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When it comes to BJJ and martial arts there is always more to learn. It may seem as though you’re constantly working towards something but you never truly get “there.” This can especially seem like the case when you’re new to the practice. There are so many belt ranks to work your way through, as well as countless techniques and strategies you have to remember. It can all start to feel very overwhelming very quickly, especially if you’re only seeing your arrival at the long-term goal as a measure of your success.

In BJJ and martial arts, it’s important to set short-term goals to enable small victories for yourself and your journey to long-term success. These short-term victories are usually personal and mark milestones you notice in your progress. However, there are a few small victories that I believe every martial artist should celebrate:

Establishing a Routine and Sticking to It

This is often the most difficult aspect of anyone’s fitness journey, whether it be in martial arts or not. Setting your intentions towards success means making sacrifices that may mean getting up earlier than you’d like to or skipping happy hour with friends so that you can train. Those life changes can be tricky to navigate at first, but adhering to them is a victory not everyone has the pleasure of celebrating.

Nailing a New and Challenging Technique

Guaranteed, there will be techniques that will frustrate, anger, and make you want to curse because they are difficult to learn. Sticking to your guns and practicing it until you can nail the motion is important, though. Every technique in BJJ matters, and you may need this one when you least expect it. Working through your frustrations to master these hard techniques is a small victory and will hopefully lead to many more.

Noticing Your Discipline in Other Areas of Life

One of my favorite things about BJJ is the discipline it teaches. Practice makes perfect is definitely true when it comes to martial arts. One of the greatest side effects of martial arts lies in its ability to change your mindset and force you to become more disciplined in other areas of your life. When you start to take control of your life in ways you never imagined, you have just crossed an essential milestone on the road to success.

There are many more small victories to celebrate on your journey to martial arts, or general life, success. The key to finding them is being mindful and honest with yourself about your habits and thought patterns and noticing when your practice is changing them for the better. When you are able to see yourself changing, growing into a stronger person, you have cause enough to feel successful.