I often say, “Change doesn’t come with a date.” I find I say it to people a lot more at this time of year due to people reflecting on the year gone by and what they would like to accomplish in the year to come.

Many pull out the piece of paper where they wrote last year’s resolutions and find nothing but shattered hopes and dreams and disappointingly realize that their wishes have not come true. And therein lays the problem!

Firstly, making a change is not about a particular date. It is about having the resolve and fortitude to start immediately and not wait for tomorrow. Tomorrow may never come. Be better now!

New Year 2015-Genie LadySecondly, making a change is not about dreams. Dreams are far off figments of our imaginations. It is about having a vision. A vision is a reality not yet achieved. That vision becomes your goal.

Thirdly, making a change is not about wishing. Not to disappoint anyone out there, but there are no genies in magic bottles waiting to appear on New Year’s Eve. It is about implementing a plan.

So, implement your plan to achieve your goal (vision) immediately. No matter if it is 1 January, 27 May or 11 October – the date is of little consequence. The hardest part is having the perseverance to stick to your plan no matter what the world throws at you. It can often be a test of spirit, and hopefully you have an indomitable one.

That said, I encourage every martial artist to take a little bit of time to reflect on the year gone by – did you achieve what you set out to? If not, why? New Year 2015-BlackBeltWhat can you do to correct what went wrong? Set new goals. Lay out a detailed plan (road map) to achieve these goals. Often we can defeat our opponents, but we find it difficult to defeat ourselves. Achieving goals is one way of elevating ourselves and destroying whatever inner demons we may have.

I wish you all the best for the New Year. Go forth and conquer!