Why Goal-Setting is So Important | Gracie PAC MMA
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Maria Vega reviewed Gracie PAC MMA
5
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My wife and I were looking for a friendly, family oriented MMA classes for our son (10) and daughter (12). They love martial arts and have been doing it for years, in an after school program (TKD). Well, after looking around, we joined Gracie PAC MMA. Let me tell you, this place is perfect. Their staff and coaches are incredible; friendly, helpful, knowledgeable and experience on everything MMA. Professor Cris Rodriguez is great with kids, amazing teacher. We are extremely happy with Gracie MMA, their staff is great, they are very organize and their curriculum (bjj, muay thai, kick boxing, etc....) has everything we were looking for. Great place for the entire family.

Tiffany Teal Montague Simmons reviewed Gracie PAC MMA
5
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Come train with the BEST! This is NOT your normal after school karate class. We were amazed at the amount of technique even the youngest students pick up after just a few classes. Coach Cris is awesome with the kids. She expects more then just good fighting from them. She stays involved with how they are doing in school and at home, giving her students the incentive to be the best at everything they do.

Dana Fields reviewed Gracie PAC MMA
5
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I have been looking for a great exercise program to get involved in and finally found it here. I have learned so much in the two months I have been here and can't wait to continue to get stronger. Love This place!! Coach Cris is the best at making me not want to give up.

DorothyandMark Winter reviewed Gracie PAC MMA
5
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PAC MMA is fitness for the whole family. Kids programs, adult classes and even the best woman's fitness and self defense around, this is the place to go. Make your family a part of the PAC family.

Amanda Fletcher Moyer reviewed Gracie PAC MMA
5
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Best place ever! My daughter attends the after school program there and she loves it. I just started taking the kickboxing class & it's the best class I have ever taken. Everyone there is awesome.

Gina Lopez Fernandez reviewed Gracie PAC MMA
5
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I can't say enough about how much I love this place! My son is learning so much and he LOVES going to class. There's something so rewarding in watching your child learn and grow so quickly :) Coach Chris, Coach Dan and Coach Rich have all been amazing! I couldn't ask for a better environment for my son. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and so much of yourself - we truly appreciate it!

Erica Ramirez reviewed Gracie PAC MMA
5
via Facebook

Heard thru word of mouth. Then checked it out and noticed great character in their students and the attentive staff. The coach had noticeable rapport with the kids in the class. My daughter loved it. She can't wait to get back. She even cleaned her room! Huge plus.

Dan Martinez reviewed Gracie PAC MMA
5
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Gracie PAC MMA has been one of, if not the best, mixed martial arts gym I have been a part of. The kids program/instruction is second to none, and offers world class BJJ instruction for adults as well as one of the most promising striking programs in the US, Bang Muay Thai. Countless kids and adults have competed at the highest level under the GPAC banner, with even more discovering what martial arts can do for them. Whether you want to compete or get in great shape, this facility has the program for you

Nicole Dunn reviewed Gracie PAC MMA
5
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Our family has been coming to Gracie PAC Tampa for nearly two years. We began sending our son first. Our main goals were for him to experience the physical and mental benefits derived from regular physical exercise. Instantly we realized how special this place is, and how amazing Coach Cris is with the kids, as well as adults. She is fair but firm, and as she commands respect, she encourages these kids to rise to their full potential, also providing valuable discussions on character, sportsmanship, and leadership, as part of her curriculum.

My husband takes some of the adult jiu jitsu and kickboxing classes, from which he has benefitted greatly, and I truly enjoy being a member of the ladies' bootcamp group. These ladies represent a wide range of fitness levels and ages. Each class, we all get together to kick butt, do our best, and encourage each other in a true team environment. I never leave this class disappointed.
Gracie PAC Tampa MMA - best place EVER for your anyone in your family to train at.

Lynzie Johnston reviewed Gracie PAC MMA
5
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Well it's about time I write a review! My boys joined Gracie PAC as little Ninjas about 4 months ago. They absolutely love it! Professor Cris is an amazing teacher! She's very enthusiastic about teaching and she is very patient. My boys love going to class. They are 4 &7 . They never want to miss a class. They have learned so much and continue to learn with each class. They love earning strips on their belt. This is a really great positive atmosphere for kids and families. I'm very satisfied with our experience.

Jesse James Maldonado reviewed Gracie PAC MMA
5
via Facebook

I took Jiu Jitsu a few years back at another facility and decided to give this one a try. I took my first lesson last night and could not believe the content. Very structured and professional. Easy to learn and everyone was eager to assist me being the new guy. Other places teach you a couple of moves. Each involving many steps and you still won't understand it. Garcia PAC teaches you a technique and teaches you other techniques that involve some of the same steps. It made me confident that if I try something and am not able to secure the submission, then I can roll into another technique just as easy and It gives you options and makes you think. I liked that approach rather than what I was given in the past. A+ school and is 100% legit. I am confident this time around I will take it all the way with my training. When you find a place like this you take advantage of the opportunity to train there.

Meghann Thacker reviewed Gracie PAC MMA
5
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We love it at Gracie PAC! They focus on fitness, strength, form, and most importantly they work hard every lesson to help teach my children how to effectively defend themselves against bullies and other attacks. It's easy to see this group of educators clearly loves kids and have a passion for sharing their vast knowledge with their students! Best MMA in the Bay for kids!

Chandra Ahrendt reviewed Gracie PAC MMA
5
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I took my first class tonight. As soon as you enter, you are greeted by smiling faces who are just as excited to have you there as you are to be there. The coaches there were phenomenal. They were so incredibly encouraging and patient, it was a breeze picking it up because there was no pressure. Great job at creating such an inviting atmosphere.

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Why Goal-Setting is So Important

Growing up and going through the motions of school and learning, it’s difficult for some kids to realize the endgame.

Or, said differently, it’s difficult for some kids to realize that the endgame is more than next week’s exam, or their final year’s grades.

Instilling a more forward-thinking mindset comes in phases—first, kids need to grasp and understand that they won’t always be kids, that they won’t always be in school, and that they won’t always be told what to do.

On the flip side, they need to understand that they will be adults out in the real-world one day, and that comes with both the freedom and the responsibility to fend for themselves.

Then, once that light bulb is illuminated, it’s time to connect the dots—how is their math course going to make them successful as an adult? What are they not learning in school now that they should be learning in order to achieve what they want to achieve?

Which leads us to goal setting, and the idea that mastery is achieved through progression, or a series of smaller steps that lead to ultimate destiny.

Importance of goal setting for kids.

First and foremost, setting goals is important for kids because it establishes a sense of purpose for their actions.

Realistic, meaningful goals have plenty of other benefits too. They help with decision making, improve self-confidence and independence, and teach perseverance alongside countless other positive impacts.

For example, if kids set a long term goal of earning their black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, they now have a reason to act, perform, and achieve. And, importantly, they now know they need to set the smaller stepping stone goals in order to get there.

Those smaller goals might include earning their blue belt, which requires consistent training, and is aided by drive (aka their goal), and on and on.

Without the goal, though, there is no purpose, and kids will stop coming to class, because to them, their free time is better spent playing video games.

See what we’re getting at here? The power of goals can hardly be underestimated, and there’s no time like the present to get started.

Activities & Examples of How to Set Goals

So, how do you get started setting goals for your children?

It really depends on the ages you’re working with. For kids, you’re probably going to need to start with the basics – what is a goal, etc. – and work your way towards larger milestones.

Teens on the other hand will already have a general understanding of what goals are, and thus might better respond to starting with the larger goal and working backwards. Either way, here are a few goal-setting activities to consider.

Goal-setting Activities for Young Kids:

1) Goal Ladder 

Abstract concepts like goal setting can be challenging for youngsters to understand, and this handy ladder activity is a great way to help!

By using the visual of stairs building towards something, little ones can grasp the concept of taking small steps to achieve a larger goal.

Consider making goal ladders together and agreeing on incremental rewards as you work towards them. Positive reinforcement is a great way to encourage the goal-setting process and establish good habits early on in your child’s life.

2) Three Stars and a Wish 

This activity is a wonderful introduction to goal setting for young kids. Start by picking a category like “math” or “soccer,” and list 3 “stars,” areas of strength, and one “wish,” area for improvement.

Not only is it easy to model before asking your little one to give it a try, it reinforces the role of confidence and self-awareness in goal setting.

These two components are critical at any age and infuse an “I can do this!” mindset to setting goals of any size. This activity could work as a car-ride discussion or full-blown art project and is easy to customize for your child.

Goal-setting Activities for Teens:

1) Vision Board

As we all know, teens appreciate a higher degree of choice and freedom, so why not infuse those elements into a goal-setting activity?

Vision boards are relatively simple but can answer a vast range of questions surrounding what kids enjoy, admire, or want out of life. A vision board helps visually represent the answers to those important questions.

2) SMART Goals

You probably saw this one coming, but it’s a classic for good reason! As I mentioned earlier, the concept of goal setting won’t be new to most teens, but odds are they could use a little support in crafting goals that are realistic.

The SMART Goals framework does exactly that by pushing kids to think about what’s attainable – a realistic framework for following through – plus a timeline to make sure it happens. This is an involved process that requires focus and dedication, both of which are excellent life habits, so make sure to encourage and positively reinforce your teen along the way!

3) Goal-Setting Prompts

Talk with your teen about what they want to accomplish. Not only will they appreciate you helping them have a voice in setting their goals, they will have more intrinsic motivation to complete them because they get a say.

From saving money, to having the best senior year ever, to just getting through a challenging week at school, these prompts are a great starting point to pick and choose something meaningful for your child.

Goal-setting Activities for the Whole Family

1) Family Bucket List 

This fun activity can really get your family thinking about what they would like to do this year, this month, or even this week! Plus, we all know that day to day life requires a little extra thought and planning these days, and this can put a fun spin on things.

After brainstorming activities you’d like to do, places to see, or projects that need doing around the house, get to work in accomplishing your customized “bucket” list as a family.

2) Dinner Table Heroes 

When questions like “how was your day?” are met with shrugs or monosyllables, it’s time to shake up dinner table, carpool, or just-because conversations.

Challenge your family to think of someone they truly admire: a public figure, athlete, friend—anyone who they could speak about for 10 minutes or so. Then, have a round table discussion of how that person got to where they are today, or what it took for them to achieve a notable accomplishment.

You might be wondering, what qualifies me as someone to talk goals with? Glad you asked!

We’ve seen thousands of students go through our programs here at Gracie PAC since we opened our doors 10 years ago. Some come in with advanced skills and knowledge, while others are starting their Martial Arts Journeys at the beginning.

With such a range of learning paths, we see countless examples of progression. We see students who got their start with one of our “Parent and Me” Tiny Ninja classes, become top competitors all over the world. 

Anyway, I bring it up because one great way of helping kids and teens with their goal setting is to show them that success can be achieved via real-life examples. While big, grand goals might seem distant or unattainable, people are accomplishing things every single day, and each one of them started from square one.

Goal-setting Has Never Been More Important.

Like most things this year, even the most basic and everyday actions like going back to school have never been more challenging.

Some kids are just going through the motions. Others are struggling to keep up with their virtual curriculum. Many are sick of being muted and having their creativity stifled.

Thus, goal setting is now needed more than ever, and really, it might start with overcoming back to school burnout.

Once that piece is under control, give your kids something to shoot for—establish purpose and get them excited about what’s waiting for them down the road.