The New Year is almost upon us… where did 2021 even go?? I understand how 2020 slipped away (let it forever be known as the lost year). But even 2021 went by way too fast.
Did you even bother creating a New Year’s Resolution for 2021? Truthfully, I can’t even remember if I did. I think we all were still depressed about the year that will not be named. Anyway, things are looking up… especially in the jiu-jitsu community.
So… what will your BJJ resolution be this year? Whatever it is, you should make sure that it is “SMART”; an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.
Still having trouble? Don’t worry, we’re here to help. We’ve compiled a list of a few “Good”, “Bad” and “Ugly” BJJ New Year’s Resolutions to inspire you.
Consistently Train XX Days a Week
There really is no magic in getting better at jiu-jitsu. It’s all just consistency. But telling yourself that “I’m going to be consistent” is not enough. It’s too vague, and allows you a lot of wiggle room to “go tomorrow.”
The trick is to be specific – and realistic – about what “consistent” means for you. Maybe it’s two days a week. That’s cool. If two days are all you can make, it probably means that you have a lot of other grown up stuff to do during your week. In which case, bravo. #adulting. If you can though, three is better. Four is excellent. Five is a solid week. But if you’re over 30, anything over five days a week starts to get into the “I can do it, but I’m going to look like I’m 80 years old in the morning” realm.
Whatever consistent is to you, pick your days and stick to them. Rain or shine, and whether you’re feeling good, not so good, or downright shitty. You’ll never regret a day you trained.
Master XX Position/Guard
It’s easy to just go with the flow. Get to the academy, learn what’s dished out to you, then maybe use it, maybe not. Yes, eventually you’ll start incorporating things into your game, but it may be years down the road. Especially if you’re one of those grapplers who just likes to use their A-game during rolls in every effort to “win” at training.
If you really want to become a technical wizard – or even a well-rounded jiu-jitsu practitioner – you need to be more targeted in your approach. Think about a position or a guard or a submission you really want to master. Maybe it’s something that you already kind of do, or maybe it’s something that you completely suck at. Whatever it is, make mastering it within XX number of months your resolution.
Then take it a step further and think about what it will take to get there. Collecting all the BJJ Fanatics videos you can find on it? Setting aside 15 minutes before or class to drill? Trying it out during live rolls on all the white belts?
Compete at XX Tournaments
This one is near and dear to my heart. I believe every single person who does jiu-jitsu should compete in at least one tournament in their lives. Just one. If you decide it’s not for you, cool. At least you did one. Whether you do one, or a ton, you will find that you learn so much about your game – your strengths and most importantly your weaknesses – as well as about yourself as a person.
So, whether you’re an active competitor, or you’ve never compete in anything in your life, ever (not even checkers with your Aunt Diane), a great resolution to have is to compete in XX number of tournaments that year. Again, choose a specific number, and think about which promotions you might like to do. If you don’t know what competitions you should go to, ask your instructor. He/she will be able to guide you in what tournaments are out there, and where you might get the most out of your experience.
Just remember, win or lose, you had the courage to step out there in the first place.
Get my XX Belt
You’ve probably heard it and/or thought it already: “I want to get my [insert color here] belt this year.” We’ve all done it. Why is this a terrible resolution? Because it indicates that you’re more interested in the reward than the journey. As such, you’re going to be more focused on quantity over quality of training, more obsessed about your growth relative to others (rather than just focusing on YOU), and you’re generally not going to enjoy it as much.
And ultimately, it’s not up to you. Everyone’s jiu-jitsu journey is his/her own. A belt is literally just something to keep your gi closed. The color doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. Because even when you’ve finally achieved your black belt, you feel like you’re starting all over again.
Complete my BJJ Hitlist
Ugggghhhh. That’s the involuntary groan that comes out whenever I hear someone say, “My goal is to tap so-and-so and so-and-so.” Just stop. Having a BJJ Hitlist is probably the most unattractive – and infantile – thing you can do as a jiu-jitsu practitioner. It speaks to an inner ego that you really need to address… because odds are it’s affecting your relationships and friendships on the mat, and probably off the mat too.
“It’s a compliment to want to tap him/her out.” Bullshit. You just want to feed your ego. Yes, appreciate the talent and toughness of another practitioner, and do your best in any roll with him/her to match wits and technique… and may the better man or woman win. But when you have a BJJ Hitlist, your all-encompassing need to cross those names off will be to your detriment. While you are focusing on others, others are focusing on themselves. I’ll give you one guess who’s going to come out the better practitioner.
Tap the Black Belt
Like the above, having your number one goal to “tap the black belt” speaks to an unhealthy relationship with your jiu-jitsu journey… and likely with your black belt as well.
Get XX Number of Followers on my IGIf this is your grand goal for the year… who are you even living for?
Social media has become this pervasive thing in everybody’s lives. It’s easy to feel this need to post regularly, amass likes, and collect as many followers as you can. But there’s a fine line between using it as a tool (to get sponsorships) or keep people updated on your life events, and to use it to seek validation for your life.
If your BJJ New Year’s Resolution is to gain XX number of followers on social media, you need to take a step back and re-evaluate things. Why are you doing jiu-jitsu? What do you gain from it? Are you even doing it for yourself?
Whatever your News Year’s Resolution is this year, make it a worthy one. One that’s SMART and one that you’d be proud to accomplish.