So the New Year celebrations have passed. It’s the middle of January (or whenever you’re reading this). This was finally going to be the year you change for real…
Yet your newfound resolutions suddenly don’t seem as important to you, do they?
And we have all been there at one point.
“OMG, I’m totally going to lose weight this year.” or “I want to get a six-pack for summer!” or even “Bros, I’m definitely gonna get 10 clean flares for the upcoming jam. Just watch me.”
Yes, I’ve watched enough people say that and give up. We almost never see it through.
A goal becomes useless whenever you don’t have a plan.
A goal is even more useless on its own if it is something you can’t set a plan for.
So, the question I ultimately try to answer here is,
How can you set a good goal AND ensure you achieve them… Specifically for breaking?
There Is A Method For Goal Setting, IF You Are Cut Out For It…
I’ve my own way of helping people learn.
Before you continue, answer the following three questions:
- Am I here just because I want to set a goal for fun?
- Am I willing to put in the effort needed to be where I need to be?
- Will I quit after 3 tries, 3 practices, and possibly even 3 months?
If your answers are NO, YES and NO respectively, then you should read on.
Otherwise, I’d suggest you take the time to re-evaluate why you want to break (and I mean this as a neutral comment, I’m not telling people to go **** themselves).
What To Expect In This Guide
This post focuses on how to plan your goals and execute a training plan toward them.
I’m telling you how to achieve the moves you set out to do. And the system leans toward the athletic aspects of achieving your goals. Why so?
In breaking, there’s an athletic component as well as the creative component. And while they’re generally separate aspects, they’re not mutually exclusive.
In fact, they do influence each other. When you have a higher level of athleticism, you open more doors for your creative juices to flow out (e.g. better strength gives you more body control and positions to play with).
Did You Know: Goals Can Spearhead Your Improvement In Breaking?
Science has its own answers regarding the benefits of having goals.
Skipping the technical details, goal setting gives you a sense of identity and fulfilment.
For athletes, sports science says that having a goal helps athletes know:
- Where they are AND
- Where they have to be
In other words, goal setting can give you a clear direction on how to become better.
Allow me to bring this whole concept back to breaking. The ultimate purpose of having a goal is to help you improve toward mastery over your dance. After all, who wants to remain a bboy newbie forever?
When you practice, you don’t want to practice without purpose. Nor do you want to practice as if you had all the time in the world. In Menno’s words, “You can’t just wake up in the afternoon, chill out for a bit then fool around at practice.”
Give your practice sessions a purpose.
Make every moment on the dancefloor worthwhile.
Still Think You Know All About Goals?… Here’s Where You’re Wrong
Here’s the thing about goal setting: there’s a WHOLE bunch of myths that fogs up the reality of pursuing goals. Let’s clear them up, one by one.
Chasing goals does not mean you become a monk for 90 days and disappear from the world.
Goals are key, but don’t forget to breathe and enjoy the process.
But just because you have a goal…
It doesn’t mean you should neglect or give up the other important things in life. It doesn’t always mean you abandon your current life, social circles, and identity.
You don’t have to be the bboy equivalent of the wealthy businessman who never spends time with his wife and children. Whose only leisure comes in the form of playing golf every Sunday… Just to close business deals that amount to 8 or 9 digits.
That said, the tricky part is figuring what matters to you because only you can decide that. Not your parents, not your breaking mentor, not your president for sure. But this is another topic for another day.
It’s probably okay not to have goals, but it’s definitely not okay to have goals and not do your best for them.
If you’re rather laidback in ambition, and don’t really care much for productivity, it’s fine. No one is here to tell you how you should live your life.
But if you’re here because you want to improve… Then open not just your ears but your mind. Sometimes you need to reframe your idea of what training is. Sometimes you just need to put in the effort.
Don’t always talk about your goals without acting on them. In fact, the less you talk about them, the better you can follow through.
If you are familiar with the term “wantrepreneur”…
Or worse-sounding terms like “wannabe-boys” or “flake”…
Those are precisely the people we’re talking about here.
But if you think you’re precisely this kind of person, the good news is you can change for the better. You can rise above your current self here.
The psychology behind this phenomenon can be put in Derek Sivers words,
“Announcing your plans to others satisfies your self-identity just enough that you’re less motivated to do the hard work needed.”
So learn to be quiet for most of the part regarding your goals – at sessions, or when you’re having meals with your friends.
Of course, if people ask you what you’re training at the moment, then feel free to let them know. You don’t have to be extremely secretive here 🙂
By now you should have a clearer idea of what goal-setting is and is not about.
Why Have A Method for Goal Setting
Specifically, why can’t we just have a grand vision or end image of the outcome, and just grind through with pure effort?
They say the best don’t rest. We should always be putting our best foot forward and that’s all that matters… Right?
You can be the first to session and the last to leave.
While people are talking and chilling, you’re drilling and hustling. While people pause to buy a drink, you’re sweating from all the power moves. While people are just fooling around and laughing during practice, you’re bleeding from burst blisters on your palms and soles.
Yet you feel like a useless fuck when you don’t see results despite all the effort.
Simple answer: effort without method is ineffective. Hard work is necessary, but not sufficient.
What works better, pure effort alone or effort combined with strategy?
Being able to work smart and well for breaking (and anything else in life) makes it less tedious on your mind and body.
You don’t need to expend all your willpower just to maintain your training efforts. You find your results coming to you much more easily. You have a more enjoyable time at practice. Your method/strategy/plan keeps your progress in check, and doesn’t kill your spirit.
If you do goal setting properly, it can help you increase the success rate of whatever you set out to do. Don’t believe me? It’s the Navy SEALs who have their own goal-setting system.
And why work hard when you can work smart and well?
Step-by-Step Goal Setting Hacks for Breaking
Step 1: Determining your goal
A good goal should not be a lofty ideal. Nor should it be completely unattainable given your current standards.
You need to have some foundation before you want to attempt to learn and master a move.
For instance, if you want headspins, you got to have at least a decent headstand foundation. Be able to headstand with great control, or even balance without using your hands.
Think of learning moves as a flight of stairs. It is easier to get to the 3rd step from the 2nd step than the 1st. A stable headstand is the foundation and first step (literally) to learning a headspin.
That’s how foundation can be built upon to develop your moves. Like placing each brick on a brick wall with care. From the bottom to the top of the brick wall.
That’s how you can progress. By taking action one step at a time.
And how can you determine if it’s actionable?
You ought to be able to act on it.
And how should you act on it?
That’s where your goal has to be specific. Compare the two goals below:
“I want dope headspins in 2016.”
“I shall attain 3 rounds of headspins by end of April 2016 by practicing it 3x a week for 30 attempts a session.”
Which sounds more planned out and easier to follow?
The answer is obvious. The latter goal is vivid, the former goal is vague. You have an easier to time to follow through with a more vivid and concrete goal (which helps formulate your training plan).
Hence specificity is key.
The latter goal is also something you can act on. The former goal doesn’t give a trace of a hint as to how a bboy can train. Hence you need actionability.
For an in-depth explanation of these two ideas, do refer to Chapter 3 of the Long-Ass Bboy Guide.
Step 2: Process of achieving goals
Here’s where the actual process of training comes in. The goal here is to train your new move into a move that you can pull off anytime you need.
In more concrete terms, your process should take you to the level of transiting in and out of the move 10/10 times. No crashing. And this involves training muscle memory from the conscious to the subconscious.
You have to train toward your goal every practice. How frequent you practice will determine the rate of achieving your goal. But this does not mean training everyday guarantees the fastest speed.
If you’re training thrice a week, dedicate 3 time slots in that week (once a session) to the goal. And this brings us to…
Within the training, you need to set specific time aside to train toward that particular goal. If need be, set about 30 minutes to 1 hour for just one particular move that you’re working toward. Otherwise, if you prefer to take it slower or be more hardcore, adjust the time spent according to your preference.
What I’d advise here is to be FOCUSED during training. That means no cellphone, no excessive breaks (e.g. 15 minutes of doing nothing!), no chit chat. If you break any of these rules, start over again.
It’s not just how many minutes you train, but whether you can make those minutes count.
Record yourself on camera, or get a friend to spot your moves. This process will train your eye for self-awareness from spotting mistakes, while expanding your grasp of the move in your head.
Rinse and repeat the smart way of drilling (2A to 2C). This is the cycle of training you should look forward to over the next few months.
Step 3: Following up on your goals
Step 3A: What would happen to you if you do not achieve the goal
You must prepare for the possible fact that despite all your smart training, you may not achieve your goal. There’s a thousand and one possibilities as to why people don’t achieve goals despite following the path taken by success stories.
In breaking, accept that different bodies have different strengths and weaknesses. And some weaknesses are harder to compensate for.
It could even be the case that some training methods don’t suit you best.
Some people are also better at learning stuff subconsciously (so a conscious way of training could even pull them down — BUT these are exceptionally rare people).
Your reason for not accomplishing the goal you set does not matter as much as what you would do next. Perhaps your reason for not achieving the goal is as simple as not drilling often enough. Then find a way to increase that frequency.
Maybe drop by your local training spot after school or work every 3 days a week for half an hour. Or even pay your friend $10 every time you slack in your training (or when you skip it). That should give you an incentive to follow through.
Step 3B: What would you do if you achieved your goal
What would you do?
If you’ve got the momentum for learning, don’t stop at that level. Keep pushing your learning rate, exploit your current strength of being able to do that new move.
The next logical step here is to take your current goal and step it up. If you can do a windmill fast and clean, try learning barrel mills. If you can enter a baby freeze from 3 different methods, exit from those 3 same methods as well.
And when it comes to your attitude toward training…
Whether you achieve your goals or not, be happy, but not content. While I want you to be at your best in breaking, I also want you to enjoy the process of breaking and actually achieving your breaking goals.
BUT Before You Go…!
I hope this goal-setting guide kicks off your new year properly for you.
And even if you aren’t reading this in January, it’s always a good thing to come back and reflect. Sometimes, all we need is a timely reminder to keep us on track.
I want you to do just one thing in the comments section:
Show me how you will apply the goal setting system to your breaking.
Specifically, tell me the following:
- Your goal in one sentence that is SPECIFIC and ACTIONABLE with your deadline
- What you will do if fail to follow through the process
As always, I read all comments and do my best to answer queries. So don’t feel shy, aight?
If you want to improve effectively, all you need to do is to download this worksheet, follow through this guide and you should see some results. Some of you should know the drill by now – hit me up at my email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.