How to get Results when YOU have to be accountable to yourself!

In this day and age of trial and tribulations during the pandemic, we have all been faced with a variety of obsicles to get through.  Throughout 2020 the students and staff of Elite have successfully embodied what it means to be resilient and resourceful.   We have had to adapt to “contact-less training”, changes in routines, training outdoors and most recently, we have shifted into online training for group and private classes.  As a teacher and school owner, I must say I am pleasantly surprised at the effectiveness of these new methods of training.  Of course we all look forward to the day when in-person, full contact training resumes.  That day WILL come and it will come sooner than we think.  Until that time arrives, we need to stay the course and make the most of the methods available to us.

With that said, there is a topic that I feel I have experienced time and time again as individuals make their best effort to keep in shape and keep their skills sharp, while being isolated with little to no guidance by an instructor (Unless you are participating in the online options).  YOU are now your own instructor and YOU are accountable to yourself.  This may seem like a simple concept that is easy to adhere to but this is surprisingly difficult.  By nature, most of us tend to take the path of least resistance.  It is far easier to tell yourself “It’s too cold out to run today. I guess I will wait until tomorrow”.  That is much easier to say and justify to yourself than putting on the layers of clothing, putting on the headphones, get the water bottle and get at it!  YOU have to tell yourself “It’s just one hour of my day.  I am not that lazy.  I have to do this run”.  Once outside doing the run OR inside logged onto class, you get that endorphin rush that is quit frankly needed and therapeutic.  On a personal note, I began the online classes because I LOVE teaching.  It is truly my passion and what I do. I could not imagine doing any other job.  To me, owing a Martial Arts school, providing enjoyable classes and making a difference in people’s lives is NOT a job.  It is an honour and a privilege.

Because I AM an instructor, I give myself ZERO room for laziness or slacking off.  I get tired like everyone else.  I have my lazy days like everyone else.  I completely understand the examples I gave  about it being “too cold outside” or “I feel too tired” or “I am really sore”.  When I have these feelings and start letting the voice of excuses get in my head, I quickly shift my thoughts to “I need to do this for my students.  I owe it to them to keep in top shape.  I need to keep my skills up to par”.  I think about my own personal health and welling being.  I know that as soon as I am done a workout or a run, that I will feel a much better sense of accomplishment than had a taken the easy path and give myself a “day off”.  That feeling of accomplishment can become addictive and often times leads to positive feelings towards the next day’s workout.  Perhaps you have an extra couple of pounds you want to loose and as you start seeing the weight drop, you increase those positive feelings and you feel motivated to obtain more results.  Maybe you are the type to set goals and fitness barometers for your own improvement. Maybe this week you get tired after 50 reps but you stick with it.  In 2 more weeks you are up to 70 reps.  The proof of improvement is right there in your results!!!

All of this comes down to the title of this blog entry that YOU must take an active role of being your own instructor when you are training alone.  The school, the staff and myself are always here for each and everyone of you. You can always email me training questions and ask advice (  I want each person reading this to keep these helpful pointers in mind as you navigate your own journey to improvement.  Do not sell your gains short whether it is a 1 pound loss or 1 rep gain.  No one ever reach their destination with one step, rather the journey was accomplished with a series of steps forward.  Each workout, each rep, each day is one day closer to achieving your goals in your own personal journey.

One day soon the school will be in full-time in-person operation.  One day soon you will make full contact in classes again.  You will hit a bag, see your fellow students and experience the excitement, comradry and fulfillment that only comes with in in-person enviroment.  One day we will sweat, fight and achieve together. We will pick each other up off the mats, we will motivate each other and we will push each other to achieve our goals together as the community we are. Until that day comes, YOU need to be your own instructor,  You need to be accountable to yourself.

You may be feeling the effects of isolation and the frustrations of lock-downs but there are ways you can stay focused on the positives and use this time for self improvement.  By doing so, you will be much better off and come back from this a stronger, more resilient and better version of yourself,


Dan Novak


Elite Martial Arts Toronto