01/13/2014 04:12 pm ET Updated Mar 15, 2014

Intention... Preparation... Action... Results... Repeat!

As we embark on a new year and ring in 2014, I want to talk about going beyond New Year's resolutions. I think it is great to set goals, but I think "goal setting" is only a half measure, at best. Many of us say we want to change things in our lives, but we often do not follow through with measurable, concrete actions. For example, It is not enough to say I want to lose X number of pounds or learn a new skill set -- we need to prepare.

The mentality I share with my self-defense and fitness students can be crystallized into the following five steps:


Intention is the first step towards achieving a goal and is a key factor for setting things in motion. In this regard, intention must be characterized by purpose, clarity and commitment. Purpose acts to place a focus on the nature of the intention. Clarity acts to bring the intention into a sharper focus and commitment asks that you recognize that it is your duty to see this intention to fruition -- it has to become your undertaking, responsibility and mission.

Preparation is where most of the work is done and where you will find your need, drive and determination tested. It is not enough to live your intention out and even visualize the end result. You don't know what the end result will always bring, but you can break down the steps to get there. Figuring out the steps and anticipating the best to worst case scenarios, will leave you as prepared as you can possibly be. By completing this phase of mental preparation, you will be armed with the ability to adapt and persevere any challenges that may come your way.

Action is putting into place the steps necessary to fulfill the demands of your intention. This must transcend the levels of wishing, thinking or dreaming and may take the form of several measurable exercises or learning of techniques. It is important to keep in mind that chastising yourself for not executing an action perfectly is wasted energy and mistakes are an integral part of the learning process; and with further action, your ability will get better and better.

Results must be measurable and can be determined through increased mastery of a skill -- whether improvements in overall health, learning how to defend yourself or embarking on a new life path. In many instances, results can be measured in only small increments and this is OK, as long as the increments are leading towards the intended accomplishment. As this process continues, intentions and actions will lead to new and exciting results -- as purpose is fulfilled and missions are achieved.

Repeat refers to the lifelong practice of setting new intentions, reaching for greater heights and achieving what was once only a fleeting thought or dream. In fitness exercises and in self-defense techniques, repetition is an integral component of mastering these skills and building the correct muscle and mental memory for your highest level of performance.

This mentality has served me well as I embarked on my mission of becoming the best self-defense instructor I can be, increasing my athletic ability to keep up with my male training partners, all the while still maintaining a feminine physique. In addition, this mentality allowed me to overcome many, many obstacles along the way and kept me on the singular path I had chosen for myself.

I look forward to sharing more information on self-defense, fitness and empowerment in 2014 and wish everyone much health, success and happiness!

Stay safe, live well!

The Soteria Method