The Best and Worst BJJ Goals for 2024
The new year is well and truly upon us… but it’s not too late to create your list of goals for the year. In fact, procrastination is often a companion to inspiration. (This is what I often tell myself).
What I like better than coming up with a single resolution for the year, is setting a list of goals. Why? Because if you have one single goal, failing to meet it can be a severe blow to your confidence. If you have a set of goals, you are almost guaranteed to meet – or partially meet – at least one or two. The trick is to make sure your goals are not only reasonable and attainable, but that any bit of success will deliver growth that you can be proud of.
Not sure where to start? We’ve created a short-list of the best and worst BJJ-related goals for the year:
- Be More Consistent – Consistency is one of my favorite goals, for myself and for any of my students, because just a small improvement can have profound effects. Consistency supercharges the accumulation of knowledge; whether you go five days a week, or just three, limiting the large gaps between classes will better allow you to retain and build upon what you learned.
- Study More – Gone are the days in which learning techniques off the internet is taboo. These days, studying is an essential tool for every grappler. If this is your goal, it’s important that you specifically set aside time for this. This might mean an hour each week, a few minutes before you sign off for the night, or those 10 minutes in your academy parking lot before you go in to train.
- Expand Your Game – Being known as a “guard player” or a “passer” is so last year. This year, focus on becoming a more well-rounded player. You can start small, such as fine-tuning your knee slice if you’re more comfortable being on your back. Or you can go big, and select techniques from every position to master.
- Go to More Open Mats – Open mats are amazing vehicles for personal and social growth. Not only do you get to meet new people – with whom you wouldn’t normally roll with – but you’re able to discover weaknesses and holes in your game, without spending all that money on a tournament to accomplish the same thing.
- Compete X Times – But… tournaments are still unparalleled when it comes to growing as a practitioner. If competing more – or even once, and for the first time – is your goal, do not wait. Put it on the calendar now, and get to work.
- Lose Weight – This is one of my least favorite goals of all time. The reason is that people will focus so much on that number on the scale, that they will cut corners – and put their physical health at risk – or hyper-fixate on it – and put their mental health at risk. If your desire is to lose weight, choose a goal that will accomplish that while providing additional benefits. Add one more class a week to your schedule. Go for a run a couple times a week. Eat out less each week.
- Win XXX Championship – There is nothing wrong with wanting to win such-and-such championship. But making it “your goal” for the year can make you hyper-focus on the win as a measure of success. You can do everything right, put in all the work, and it just might have been your opponent’s day. Your devastation at “failing” your goal, ignores all the small successes you’ve achieved in trying to get there.
- Get My XXX Belt – Just stop. Getting your next belt should never be your goal. Your belt is simply something that holds your gi together, and in today’s jiu-jitsu world, the color means very little anymore; think about all those blue belt juveniles regularly submitting long-time black belts. Continued growth and deeper understanding of the gentle art is a great goal. Ranking up is not.
There’s no better time than now to set out a few goals for yourself. Just keep in mind that not every “goal” will create a positive 2024 experience. Choose wisely.