1. Set a goal that is attainable and post it where you can see it every day. Doing so will help you keep on track. Not visually seeing your goals can lead to forgetting about it. Think “Out of sight, out of mind.” Don’t lose sight.
2. Tell people about it. If you tell people, it will help you keep focused and if you have any discipline, it will keep you accountable. Real friends will give you a hard time if you stray off the path of reaching those goals.
3. Do a little every day. Some goals are harder to achieve than others. In this case, try your best daily to work towards those goals, even if you can do a little every day. It may seem insignificant, but before you know it, it will be done! For example, if your goal is to master the triangle from guard, drill the move as many times as it takes you for it to become cognitive behavior. If you are limited on time, drill the triangle with a partner before or after class for as many days as it takes for it become a reaction without thought. Many black belts don’t think about moves/techniques when training. They react to the actions of their training partners. They “just do it” because they have drilled situations thousands of times!
4. Set a date. Tell yourself, “I want to be proficient at this specific technique/submission by this date.”
5. Reward yourself at the end. Don’t be counterproductive. Many want to train with a passion until they reach the highest levels in jiu-jitsu. Then they get promoted to blue belt and they feel accomplished for getting a step closer. They think this is the time to take time off. This defeats the purpose of setting goals in the first place. It will prolong reaching the highest levels, and those friends you could submit on your way to the blue belt will be submitting you with certainty upon your return (depending on how long you take time off). Reward yourself by getting yourself that nice BJJ Gi or rash guard you saw online a while back and continue your journey.
One thing is certain, if you do not have goals, you are not living to your full potential. Set those goals and get to work. If you do have goals, good job, get to work.