals is a critical part of living a successful life. Goals should excite, motivate, challenge and inspire you to learn and grow. Goals are a crucial step in turning dreams into reality. If you don’t know where you want to be, how will you ever get there?


“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.’

Anatole France


We often speak of the importance of strategic goal setting. In Martial Arts there is a built in goal setting process called the Belt System. Here is an overview:


  • White Belt
  • Yellow Belt
  • Orange Belt
  • Purple Belt
  • Blue Belt
  • Blue w/Green Stripe
  • Green Belt
  • Green /Brown Stripe
  • 3rd Degree Brown Belt
  • 2nd Degree Brown Belt
  • 1st Degree Brown Belt
  • Black Belt – Shodan


Similar to the Belt System, we should have goals and milestones in all of the most important areas of our lives including:


  • Career/Business
  • Finances and Wealth
  • Friends and Family
  • Health and Fitness
  • Fun, Recreation, and Entertainment
  • Personal Relationships
  • Personal/Spiritual Development/Contribution
  • Physical Environment


For each goal you set, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What will I gain by achieving the goal?
  2. What are the consequences of not achieving the goal?
  3. When will I have the goal achieved?
  4. What skill development is necessary to achieve the goal?
  5. What are the action steps?
  6. What are the potential obstacles?
  7. What resources are needed to achieve the goal?
  8. Who can hold you accountable?
  9. How will you celebrate success?


Make sure you spend time each week on activities that move you towards your goals. When setting goals, we should use the same commitment and self-discipline used to move up the Belt ranks in Martial Arts. If you need help setting and achieving goals in any of the above areas, take the initiative and complete the free consultation form to begin a coaching process that will lead to long lasting success.


Until next time, stay Black Belt focused.


David Lopez, MBA, CBC, CLC

January 2019


Black Belt Wisdom

As a Shaolin Kempo Karate Black Belt, I am committed to continuing education to build my skills and knowledge of the Martial Arts. For the first 5 months of 2019, I will be focusing on the Five Shaolin Animals. They are Dragon, Tiger, Crane, Snake, and Leopard. According to 6th Degree Black Belt Trevor Gaines, the Five Animal Style originated 1400 years ago in a Shaolin Monastery in the Hunan Provence of China. Each animal style has certain attributes. For the month of January 2019, I will be focusing on the Dragon style of Martial Arts.

The attributes of the Dragon include:

  • Wisdom
  • Indomitable fighting spirit
  • Purity of purpose
  • Natural element: Fire


The dragon’s effectiveness is not from the action it puts forth, but from what it chooses not to do.  The dragon knows who he is, what he stands for, and what he is willing to fight for.  No action is wasted.  The dragon has nothing to prove to anyone, but himself.  He is patient and will wait for the perfect moment to make his move.  The dragon’s wisdom arises from his applied knowledge.  He utilizes what he knows and doesn’t take unnecessary action. 


So, how does this apply to goal setting?  Like the dragon, think about who you are, what you stand for, and what you are willing to fight for.  Having a goal will help you focus on your strengths and delineate action steps to define strategies to reach your goal.  Working with a coach can help you figure out the right moves to make and the right time to make them.  A coach can also help you avoid making unnecessary moves that can cost you time and money in the future.  You already have what it takes to set and achieve your goals; you just have to identify your goals and then work wisely to achieve them.  As Aikido founder Morihei Ueshiba said, “Progress comes to those who train and train; reliance on secret techniques will get you nowhere.”


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