Article:    Sow an action

I’m not sure if I’ve posted this before but reading it again today I thought it would be good to put up. Have a great year.

“Sow an action; and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a destiny.”  We all set out to achieve and never more than at the start of a new year. This is the time when we dream of greater things; a new you. Someone who doesn’t do something a few times then drop it because of the pressures of life. (though there’s always time for t.v. ) Like everyone else I do this regularly but as I’ve gotten older the dreams have become more realistic and the achievements greater which is strange. Lots of us set ourselves up to fail as we aim too high. There’s a saying that a man is happiest when his reach isn’t much further than his grasp. Whether you’re training for martial arts or strength or just for improved health there are some success secrets you can apply. These aren’t of course the only ones just the ones that I’ve found work for me. The first thing is to have minimum and maximum aims not just the maximum ones. For instance you may dream of global domination but a more achievable aim might be to get out of bed and do your yoga stretches before starting your day. The secret is to have little victories that make you a success all the time.

Secondly try to take control of the day. This is best done in the mornings but fit it in where you can. It’s important to be disciplined on something which is small but powerful and levers your day. My big two are I try to do my mobility and sun salute every day. Two replacement hips mean that I sort of have to do this otherwise I get other problems, but it’s a great discipline. Similarly, I always finish with a cold shower or a cold bath as this allows me to take control of the day. I’m in charge of the day not it running totally out of control. I’ve at least got one corner down. What ever happens, I’m the master of the day.

Next; be consistent. Try to do something most days. Seven days a week isn’t necessary but five is great. This of course depends on what you’re doing. If you’re doing hard intervals or grappling or strength work then you have to go with your body. But you can do something most days a week. It’s good to have one day when you don’t do anything. (I’ve heard a rumour of a thing called family) No pressure, just a day where you don’t have to push and then paradoxically you’ll push harder on the other days. Mix it up. Doing the same things every day is good to a point but a bit of variety is stimulating. Strength work I find needs change for you to develop but never as much as outlined in the books. I’ve tried that and break down with injuries. A bit of what you know and feel comfortable with so there’s a groove and something that is new and challenging. I love body weight work as I can fit it in everywhere and if done slowly you don’t need to warm up. For cardio I like steady state stuff where my body hums and I’m on the edge of anaerobic work but not too near. Then I add some sprints but never in a fixed way from a program on paper. That way you don’t listen to your body or relate to the day. I particularly like bike hill sprints or finishing hills with a sprint. Great for your spirit and good for your cardio too. Again, no super hero stuff. I start as slow as I like but end well.

Train with the best. I find out who is the best and ask how much it is to train with them. I’ve got lots of teachers in every area of my life. I spend my money here, getting tuition from the best or I exchange skills with them. This doesn’t have to be often but you save a lot of time with a great teacher. Surprisingly, many of the best teachers are cheap to train with and even if they’re not the insights that you gain can save you thousands of pounds in time wasted. Look at the value not the price. They’ll keep you motivated too. Keep going. Sometimes you’ll get an injury or something to slow you down or even make you stop (my piano teacher once told me I should start again ) but you’re in charge aren’t you? so find a way around the problem. There’s always a cure so don’t wait patiently for the ok or approval but find out how you can speed up the repair process or adapt and work around the problem. I’ve had a bad wrist so my friend and I have been just doing single arm stuff and working that area to exhaustion. (he’s injured too). There’s lots to practice and you’ll get the chance to put all that stuff back into your game when your injury heals. If it’s something that’s never going to heal then develop a whole new system that negates that area. The Serak system of Silat (Indonesian martial art ) was developed by a crippled fighter-why not you too? Above all just be consistent even if it’s only on something really small. When your life gets less mad you can expand on that bit as you’ve worked it well. Habits are what make you who you are.

Start the day well. Keep going. Change your programme from time to time. Push when you feel good not when you don’t. Everything is linked to everthing else so get strong, get clever, and have a wide view.. Praise yourself often and look at it as a ten year programme not a year one. Start Now!