What you need to do to make next year your best year |

In the mid-1980s, Allstate Insurance hired me for $ 500 to lead a 20-minute motivational seminar at their sales team’s meeting at the end of the year. So I put together a show of segments in which, for example, a student would attack me and I would sweep his legs and then turn to the audience and say how important life balance is. It was quite kitschy, but they loved it. Allstate doubled my salary to $ 1,000 and booked another six concerts across the state.

I was shocked. $ 1,000 in 20 minutes? Gentlemen!

The first seminar was held at the Hilton Hotel in the center of St. Petersburg. It was one of the nicest hotels I’ve been to. Although I lived ten minutes away, I stayed overnight in the suite they provided. I was so excited and inspired that I sat down and started writing a list of goals for the coming year.

Here’s the amazing part. If I sat in my house or school to make that list 24 hours earlier, I’m sure it wouldn’t be as ambitious as the list I made in the opulent atmosphere of this 5-star suite.

Since I was in the “high” phase of my first well-paid speaker concert (at least well-paid for me), my confidence grew sharply.

I focused my list of goals on:

  1. Revenue targets
  2. Physical goals
  3. Mental goals


This the goal was to increase my income by 20% each year. This is considered a growing company and I wanted it for me.


These goals included how many times a week I would run, lift weights and lift. It also included how much I weighed at the end of the year. It looks more like a game than a job, but 40+ years later it pays me high dividends because I still run and lift almost every day. That means I really miss sparring. But I don’t miss kata. I bet you don’t either. : 0)


My mental or psychological goals were to maintain a positive attitude and eliminate the battles that were brewing in my mind to the person I had encountered or to a situation that was stressful. Today it would be more of a biblical nature, but at the time I was deep in the indulgent lifestyle celebrated by the media and culture. (Quick help, leave that world as soon as possible.)

All of this paid off in high dividends as the world’s largest martial arts equipment company focused on destroying me with the lawsuits that had bankrupted my company (NAPMA).

Frankly, I wouldn’t change anything because I love the life I have with the woman of my dreams. I would do it all over again to get where I am now. This mental attitude saved my sanity, but it did not come by chance. It was a conscious decision to study and learn “how to think” that had changed my life since the first kitschy seminar.

Due to the tasty effects of this goal-setting exercise in the atmosphere of a five-star hotel, I decided to make it an annual event. So every year I flew somewhere where it’s nice to evaluate and renew my goals. I’ve done it in Aspen (many times), London, Dubai, Caymans, Los Angelas (my favorites) and many other exotic and exciting destinations.

Now that the end of 2021 is approaching, I recommend that you take some time to prepare for the New Year.

It might not be a good idea to go for a few days to combine recharging and set new goals for the New Year. It doesn’t have to be the Ritz.

It could be the local library, Barnes and Noble, or Books and Million. I love bookstores and libraries because I am surrounded by knowledge of the ages on any subject. I find it much more encouraging than the shallow Starbucks.

Here are three frameworks to help you get started. I will also help start the process with three fixed goals that are specific to martial arts school owners.

Reflect: What were your goals? Did you hit them? What can you learn from what happened? Insanity, as they always say, does the same thing over and over again and expects a different result. Many of the school owners I coach are in this loop and come to me to help them break the cycle.

Let’s figure out the things that didn’t work and decide not to do it again. I’m here to help you.

Successful school owners struggle to find what works, and then it doubles with the focus of the razor. That’s why you’re witnessing an exodus from a traditional curriculum to a more modern curriculum for modern students like Empower Kickboxing.

If you don’t take the time and have the personal integrity to be honest with yourself about what you teach, you will never reach this level. Step back and look at what you’re doing, objectively rather than through the eyes of a black belt veteran.

Charge: What have you learned in the last year, however strange? What have you accomplished against the crazy odds you can use to boost your motivation and determination to make the coming year your turning point?

Reset: If you are not clear where you will get by the end of next year, you will still end up somewhere. It is likely that it will not be where you could be or where you want to be. It’s time to get out of the comfort zone with low results. It’s time for clear.

Renew your targets and attack! It’s a new year, no matter what happened in the past, good or bad, it’s time to reset goals

David Berry

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.