What To Do When Falling Short Of A Goal In BJJ?

Well, it finally happened.  I missed a step towards achieving a goal.  A Tuesday went by and I didn’t create a new blog post.  Just like skipping your first college class, attending the rest of the classes is going to be a problem of willpower and not self-discipline now.

Beginning of the year I set the goal to be a weekly Jiu Jitsu blog.  There truly aren’t many out there (except the big “Jiu Jitsu news sites” which have a ton of various writers.)  This week life got in the way though and I fell behind.  I didn’t achieve my goal.

There is a parallel between my experience and the person who misses a few sessions of Jiu Jitsu.

I Can No Longer Achieve The Perfect Version Of My Goal.  What Now?

Lucas Watching Class

Do I beat myself up for my failure forever?  Do I forget about it and decide “next week I’ll handle it”?  Or do I dig deep and get it done a day late?

To me, better late than never.  Every day that passes adds a barrier to achieving my goal.

In Jiu jItsu I’ve seen this dozens of times.  Someone is training their 2-3 times per week long enough for it to become a habit, but then something happens to derail them.  They get injured, enter a new relationship, get a belt promotion, or lose a tournament they were preparing for.  Their life and Jiu Jitsu are no longer in balance.

Bouncing back from some of these events can seem impossible.  How should I adjust my thinking around a goal that is starting to feel out of reach?  Was I hoping for too much when I set it?

Each day that goes by after missing a class actually makes it worse.  Now, I don’t have to deal just with overcoming an injury, and reduced cardio and Jiu Jitsu flow, I have anxiety.  There is the dilemma of added questions about “where have you been”?

These questions create this social pressure and awkwardness.  I don’t feel like answering them today.  Well tomorrow they are going to be even harder to deal with.  They never get easier.

Stack these problems with the general lack of motivation that can sometimes hit us during slumps and there is a recipe for making a lifechanging mistake like quitting Jiu Jitsu.

kermit is BJJ thinking about me

Don’t Let It Fester

Bite the bullet as soon as possible and get back on the mats.  Don’t let the anxiety and dread build to a point where returning to training feels impossible.  Get back on the proverbial horse as soon as possible.

I promise the worry you feel over people imaginarily judging you for taking time off is much harsher than any actual judgments.  Everyone at the gym will just be happy to see you back on the mats in whatever capacity your life allows.  Getting to the other side of “the wall” is worth it!

Don’t allow one relapse of bad habits, one life situation change, or monetary difficulty halt your journey.  Just like having your guard passed, regain composure, let go of the past, and progress to the next step.

Maybe this comic will put things into perspective for you (more from the artist here)

BJJ winners and losers comic


You’ve got this.