What are your New Years resolutions? I read a list of 13 Popular New Year’s resolutions and realized that Jiu Jitsu is a perfect way to achieve several of these goals. If any of these are on your list of Things To Do In The New Year, I encourage you to start doing Jiu Jitsu.

Warning: this post may be full of too much inspiration. If you’re inspired halfway through, please feel free to leave this post, work out, and come back.

1. Drink less alcohol
Hitting the mats with a hangover is NOT fun. Get hooked up with a gym full of healthy people who don’t drink and you’ll find that healthy peer pressure works. Why go out and get wasted when you can spend hours on the mats learning and improving your jiu jitsu?

2. Eat healthy food
Rolling after you eat a hamburger or fried food is gross. Plus – with the right jiu jitsu gym, you’ll be surrounded by people who care about their bodies. You’ll notice that what you eat can affect how you feel during class, and you’ll find you’ll want to start eating better.

3. Get fit
When I started BJJ I couldn’t do a single forward roll. I was large, out of shape, and physically challenged because of it. Now I can do several forward rolls. Caring about BJJ also tends to lead to supplementing your workouts in search of higher performance.

4. Lose weight
When I started jiu jitsu, it was for weight loss, and absolutely it helped me lose weight. I went from 205 to 171, and from a size 20 to a size 10. My real goals were: get off the couch and move my body. Going to class meant I won.

5. Manage stress
It’s hard to maintain work or emotional stress when you have someone putting physical stress on your ribcage and neck! Distractions seem to disappear, if not when I get on the mat, when I start rolling. Hard day at work? Go do jiu jitsu and work it out.

6. Take a trip
Jiu jitsu has helped me network with people around the world. I got to go on my West Coast Tour in California and Washington, and in three weeks I will go to Malaysia to visit Cupcake Armbar, a blue belt blogger I met online. Next up, I have mentally planned to visit Hong Kong and the Philippines to meet Leaahh and Pink Jiu Jitsu, respectively.

Where I went on my BJJ tour!

7. Volunteer to help others
I recognize that this may not be exactly what people are talking about, but I do find that jiu jitsu has made me want to help others. I look at my blog as a way to connect with people and help them understand a bit about jiu jitsu, or to perhaps stop being afraid and actually get on the mats. When I see new girls walk into my gym I immediately want to help them and encourage them. Jiu jitsu has made me care about retention rates of women in gyms. My signature on Jiu Jitsu Forums reads

“Know yourself. Never forget where you came from, and reach back to help someone else come forward too.” — Alpha Alexander, Black Women in Sports Foundation

If you’ve been considering doing jiu jitsu, now is the time. In fact, start today. Go to a local jiu jitsu gym and check it out. You don’t have to wait for any specific day/time to start – just go and do it.

My personal resolutions are: get back on the mats, go consistently 3x per week, plus go to a Saturday class 2-3x per month. I would like to develop a go-to sweep and a go-to submission – one I can hit consistently and under a variety of situations.

Update on my winter goals: 1) I’ve kept up with the Bullyproof dvd watching, and even emailed Rener Gracie about a question that came up during my viewing. 2) I kept up with Fitocracy, having missed only 1 day. I actually hit level 10 a few days ago, so I’m aiming for level 11 within the next 3 weeks. 3) Haven’t cracked open Jiu Jitsu academy, nor watched any of my instructors videos. 4) Kept my notes!

What are your New Years resolutions? If you wrote a blog post about them, PLEASE feel free to link to it here!