Too much time getting nothing done? Here are some tips on how to avoid procrastination.

Procrastination – it’s something that we’re all guilty of. Whether conscious not, procrastinating has become a habit for many people, regardless of age.

Procrastination is defined to be putting off an action or event despite a definite negative outcome. This is not inclusive of intentional delays, which are usually due to a lack of time. It may be something as simple as doing your homework a little later than intended, but for many of us procrastination becomes part of our everyday routine. We put off work by doing things like eating, exercising, and going on social media, or maybe just taking a little break. Although some of these activities may be good for your health, using them as a substitute for a more important job places a lot of unwanted stress on your body.

A common misconception with procrastination is that it is simply poor time management. We waste time on unnecessary tasks and in doing so miss out on doing the important stuff. However, there are many other factors that cause procrastination. Here are some of the common reasons:

Anxiety – Procrastination can be used as a means of escaping from a task that causes you stress. It may be a coping mechanism to give you a brief moment of calm. Unfortunately, this is a short term solution to what could very well be a long term problem, and avoiding the issue will result in even more anxiety in the future.

Lack of motivation – Some people feel like they have to be in “the zone” to work productively. Similarly, you might think that you can only work well when under pressure, so you purposely put projects off.

Perfectionism – It’s easy to get into the mindset that things have to be perfect from the get-go, so it becomes hard to start.

Being overwhelmed – When we have too much to do in a short amount of time, it feels easier to try and forget about the workload than complete it.

Altogether, procrastination is more or less just a bad habit that is hard to get rid of. Unfortunately, this means that the easiest way to get out of this habit is to consciously, consistently stop yourself procrastinating until it becomes an instinct. The amount of time it takes for this differs with every individual, but on average it takes around 66 days to get into or out of a habit (link: http://jamesclear.com/new-habit) — Not 21 days, as believed previously.

Here are some ideas for getting out of procrastinating:

  • Write your goal down and not just once. Write it on some sticky notes and put them everywhere! It’s especially good to place them where you go to procrastinate, for example, on the computer, the couch, or the fridge. This keeps your mind conscious of your goal.
  • Tell everyone that you’re stopping yourself from procrastinating. And I mean everyone. Telling other people makes your goal seem like less of a dream and more of a reality.
  • Reward yourself when you reach a milestone! Not with something that will cause you to slip back into old habits, and something that you genuinely enjoy. If you enjoy reading, buy yourself a book once, say, you go a month without procrastinating. Or with clothes, if you enjoy shopping. As long as it doesn’t create another problem, it’s safe!

Forcing yourself to be consciously aware of something constantly sounds like a daunting task, but remember that you don’t need to do everything at once. Take things one step at a time! If you have a lot of work to complete, concentrate on one task at a time— or make a list, if that helps. Write with enough time to do a few drafts, if you’re a perfectionist.
 All in all, good luck getting out of your pesky procrastination habits, and remember that your mental health is of the utmost importance!

Extra links:
http://www.wsj.com/articles/to-stop-procrastinating-start-by-understanding-whats-really-going-on-1441043167
https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newHTE_96.htm
http://tetw.org/Procastination

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AMA wins Global Top Single Martial Arts School Award!

Fantastic News!

Over the weekend, Master Ridvan, Mrs Sarah, Mr Hakan, Mr Mark and Mrs Busra were in Melbourne for the Annual EFC (Educational Funding Company) Martial Arts Summit. They were awarded the most prestigious Global Top Single Martial Arts School Award.

Background on the EFC and Annual Summit. The Educational Funding Company is responsible for maintaining industry standards and educating members of the Industry. It has an active Martial Arts School count of over 750 academies world wide. The annual conference includes Martial Arts Instructors from all over the world congregating to attend seminars, workshops and presentations in order to provide the best programs and teaching methods to their respective schools. Master Ridvan was a keynote speaker at the Summit.

At the Summit, there is an awards night to reward pioneers within the Industry. Of the 750+ martial arts schools, we are very proud and grateful to have received the Top Global Martial Arts School Award again for the fourth consecutive year. Some of the areas used to tally the schools include active student count within the academy, quality of programs provided, curriculum development, instructor training systems and methods, online presence including website, social media and online reviews.

We would like to thank our wonderful team of staff, our students and families both past and present (over the past 34 years of AMA history) in helping us achieve the level we are at. We are extremely grateful to have you all part of the community.

With that said, we are not satisfied. We will consistently Strive to be the best Martial Arts Service Provider in the world. Maintaining the highest level of education and inspire individuals to live their best life. We are going to keep pushing the boundaries to provide the best platform for our members. We aim to influence our members through the martial arts philosophies and embody martial arts as a way of life.

We look forward to the journey ahead and encourage you all to come along with us!

AMA team!

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Teenagers: A 7 Step Guide to Financial Freedom

Our adolescent years can be the most challenging years of our lives. Schooling, coping with added responsibilities, finding our own, being comfortable in our skin as well as dealing with external influences. So many lucrative products, latest gadgets, ever changing trends that always seem so enticing, coupled with the added peer pressure to fit in and be ‘socially acceptable’ can be a formula for disaster.

Ridiculous amounts of money are invested into altering with our psychology and emotions to make purchases to ultimately increase our wants over our needs. Compulsive buying, impulse buying, emotive purchases are areas large firms look to capitalise. Advertising and marketing reaching our youth through their personal devices. The economic climate is tough, and getting tougher. I believe as youth, we need to understand the bigger picture, and understand it NOW.

Soon enough tertiary education will be fast approaching. Earning your own income will be required along with the inevitable; rent, groceries, transport/travel, car, registration,entertainment and the many other expenses that will pile up. In order to truly ensure these are manageable we must learn to form productive spending habits. Habits that are going to set us up to live the lifestyle we desire.

The issue of money can be a touchy topic and is somewhat taboo, but i believe it is integral to develop and improve our financial literacy regardless of the field we’re in. Money is something we have to deal with. And it is beneficial to do our first hand research. Nonetheless, no matter what our goals are and however noble they may be, we must learn how it works, how we can make it work for us goals and the rules and regulations of the country we’re in. How small tweaks in purchases, small adjustments to our spending can have compounding results in the future.

Here are some tips,

1. Start with the end in mind. Some youth know exactly the profession they want to be involved in, others are quite unsure. Nonetheless, its ok, seek the type of lifestyle you want to live, the education required and the industry or type of field you’d like to work in. And then work back from there. A profession based upon giving, adding value to peoples lives, will provide you with the ultimate fulfilment and personal satisfaction. Setting a career path based upon giving will ensure longevity, drive and motivation.

2. Get used to putting money away from now. Life is good when money is given to you as a child and you have the free will to spend all of it. But our approach often changes when it becomes hard earned money. We think twice about certain purchases. Furthermore, we need to be accustomed to setting some of it aside, for the purposes of saving (you might want to travel, do a course, make a large purchase, buy gifts etc) and for the purpose paying for taxes/other fees that are inevitably part of growing up. Not getting to keep 100% of your earning is a norm during adulthood 🙂

3. Form effective spending habits. Habits that are going to set you up for success. A person that earns $10 will often have the same spending patterns if they are earning $100 or $1000. So it is an area we need to manage and develop the will power from early on. Learn the importance of budgeting, like with time management, we need to learn money management and it requires keeping in mind the larger goal or bigger picture as previously mentioned. Strengthen that will power!

4. Just because you are eligible for a credit card it does not mean its required. Credit cards do have advantages, but also come with hefty fees. Banks are there to profit, they are a business that aims to profit through their financial products that can be costly if we don’t use them correctly. Don’t disregard the jargon. Be mindful of this! Use wisely, pay your credit card borrowings and fees early!

5. Seek a mentor. Search for people that have paved the way. Seek out their thoughts and methods. Ask questions. Pick their brains. Success is built through relationships. Develop and sustain these relationships. This can really speed up your process of learning and save you time and money!

6. Look into building your assets, products that are going to appreciate over time. Learn the importance of investing, putting your money to work for you. Investing is financial schemes, shares, property, or a commercial venture with the expectation of achieving a profit. Set up a small business. Have basic knowledge of the economy, markets, rates and compound interest. Improve your financial literacy.

7. Saving the best for last; Continuously learn and invest in yourself! Gain new skills, build on experiences, get out of your comfort zone. Be comfortable being uncomfortable. We live in a world where employers aren’t willing to provide experience and employees find it difficult to get a job without having the necessary experience. Invest in your health. Put it on the top of priorities list. Because without health, all else fails! Have a passion for photography? Take courses/classes, purchase equipment, invest your time, work for free, build your reputation, your resume. Not only will you learn and develop as an individual but you may even forge your own career path!

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5 Healthy Back To School Habits

Starting school is both an exciting time and a time where both parents and children may feel nervous or anxious, mainly about the unknown (what will this year hold?). Luckily, there are some helpful tips that may help you and your child settle into the new school year.

1. Develop good morning routines
Practice the start to the morning that would be ideal for you. Children respond really well to routine, so establishing what they WILL do, and when, will help them to know how they can help and how to please you. Giving your child small jobs that they can do, and know when to do, each morning is a great way to start the day. Also, practicing the route you will walk/ride/drive/public transport to school will help your child to know what to expect each day.

2. Help your child to feel confident in their ability to make new friends
Settling into a new class can be daunting. Children who succeed in being confident get off to a great start. Try to encourage children to use some of the skills they’ve developed from their martial arts classes (hello my name is, what’s your name?). This will allow your child to make new friends quickly. Try to encourage your child to make a new friend each day for the first couple of weeks.

3. Settling into after-school activities
Doing sport, especially in a routine, will help children to develop more energy, strength and help them in the transition to school. Studies have shown that kids who exercise 60 minutes per day have better focus, more energy throughout the day, and learn better at school. To help your child have that little energy boost while settling into after-school activities, try packing them an after-school ‘crunch and sip’ box with some fruit and water to give them that energy lift!

4. Dealing with the “I’m too tired”
This is common to hear, and your school will most likely have told you to expect to hear this from your child. School is not optional when you are tired, and children know that they are expected to go. Going to your sports sessions should be approached the same way, and the best part is, afterwards your child will be more energetic and do better at school the next day! If your child does complain of being “too tired”, talk to your teacher about tips that can help overcome these obstacles.

5. Reward appropriately
Do children get rewarded for going to school? Probably not. Martial Arts classes are so much more than running and kicking, and should be approached as a fun lesson time – come in and get strong, but learn the new lessons that are taught as well. Parents will find that the ‘extras; that are taught to their children are there to help your child get the most out of, not only martial arts, but also school, music and other programs. If you want to give your child something extra for doing a great job, that’s fine, but don’t let it become part of the sporting routine. Doing sport is a reward all in itself!

The more kids do an activity, the more they enjoy it! Participating in extra-curricular sports is a great way to develop friendships further. Try inviting your child’s new friends to come to your martial arts classes. Not only will they love it, but it will help your child to strengthen the new friendships they’ve made, as well as show their new friends how strong they are and what cool moves they know. Don’t mess with them – they’re awesome! For more handy/helpful hints for settling into the new school year, have a chat to your martial arts teacher – they are there to help.

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Increasing health concerns in Australia and Preventative measures for your family

Obesity is an alarming issue in modern Australia that, if not met with adequate strategies, can and will negatively impact the wellbeing of millions. According to ABS figures, in 2012, 62.8% of Australians aged 18 and older were overweight or obese which amounts to 14.3 million people. A report from the Victorian state government found that at current rates where effective intervention has failed, that number will increase to 16.9 million by 2025. Though obesity can be caused by genetic or medical complications, poor lifestyle choices tend to increase this condition’s prevalence in the community. However, by virtue of this choice, we can turn around obesity by alternatively choosing the healthier option. Prevention is key and so healthy choices must start at a young age and encouraged by the whole family.

Generally, when the energy the body takes in is higher than what is used, body fat accumulates. This difference in how much energy the body needs and how much is used is made worse by the consumption of fatty foods as well a reduction in physical activity due to our increasingly sedentary lifestyles. A federal government briefing outlines some associated consequences which include an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke and issues with cholesterol and blood pressure. There can also be psychological and social strain with the stigma of obesity and its impact on self-esteem. With this in mind, it is of paramount importance that we all must work together to prevent this condition that is so widespread and dangerous in Australia.

Turning lifestyle caused obesity around comes down to 2 main things: healthy eating and physical activity. Our fast past living placed importance on highly processed, cheap and convenient food, which are very nutrient poor and incredibly high in fat. We tend to consume more of this kind of food and not enough of nutrient rich food. The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating recommends that we eat a variety of vegetables (the more colourful, the better!), legumes/beans, whole fruits, wholegrain cereals, fish, poultry, seafood, nuts and seeds. We should also aim to eat less food that is high in saturated fat and added sugars and salts such as fast food, fruit juice (like the ones you get in poppers) and refined grains such as white bread, rice and pasta.

Harvard’s School of Public Health also recommend the practise of mindful eating where you think about why you feel hungry. If you are actually hungry, try for the healthier option. If you are not really hungry, and you wish to eat for other reasons, try to do something else to get your mind off the issue or, eat some fruit instead. They also stressed the importance of eating breakfast because skipping this meal can lead to overeating later in the day. Other strategies include creating a meal plan with your family where you plan out healthy meals in advance and cook them together. This ensures that habit of healthy eating is a bonding and learning experience as well. When you are actually eating, try to eat slower because this allows your brain to process how full you actually are.

Physical activity is the other half of the strategy to combat obesity. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that families should try to be physically active together. It can be as simple as an afternoon walk or as structured as learning a sport together (like Martial Arts). You should also aim to reduce screen time that isn’t related to work or homework to 2 or less hours a day. Substitute the time you would have spent facing a screen with being physically active instead. Harvard’s School of Public Health suggests an hour or more of physical activity a day which can be done at once or broken up into 10+ minute bursts. Remember, physical activity is not just going to the gym or having a run, it can be as simple as taking your bike to work or school.

Preventing obesity is the key to defeating it. Making a habit out of healthy eating and physical activity will surely turn around such a prevalent condition in Australia but it cannot start without small steps. Have a banana instead of a chocolate bar or take the stairs instead of the elevator. Once those first hurdles are overcome, keep progressing and track it by keeping a health journal. If you have a family, instil in your children these habits of healthy eating and physical activity because lifestyle choices start at childhood and if you show them the right ones now, you will give them positive habits to last them a lifetime.

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10 Sure-Fire ways to prevent your child from getting caught in the technology vacuum.

In 2016 almost everybody down to the age of 8 has a personal portable device. Be it an ipad, i-touch, tablet or iPhone. Research reveals that the Average Australian Household has up to 8 internet connectable devices. This transformation has come with great advantages. Instantaneous video chatting capabilities at very little to no cost. Access to an abundance and ever increasing pool of resources at your fingertips. New innovations and emergence of brand new industries. The increase in learning portals and apps have changed the education and learning landscape. Many professions now require you to use multiple devices over the working day. And ultimately, being up to date in such an ever changing climate. These include encouraging children to work with more complex ideas from an earlier age, promoting skills in collaboration and problem solving, accelerating learning in the first year of school, helping children with learning challenges and enhancing mathematics learning. School curricula around the word rely on technology for this very reason.

Over the last 5-7 years technology has increased at a much faster rate then ever before. Particularly technology at the personal level. It wasn’t long ago where households had one PC which was located in the study room, utilised for basic internet browsing and research. Emails were just starting out and internet speeds/data transfer was at a much slower rate.

But all this has come with a price. People glued to their screens becoming commonplace. Internet addiction disorder (IAD) or Compulsive Internet Usage (CIU) are issues psychiatrists have to deal with on the daily, with treatments being similar to that of may other addictions be it alcohol or gambling. Social networking apps have given rise to a serious issue known as cyber bullying, having major personal implications on adolescent teens. In-game purchases and excessive downloads of games and videos watched have placed a huge dint the pockets of households. Lack of social communication is also an area that is evident and on the rise, with many people spending up 9 hours consuming media on their device and sending up to 60 texts a day resulting in our youth coiling up into a technology cocoon.

Technology has become an essential part of our lives. Like anything, we have to use it as tool, be it for learning, communication or entertainment. We need to learn to control it.

The following health and safety tips are from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Feel free to excerpt these tips or use them in their entirety in any print or broadcast story, with acknowledgment of source.

In a world where children are “growing up digital,” it’s important to help them learn healthy concepts of digital use and citizenship. Parents play an important role in teaching these skills. Here are a few tips from the AAP to help parents manage the digital landscape they’re exploring with their children.

• Treat media as you would any other environment in your child’s life. The same parenting guidelines apply in both real and virtual environments. Set limits; kids need and expect them. Know your children’s friends, both online and off. Know what platforms, software, and apps your children are using, where they are going on the web, and what they are doing online.

• Set limits and encourage playtime. Tech use, like all other activities, should have reasonable limits. Unstructured and offline play stimulates creativity. Make unplugged playtime a daily priority, especially for very young children. And—don’t forget to join your children in unplugged play whenever you’re able.

• Families who play together, learn together. Family participation is also great for media activities—it encourages social interactions, bonding, and learning. Play a video game with your kids. It’s a good way to demonstrate good sportsmanship and gaming etiquette. And, you can introduce and share your own life experiences and perspectives—and guidance—as you play the game.

• Be a good role model. Teach and model kindness and good manners online. And, because children are great mimics, limit your own media use. In fact, you’ll be more available for and connected with your children if you’re interacting, hugging and playing with them rather than simply staring at a screen.

• Know the value of face-to-face communication. Very young children learn best through two-way communication. Engaging in back-and-forth “talk time” is critical for language development. Conversations can be face-to-face or, if necessary, by video chat, with a traveling parent or far-away grandparent. Research has shown that it’s that “back-and-forth conversation” that improves language skills—much more so than “passive” listening or one-way interaction with a screen.

• Create tech-free zones. Keep family mealtimes and other family and social gatherings tech-free. Recharge devices overnight—outside your child’s bedroom to help children avoid the temptation to use them when they should be sleeping. These changes encourage more family time, healthier eating habits, and better sleep, all critical for children’s wellness.

• Don’t use technology as an emotional pacifier. Media can be very effective in keeping kids calm and quiet, but it should not be the only way they learn to calm down. Children need to be taught how to identify and handle strong emotions, come up with activities to manage boredom, or calm down through breathing, talking about ways to solve the problem, and finding other strategies for channeling emotions.

• Apps for kids – do your homework. More than 80,000 apps are labeled as educational, but little research has demonstrated their actual quality. Products pitched as “interactive” should require more than “pushing and swiping.” Look to organisations like Common Sense Media (www.commonsensemedia.org) for reviews about age-appropriate apps, games and programs to guide you in making the best choices for your children.

• It’s OK for your teen to be online. Online relationships are part of typical adolescent development. Social media can support teens as they explore and discover more about themselves and their place in the grown-up world. Just be sure your teen is behaving appropriately in both the real and online worlds. Many teens need to be reminded that a platform’s privacy settings do not make things actually “private” and that images, thoughts, and behaviours teens share online will instantly become a part of their digital footprint indefinitely. Keep lines of communication open and let them know you’re there if they have questions or concerns.

• Remember: Kids will be kids. Kids will make mistakes using media. Try to handle errors with empathy and turn a mistake into a teachable moment. But some indiscretions, such as sexting, bullying, or posting self-harm images, may be a red flag that hints at trouble ahead. Parents should take a closer look at your child’s behaviours and, if needed, enlist supportive professional help, including from your pediatrician.

Media and digital devices are an integral part of our world today. The benefits of these devices, if used moderately and appropriately, can be great. But, research has shown that face-to-face time with family, friends, and teachers, plays a pivotal and even more important role in promoting children’s learning and healthy development. Keep the face-to-face up front, and don’t let it get lost behind a stream of media and tech.

See more at: https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/Children-And-Media-Tips-For-Parents.aspx#sthash.KfkrBKok.dpuf

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AMA teams up with Dove Skin Care productions demonstrating the benefits of Family Classes!

A FAMILY THAT KICKS TOGETHER STICKS TOGETHER!
Dove Skin Care Products Teams up with AMA to bring you this empowering story about Meredyth and her Family. An inspirational story about the benefits Taekwondo classes have provided her and her family! Love it!

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Silly Season Success: 3 Steps to be mindful of this Summer!

As the New Year approaches and summer grants us a little more free time from school and work, we all want to get things done. Summer projects, that holiday you’ve wanted, extra training and even New Year’s resolutions are on your mind. However, according to Dr. Anthony Grant of the University of Sydney 88% of people’s goals for the New Year will inevitably fail because of poor planning skills. Why is it that our desires for positive change fall through undone? Sometimes our aspirations are simply too vague and we don’t back it up with concrete strategy. We wish “to be happier this year” yet fail to determine when and how. Perhaps we lack foresight and flexibility in our schedules leaving us playing catch up or overwhelmed. Or maybe it’s a lack in discipline that causes us to give up at the first sign of trouble, if we started at all. How can you beat those odds and get things done? How can you give 2016 the best possible start? It all comes down to a good plan.

1) Make it a Habit

No one got their black belt overnight and it’s the same for large undertakings where you must start small in order to achieve the great. Translate this abstract goal into smaller and simpler subtasks and start from there, taking on larger goals as you progress. Be very specific about them and determine the frequency, where, when and what it is that needs to be done to accomplish this task. If you practise this small task everyday as you scheduled it, not only are you taking steps to achieve the wider goal, but you are also training your discipline to stick through it. For example, if your goal is to “lose weight this year” make it a habit to walk for 5 minutes every day after work or school, then step up this load gradually. Before you know it, you are running 5km a day!

2) Tools to Get Things Done

Eric Baker from the personal development blog “Barking Up the Wrong Tree”, stresses the importance of exporting your plans and ideas out of your head because it allows your mind to focus better. Smartphones are one of the best places to keep track of your time and schedule with apps that have our plans immediately on hand. Google Calendar is a fantastic and simple calendar app that you can download onto your phone as well as access on your laptop that allows you to plan and colour code your schedule. If you want to plan out your finances during the break, try Pocketbook, an app that has features such as budgeting, transaction recording and spending and saving goals.
Having your schedule recorded is not the end of planning. Ensure that you have reminders set up like notifications or alarms so that you do not forget what you have to do. Having each goal, task and subtask planned out in a schedule with reminders is a great way to get things done because you no longer need to keep track of what you have to do in your head, freeing it up to actually focus on each task.

3) Plan it Out

plan it outEveryone desires to achieve their goals but most fall into the trap of imagining the end result without thinking about how to get there. With enough preparation, even the seemingly impossible can be broken down and achieved. It all comes down to a good plan because as the saying goes, “those that fail to plan, plan to fail.” Do not be one of those that fail to plan; be someone that gets things done.

Happy New Year to you and your family and have a wonderful 2016 ☺

– Mr. Vincent

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