No. of words: 748 Time To Read: 3mins 30 seconds
Chi Kung mistake #5 – not setting clear aims and objectives for your practice…
“Nobody ever wrote down a plan to be broke, fat, lazy and stupid. Those things are what happen when you don’t have a plan!” – Larry Winget
“The starting point of all achievement is definite knowledge of what one wants’ – Andrew Carnegie
I know, I know, I can hear you now: “Aims and objectives for chi kung practice? Man, what’s wrong with you?”
Well my objective with this post is to convince you that having a plan for your practice is a desirable thing. I have personally helped my students to achieve better results with their chi kung practice, than many of them thought was possible. Because when you take chi kung/qigong training with me, one of the first things we do is to sit down and work out why are you practicing chi kung and what do you want to get from your practice of chi kung? These are the very basic questions you must be able to answer.
And if you’re like the vast majority of people that have ever set an aim or an objective (we’ll look at the difference shortly) and then failed to uphold it – I can tell you why. If you’ve ever made a ‘New Years resolution’ I’m guessing you fit into this category.
The missing ingredient that transforms aims and objectives from being boring concepts that ‘other’ people do into something that you can’t wait to do is this: Excitement.
Bet that surprised you. Excitement isn’t necessarily the first adjective that comes to mind when describing aims and objectives, but it is essential. The only ‘goals’ I’ve ever achieved were those that I was genuinely excited about achieving.
Here’s a quick example I use in my Shaolin Chi Kung book:
Suppose there are two people who wish to give up smoking. One of them because they know it’s bad for them and they really should quit.
The other feels the same, but also believes that giving up smoking will mean they will still be around to play with their grandchildren and be healthy enough to enjoy running and playing with them.
Who do you think is most likely to succeed?
So listen, if you set aims and objectives for your chi kung practice, or for anything then if you want to succeed, you better be inspired by them.
So what is the difference between aims and objectives?
Aims – are long term and non-specific. Shaolin Chi Kung is the art of developing energy for:
- Health and Vitality
- Internal Force
- Mind Expansion
- Spiritual Cultivation
These are also aims that you might choose for your practice.
Objectives – are specific and short term. Usually you expect to see good results in 6 months or less. For example you may have asthma and want to practice chi kung to overcome it. The following are some common objectives that chi kung students have:
- Cure a particular illness
- Increase stamina/energy so as to enjoy games
- Enhance martial arts ability
- Improve concentration and endurance at work
- enhance mental freshness, perception and creativity
- Improve sexual performance
- Increase or reduce weight
- Manage stress
- Increase knowledge of and ability in chi kung
It’s also important to check the results you’re getting and see that they are taking you in the right direction. Let’s say my objective is to see a sun rise, but I keep running west, well I’m going to see plenty of sunsets, but not a single sun rise. If I’m measuring my results then I quickly discover that I have not achieved my objective and realise I need to change my action. If I don’t measure my results, I could be heading west for a very long time. This is why I use a tool called the ‘Progress Tracker’ with my students.
As far as I’m concerned the practice of chi kung is about getting results. I mean that’s why you’re practicing chi kung, to get some kind of result. Well, setting clear aims and objectives for your practice and then measuring those results to see if your practice is heading in the right direction is the quickest and simplest way I know to succeeding with chi kung.
If you can’t take chi kung/qigong training from me I cover aims and objectives in Part 2 of my Shaolin Chi Kung book, and we start to explore them in Week 9 of my Qigong Secrets Homestudy course. I could talk for ever on this subject but I think that’s enough for now.
Marcus James Santer