Meredith Manaog’s Reflections of 2014 and New Goals

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This Past year, I was determined to lose weight and become a much better Martial Artist. I was at my absolute heaviest the year before, a whopping 150 lbs (on a small 5’3″ frame) and I was at my absolute lowest. I had no self-confidence, I didn’t know how to stand up for myself, I was an emotional wreck, and I felt alone. It was the first time that I was truly away and on my own. But in the year 2014, I was determined to get myself out of that spiraling darkness I made for myself and get back to who I was, but more healthier, happier, and truly become a strong independent woman.

My goals for 2014 were rather simple: To lose weight and become a better Martial Artist. They were vague goals but at the time, I didn’t know what I meant when I stated “a better Martial Artist” or how much I really wanted to lose. In the beginning, all I did was read article upon articles on how to lose weight, what to eat, what works, what doesn’t. I educated myself on how to become a healthier version of me. It was not until March, that I decided upon a goal and how I should get there. I wanted to lose 30 lbs and build muscle. And how do I do that? I started with small changes such as limiting processed foods, cooking my foods instead of going out all the time, and really paying attention to the kind of macros I eat and how much I eat. As of right now, I lost close to 20 lbs with those changes and I feel good!

The next part of the goal was to build muscle. I had no idea what to do in terms of lifting weights. I sought a personal trainer around April. At the time, I was so stressed and my new found way of eating right was not going as planned. With the education and help from a personal trainer, reading more articles, watching YouTube videos, and talking to friends who lift, I started lifting regularly and on my own by July and in this point in time, my muscles have more definition and I see myself getting leaner.

Now, the question is, What makes a Better Martial Artist? Is it their strength? Their speed? The ability to do all these fancy techniques to overcome their enemies? I have been working super hard in my training this past year and it was only until the middle of the year, that I realized what it means in my own opinion. It’s not about strength, speed, or technique. It’s about PASSION. I could be the strongest and fastest martial artist in the world but what is the point if I don’t have passion for it? With passion, it motivates me to do better, to learn, and to practice diligently and wanting to improve on my own without someone else telling me to do it. Passion is what drives me to become better than I am each and everyday. That’s what it means to me, to become a better Martial Artist.

This past year, there were many ups and downs in achieving my goals. There were times that I wanted to say, “I give up” or “Should I just leave” but because I have an awesome support system, despite them being worlds away from me and I belong in an awesome community of Martial Artists, I have become so happy and accomplished of what I did so far.

My new goals for 2015 are again, very simple:

  • To lose the last 10 lbs
  • To build more muscle
  • To find Balance between Tae Kwon Do and Kenpo in terms of learning the techniques without confusing them and for sparring purposes
  • To be able to verbally teach basic self defense in preparation of becoming an instructor one day

Here is to 2015!!

These are my goals

Goal 1

To lose the last 10 lbs

Details

I made the goal of Lose 30 lbs a third into the year and didn’t get so serious about it until much later. It is more of an aesthetic goal and put me into a more healthier BMI range and to feel good about myself. For years, I have been trying to achieve my weight goal but didn’t have the resources to do so until now and I am very close to getting there. It is a rather vain goal, but I want to say proudly, that I am able to lose this much and become an inspiration to others that they can do it too.

How would I know that I have achieved this goal?

  • Weekly Weigh-ins
  • Setting small but realistic goals each month or season and achieving them

Why and how is this goal important to me

This goal is not at all important to be honest. I wanted to create a benchmark for myself to prove that it can be achieved and that I can do it.

If I succeed, I’ll be very happy that I was able to make it. If I don’t, I’ll keep trying until I will get to where I want.

How I intend to kickstart this goal

  • Weigh-in and see where I am in terms of weight
  • Eat normally but pay close attention to what I eat
  • Exercise regularly
  • Rest when needed
  • Be sure to eat and take proper supplements

Deadline to get started: 31.12.2014

Potential obstacles to achieving my goal

  • Getting stressed out at work
  • Not listening to my body and overdo the exercise/eating
  • Family/Friend events

How I will overcome the obstacles

  • Breathe and Relax
  • When I’m hungry or I am tired, take the rest day or eat more
  •  Show control and don’t beat myself over it if I eat too much

Goal 2

To build more muscle

Details

Again, this goal is on the aesthetic side. I recently started getting into lifting and it definitely helps with building a strong foundation in conjunction with my martial arts. I just want to get a leaner physique and to feel good.

How would I know that I have achieved this goal?

  • See muscle definition
  • My form is near perfect

Why and how is this goal important to me

Again, this goal is not that important. It’s something I just want to achieve for the sake of saying, “I can do it” and the fact that building muscle does take a very long time to do so. If I succeed in doing so, I’ll be very happy with the progress that I made. If not, I will try again to make it happen.

How I intend to kickstart this goal

  • Go to the gym at least twice a week
  • Read and watch different exercises to use

Deadline to get started: 31.12.2014

Potential obstacles to achieving my goal

  • Weekend plans getting in the way

How I will overcome the obstacles

Don’t get to beat up over it

Goal 3

To find Balance between Tae Kwon Do and Kenpo in terms of learning the techniques without confusing them and for sparring purposes

Details

I currently take two Martial Arts and at times, I do mix them up a lot. Forms are sometimes similar and I would favor a kicking style and sparring style more than the other. I want to find a better balance between the two so that I can use them both without favoring one or the other.

How would I know that I have achieved this goal?

  • Find combinations that work well together that incorporates both styles
  • I can recall techniques and do them with no problem

Why and how is this goal important to me

This goal is fairly important. I want to be a balanced fighter for both of these styles so that I can use their strengths and strengthen the weaknesses of both styles. Too many times I get so confused with which technique does what or how it goes and I don’t want to keep favoring one or other…on the opposite art (example: concentrating all my punching in Tae Kwon Do and concentrating all my kicking in Kenpo).

If I succeed, I would be so happy and pleased that I am able to do it and makes me feel like that I am truly learning and adapting. If I failed, it would make me more determined to do better and to study more and practice!

How I intend to kickstart this goal

  • Practice
  • Experiment with different combinations
  • Read my notes when I have down time from work/working out

Deadline to get started: 31.12.2014

Potential obstacles to achieving my goal

  • Injuries
  • Sickness
  • Work getting to hectic
  • Laziness
  • Finding little to no time writing and remembering techniques

How I will overcome the obstacles

  • Take at least 10 minutes of my day reading what I took notes on
  • Immediately write down what I just learned that night, the latest, the next morning
  • Take care of my body

Goal 4

To be able to verbally teach basic self defense in preparation of becoming an instructor one day

Details

My ultimate goal is to one day own my own Dojang and teach Martial Arts. I wanted to become a teacher as a kid but as life went on, things had to change due to what my parents wanted what’s best for me. As an adult, now I want to do what would make me happy. I am a rather shy person so I want to get out of my shell and speak out to people.

How would I know that I have achieved this goal?

  • Understand and Recognize the techniques
  • Be able to do them on my own with little to no problem
  • Practice speaking/teaching to them to friends with little to no problem

Why and how is this goal important to me

This goal is important because I want to be able to communicate and teach effectively without stumbling. If I succeed, it lets me know that I am capable to be a teacher. If not, I have to keep practicing until I am satisfied with myself

How I intend to kickstart this goal

  • Practice with friends and peers
  • Verbally say each technique outloud
  • Repeat the steps in my head and verbally
  • Do them with little to no problems

Deadline to get started: 31.12.2014

Potential obstacles to achieving my goal

  • Laziness
  • No one to practice with
  • My personality/shyness getting in the way

How I will overcome the obstacles

  • PRACTICE
  • Verbally say them