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Home > Columns > > January, 2006 - New Year's Resolutions and Training Goals
by Lynn Seiser

New Year's Resolutions and Training Goals by Lynn Seiser

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O'Sensei believed that the study of Aikido was somehow a cure for a world of confusion, conflict, and chaos. A cure is a recovery or relief, a course or period of treatment, a solution or remedy, to restore, to rectify, and to prepare. It is a method or tool. Cures depend on how they are used and applied. It is how we use the tools of Aikido, both physically and philosophically, that facilitate a cure or perpetuate the disease, to be a solution or continue the problem.

It is 2006, a New Year. With each New Year, many people make New Year's Resolutions. Those are the things that we already know we need to do, but never get around to, so we remind ourselves that we should, with very little real intention of following through.

I am not very sure what happen to last year. It went by so fast. So many things accomplished. Some I planned on, and some that just happened in spite of my efforts. Others things were bumped in priority or I just forgot to get around to them.

At the end of every year, I do an inventory. I make a list of all the positives, meaning they happened the way I wanted them to. I also make a list of the negatives, meaning they did not happen the way I wanted them to. 2005 was a year of ups and downs, as all years are. Tears of joy and sorrow were shed. Learning to accept what is, to forgive but not forget, and to let go have been lessons practiced. The beginning of any good plan starts with a realistic assessment and acceptance of what is. That is point A on the journey. To get a direction, we need a point B.

To get a point B, I make a list of what I want to see happen in the coming year. I have found that a journey has a better chance of success if it has some planning and sense of direction. I tend to be holistic in my approach to life, so I want to include many different aspects. The most precious gift I have is my family. They will always be my top priority. When things are right at home, facing the world is much easier. As I get older, my physical health becomes more a concern. I notice that I injure easier and heal slower than I used to. I love the old expression, use it or lose it. I may be wearing it down, but I have not lost it yet. Professionally I am a psychotherapist. I work with offenders and victims of violence, trauma, abuse, and addiction. I am a martial artist. It is not what I do; it is who I am. I have been training for almost 40 years and hope to continue until 5 days after I am buried or 3 days after I am cremated. All of these must be taken into account.

I tell my clients that the three most important things we have to figure out is what do we want, what do we have to do to get it, and then to do it. Once goals are set, we need a plan that is personal, positive, and practical (practice-able) in the present. It sounds simple, and in theory, it is. What is most surprising is how well it works.

I am not going to disclose or discuss my family, personal, and profession New Year's Resolutions and training goals. Suffice to say they will always be a priority and I am deeply humbled by the joy they give me.

I know where I am in Aikido and I know where I want to be at the end of the year. How do I get there? Some of that is to continue doing what I have already found and know to be successful. First, is to continue training on a consistent and persistent basis with honest and genuine intent and intensity. Without direct application and practice, Aikido is just academic philosophical chatter. Second, is to continue reading books, viewing videos, and participating in the Internet Aikido community. I certainly know I receive more than I can ever give back. Third, is to attend outside seminars including cross-training. I love seeing things from a different perspective and focus. Fourth, is to enjoy the year, the training, and the people I train with. I have learned that to reach a goal, enjoy the journey getting there.

O'Sensei said to train in a joyous manner and in loving protection. I hope in the New Year to communicate and train with as many of you as possible.

Thanks for listening, for the opportunity to be of service, and for sharing the journey. Now, get back to training. KWATZ!

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