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How Goal-Setting Changed my Life

Our dojo has had the tradition of goal-setting around the New Year ever since Gauger Kyoshi and I have been dojo students. Our teacher Newland Kyoshi started this tradition, and it can be a powerful, life-changing skill for many people. Instead of New Year’s resolutions, writing down SMART goals helps your subconscious to help you improve yourself.

For me personally, my goal-setting, which I learned in karate, has helped me to achieve dozens of things in my life that I otherwise may have never even tried. These include (but are definitely not limited to):

In the early 2000s:

· being a Neighborhood Watch captain,

· writing for children,

· improving my push-ups.

Around 2005:

· finding a new dojo location,

· improving my weapons kata abilities,

· continuously improving my writing skills.

In the years around 2010:

· learning new poetry forms,

· improving relationships with loved ones,

· reading more books,

· finding a new dojo location.

Around 2015:

· writing poetry (and completing several Poem-a-Day challenges),

· learning to write the Dojo Kun in kanji (Japanese),

· earning money to travel to Okinawa,

· going to Okinawa.

Around 2018 and after:

· painting our hallway,

· eating healthier,

· creating an author website,

· publishing books with my own illustrations,

· finding new locations for our dojo (the people) to train,

· improving our yard,

· reaching out to make new friends,

· passing the test to earn my Society for Human Resources Management certification,

· landing a job that utilizes my HR certification.

During our upcoming karate classes, we will be working on writing our goals for 2024 and beyond. Students in both our Kids Program and our Adults Program write out their goals. If you take them seriously, make them your own goals and write them using positive phrasing, you will be setting yourself up to achieve your goals!

Other goal-setting tips to keep in mind:

· Make your goal as specific as possible, take out any ambiguity.

· Make your goal measurable. Will you know exactly what you meant to achieve by reading your written goal, even if you got amnesia and forgot all that you knew?

· Give yourself a time frame, like a due date. It’s okay if you need to adjust it in the future.

Of course, it’s not as easy as writing down a goal and – voila! – you achieve it. A normal phase of achievement is encountering obstacles. I have learned a lot about that, and it helped me to write my third children’s picture book, “The Follow Through Karate Kids.”

I love helping people to write their goals, so that their subconscious can help them develop their passions into life-changing experiences. Let me know if I can help you!

-Jenifer Tull-Gauger

Jenifer Tull-Gauger Kyoshi

Children's picture book author/illustrator. Traditional karate teacher and practitioner. Loves drawing and all kinds of art. Also into animals, plants and Mother Nature.

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