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Set Your Foot Before You Kick: Values First

At Body Combat we punch imaginary opponents and kick the air.

I used to really struggle with my kicks. I’d lose my balance, have no power in my kicking leg, look even sillier than usual. Until I finally heard, and understood, one of the cues the instructors had been giving.

Set your foot.

Set your foot means to position your standing foot correctly before you kick. It gives you a strong foundation and the correct alignment to land a powerful kick in the right direction.

I realized something. Not only was I failing to set my foot in combat, I was also failing to set my foot in many areas of my life.

I was making decisions based on other people’s expectations. I was reacting to other people’s demands rather than proactively spending time on my priorities. I was looking for external validation instead of trusting my own judgement.

I thought a lot about ‘setting my foot’. It was a pretty easy habit to fix in combat, but how about the life stuff?

Values Are The Foundation

I decided that the life equivalent of setting my foot was identifying my values. But when I thought about it, I really had no idea what these values were. No wonder I often struggled with decisions and felt thrown by other people’s opinions.

So I read a couple of books, talked to friends, and did a lot of thinking. The result was that I came up with a list of things that were my core concerns.

These values aren’t set in stone, but rather, reflect a combination of my long-term priorities and my current goals. They evolve and change over time.

But at any one time, they give me a strong foundation for making decisions, allocating time, and validating myself. They help me land my goals with more power.

I’ll talk more about values elsewhere, but here I just want to say how much they’ve changed my life. Since I’ve been using my values to set my foot, I’ve made significant progress with my goals – some of which have eluded me for years.

As for my kicks? I’ve never actually kicked anyone, so I have no idea if my kicks are any good. But in my head, I’m Buffy.

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