Thursday, April 10, 2014


Good Morning HapKiDo Friends and Family!
This is Asst. Instructor Luca from Choe's Hap Ki Do in Loganville, and today we're going to talk about a favorite topic of mine; staying MOTIVATED! Today is April 4th, 2014. We are living in a world of progressive technology. Innovations are created every day that make life simpler, easier, and automated. How did this happen? Many processes that used to take several days can now be accomplished in just a few minutes online. Saving time equals saving money, and this is true for many people, businesses, and establishments.
Last week I was placing an order for take-out at my favorite restaurant, and while I was browsing their online menu, I noticed a flashy new link that read “Place Your Order Online NOW!” At that moment, the clouds parted and the angels started signing, and I thought that I might have to pinch myself to make sure that I wasn’t dreaming.
While many aspects of our lives have been greatly simplified, I would like to consider any factors that may have been sacrificed in the process. With so many innovative conveniences at my fingertips, I find it hard to engage myself at times. I certainly appreciate all of the luxuries that this century has afforded me, but how do I stay motivated when I barely have to lift a finger all day. Yes, I am exaggerating, but is it even possible anymore?  

Motivation is a process that drives your goal oriented behaviors, and helps you to achieve and maintain your goals. Throughout my life I have noticed the achievements of others and this sometimes sparked my interest. For example, I admired the black belt instructors at the studio since childhood. I came to achieve my black belt by using my motivation to create positive actions and ultimately fulfill my goal.
Performing meaningful actions as a result of motivation can be difficult.  
Here are a few things that I have learned in my experience:

Stop sabotaging yourself – Sabotage is an ugly word, but you may not even realize that you are engaging in it until it’s too late. Why is it so common and where does it come from?
Expending energy can be difficult and time consuming. Learning new things requires your brain to use a large amount of fuel and resources from your body. Often times, people become exhausted or unfocused, and this can be frustrating, especially when it delays the learning process. It is hard at first, but in order to make your efforts fruitful and meaningful, you need to have a positive focus. Think about what achievement would look like for you. For example, you might imagine attending a ceremony to reward your efforts, or climbing to the top of a mountain, or improving your physical fitness and feeling better about yourself. Use this positive image to uplift you when you feel like giving up. Sometimes it will be hard. Remind yourself that achievements do not come overnight. Every step forward is a step in the right direction. That means that you are experiencing growth and strength on a daily basis as you practice and gain knowledge. It is unlikely that you will master any skill overnight. I want you to love and appreciate yourself each day that you work toward reaching your goal. Staying internally motivated requires developing a positive and healthy energy from within.
Find out where your motivation lies – What does achievement look like for you?  Many people start taking up Hap Ki Do because they want to impress other people. If your motivation is placed in other people-you won't get very far. Think about the process of growing and learning as you achieve your goal. Think about this process, and how it will affect your self-esteem and your daily life. You may want to feel better about yourself, gain energy, improve your physical fitness, or master a new sport. There will be a process of growth and learning that will lead you to the finish line. Make sure that this process is something that you can embrace, savor, and enjoy.
Start with simple, little tasks that will help you in the grand scheme of things – At one point, I wanted to improve my physical fitness and level of skill in Hap Ki Do. I prepared myself by doing crunches and push-ups every morning and night, and putting that on a schedule. The first day, I was only able to do one single push up. By the second day, I was only able to do 2. By day three, I nearly got to 4. By the end of the 2nd week, I was able to do 12 push-ups during every session. As I gained strength going into my third week, I decided to challenge myself to two sets of 12 in the morning, and 2 sets of 12 at night. 3 weeks prior, I was only able to do 2 total push ups in 1 day. By week three I was at 48 push-ups per day. By the middle of week three, I was so pumped up, that I decided to add on the additional 2 push-ups for a total of 50 per day. Bragging rights. It's an excellent way to start building a bridge towards having upper body strength. Not a huge price to pay, considering that it will also get you feeling ready to move.
Make it part of your lifestyle, not just a temporary plan – If you plan on doing Hap Ki Do only until you're satisfied with yourself, it may be a short time before you become unhappy and unmotivated. Immediate satisfaction can be very thrilling for a short time. I want you to learn to crave long term satisfaction. Short term satisfaction serves its purpose by rewarding your brain and body as you begin an activity. Use that as a tool to elongate periods of practice and study. It is a tool to help you grow in your achievements. For example, the adrenaline that you feel after working out for 10 minutes may feel amazing for a beginner. But, if you want to truly be motivated, then don't let what you're doing make its way out of your life. Keep going. We all have some times where we don’t feel like practicing or learning. Don’t let those desires take you away from achievement. Don’t lose sight of your goals and focus on the big picture.
Make decisions not based on your emotions, but how they will better you as a person – Some days I feel tired and lazy and I don’t want out get out of bed. Instead of focusing on those feelings, I continue with my daily scheduled routine of getting out of bed, working out, and showering. Getting into action can be very difficult if you are “not in the mood,” or “having an off day.” This can also be a form of sabotage. Try not to focus on how sleepy or grumpy you feel. Simply get out of bed and gently practice your morning routine as scheduled every day. Often times, getting started is the hardest part. Lying in bed all morning will probably not lead to a killer workout. Alternatively, if you take a moment to stretch out, make your way to the shower, drink a class of cold water, yawn a few times, and get one your workout clothes, the chances of getting into action are much greater than staying in the bed and surrendering to defeat.
Stay in motion to achieve your goals. If you are feeling lazy, defeated, or negative, take a moment to relax and think about what you can do next to get yourself back on track.

    Hope you enjoyed today's blog! I'm Luca from Choe's Hap Ki Do of Loganville, and I'll see you in class!
Stay Motivated, 
Instructor Luca
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