What a Delicious Pig!

I woke up this morning at 5:30 to a wonderful smell.

(it will actually be two days ago by the time you read this.)

   It was the pernil- pork leg roasting in the delicious Cuban tradition, stuffed with garlic and marinated in mojo criollo (sour orange juice and spices)…

Barb had put it in to start cooking at 2 in the morning, to make sure it would be ready for our Noche Buena celebration the next afternoon.

You see, our Noche Buena (Christmas Eve) tradition is feast and fellowship that always includes Cuban roast pork, blackbeans and rice, yucca, tostones and Cuban bread…

    we even had the traditional Cuban noche buena dessert of dulce guayaba con queso fresco.

I am sure you have your own culinary traditions around the holidays too.

   And I am sure that they create similar positive emotions.

I think it’s not just that the food is great, although I’m sure it is; but also for the positive memories that the traditions conjure up.

And, thus, we approach the point of my story.

   We honor our holiday traditions, around food and other things for the way they make us feel.

What if we could do the same thing around habits that help us?

Do you have any important goals for this coming year?

  I sure hope so.

If not, that’s step one.

Use the rest of this week creating those.

You don’t want to start 2024 without them.

Goals are the magnets that pull us in the direction that we want to go.

Make some.

Consider where you’d like to be, physically, mentally, emotionally, professionally, financially, relationally, and/or in any other area important to you.

Then write some goals.

   By the way, I like the SMARTER goals format that I learned from Michael Hyatt and teach in my Blackbelt Leadership Program even better than the old SMART goals model.

But my real point here- my question (Tony Robbins says that the quality of our lives is determined by the quality of our questions)…

    what if we could harness the same power that makes our holiday traditions so meaningful in our goal getting process?

I mean, even if you are one of the small percentage of people that consciously and deliberately creates meaningful goals for their lives, rather than just drifting along, chances are that you have set some that you didn’t work at too long.

   I know I’ve been guilty of that offense.

So, what causes us to say we want to accomplish something but then not do what it takes to make it happen?

  Well, I have oft said that Discipline is the fuel that keeps us working towards our goals long after the emotion in which we set the goal wears off….

     and I believe this is true.

But I think the noche buena (or whatever your tradition is) story tells us something useful as well.

   It’s easy to stick to our holiday traditions, for the way that they make us feel.

What if we could make our habits- the important ones that move us closer to our goals, like eating right or exercise or saving money, or reading daily, or making quality time for our spouse and kids or……

   what if these important habits evoked similar positive emotions?

Wouldn’t that be a life changer?

                                           Of course it is.

Here are a few things you can do to help create this condition:

1. Positive emotional associations with the positive habits.  

This is one of the reasons that we give stripes, medals and trophies around the character development tasks of our Character Development Program.

It’s also why we don’t use push-ups for discipline, as an example of the adverse. We don’t want to associate negative things, i.e. punishment, with positive habits, i.e. exercise. Even if that is the way they used to do it.

2. Celebrate Your Success.

Of course, celebrations of success help create positive emotion around the success too. It’s why our graduation celebrations  are such an important part of our culture of achievement!

   The next one is January 6th by the way! I hope you’ll be there! 

By the way, make sure you celebrate small successes often. Some things take a while to accomplish.

   So it’s important to celebrate your small successes along the way. i.e. don’t wait for great weight loss or muscle gain before you feel good about yourself- or you’ll quit long before you do. 

   Make small milestones along the way to help you stay on track.

This is also why we have monthly stripe tests and quarterly belt graduations on the way to the goal of becoming a confident and competent Blackbelt Leader!

Big goals are more likely to materialize when small goals are hit along the way.

One last pro tip before I finish this point: use a habit tracker to track activity. Results take time, but daily action creates the results. So don’t wait to celebrate the result- celebrate your habit streaks along the way.

3. Associate with a tribe that cheers you on.

  Of all the awesome things that make Krav Maga Martial Arts so special, including the fact that we teach the principles of leadership, character and goal getting, and develop the attributes that make these work…

the single most amazing ingredient is the positive and empowering character of our people.

The instructors, students and families of the KMMA tribe are all positive, encouraging and cheer each other on at every chance they get.

I love this about this tribe.

Of all the goals I’ve ever “set and get”- the culture of my tribe is one of the greatest. 


See you back next year!

   With your goals in hand and ready to accomplish!

Reply to this message if you’re not with us yet so we can set you up to start your best year ever! 

My tribe and I can’t wait to welcome you!

Prepare To Live; Empower To Lead!

Grand Master Stephen J. Del Castillo
Founding Master Instructor, Krav Maga Martial Arts and Krav Maga Martial Arts have been empowering lives through the martial arts in the Tampa Bay area for 20 years!

Founded in 2000 by Grandmaster Stephen J. Del Castillo, a 7th degree Black Belt and Sr. Master Instructor, Krav Maga Martial Arts and Karate lessons for pre-school children ages 3-6 and elementary age kids ages 7 and up are designed to develop the critical building blocks kids need – specialized for their age group – for school excellence and later success in life.

Krav Maga Martial Arts Adult Krav Maga training is a complete adult self defense, fitness, and conditioning program for adults who want to learn real world self defense, lose weight, and/or get (and stay in shape).

If you have any questions about our program, or would like to go ahead redeem your 2 weeks FREE, you can call us anytime at 813-547-6368 or visit our Krav Maga Martial Arts website.

About Grandmaster Stephen J. Del Castillo: Grandmaster Del Castillo is the founding Master Instructor of Krav Maga Martial Arts and has been empowering lives in Pasco and Hillsborough Counties since October of 2000. He is a 7th degree Blackbelt, MBA, author, mentor and success coach, a US Army Veteran and a proud father and grandfather. He is married to Ms. Barbara Del Castillo who helps him run the school. Grand Master Del Castillo began his training in the early 80’s and has high level blackbelts in Tae Kwon Do, Karate, Premier Martial Arts and Krav Maga Martial Arts as well as experience in kickboxing, Jeet Kune Do and Jiujitsu. He has high level instructor certifications from BBSI, IKMF, and KMG and has been featured in numerous Martial Arts publications and also Success magazine. He was a competitive sport karate and American Kickboxing instructor until he enlisted in the US Army where he served in the 82nd Airborne Division, where he won an Army Green to Gold scholarship and proceeded to ROTC and the University of Tampa. He was commisioned in 1992 and went on to serve in Germany with the 3rd Infantry Division and then in several other posts in the US until he left military service to pursue his dream of creating KMMA in 2000.

The Krav MagaMartial Arts Headquarters is in Lutz, FL at 1900 Land O’ Lakes Blvd., 33549. Krav Maga Martial Arts serves Lutz, Land O’ Lakes, Wesley Chapel, and surrounding areas.

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