Time for...New Year's resolutions




Forbes Magazine states that only 8% of people achieve their New Year's resolutions. Dan Diamond suggests in his post citing this number, that in order to be able to keep your resolution, you should:

  • Keep it simple
  • Make it tangible
  • Make it obvious
  • Keep believing that you can do it.

That sounds pretty easy? Why is it then that only so few people can stick to their plans?






Dreaming or thinking of something that you want to achieve is simply not enough. It requires hard work every single day to achieve your goals. I set my goals and write them on a piece of paper and hang them on the kitchen wall. With that, I can see them every day and be reminded of what I am working on. Most of my goals of course refer to my riding. For me, just going for a ride would not be enough - thus, we have short term, mid term and long term goals.







Marijke de Jong claims that there are only six steps in order to make your dreams come true (http://straightnesstraining.com/theme-of-the-week/6-steps-turn-dreams-reality/):

  1. Set goals. Make clear what you want to achieve. Having a goal like being a better rider will not work and here is why: this is something that you cannot really measure. And it is way to vague! What will you do to achieve this goal? Right, there are too many unspecific answers to that.
  2. Create a plan and break down your goals in specific steps. Marijke suggests to ask yourself the question: What specific action must I take in order to achieve the outcome or result that I am committed to? In our case, we are working now on a better canter. Achieving that, will led to better second level tests which will us in the end bring us even to the next level. It is necessary to understand that all the small steps that we take will in the end lead to something big. With that, it is easier to fight every day the aching muscles when trying to change your posture for the sake of a good canter work ;)
  3. Commit and take action! Marijke is absolutely right: You have to do something! You will not achieve any goal when sitting in front of the TV unless your goal is the Couch Potato Olympics! It is okay that there are days where there is simply no motivation (refer to this: http://dressagehafl.blogspot.co.at/2013/12/there-are-days-when-there-is-simply-no.html) and it is okay to pause. No one is able to work 24/7. But it is sometimes necessary to get up and get things going even though it is cold, snowy, windy or whatever outside. I have to admit it is not always easy and sometimes I wonder if it is worth it but honestly, having some good canter steps or a nicely bent horse make up for that!
  4. When actions turn into results: ask yourself what is working and not. It is necessary to understand why things worked out or failed. Without that, you would not be able to judge if the actions you take are supporting or hindering the approach of your goals.
  5. If your not seeing results, change your approach. One reason why I am trying to gather as much input as possible from various sources is that there is always something to take away from somebody else's approach. It might be something small or big (like when I found out about body wrapping). What matters is to be open to new ideas and give a try. Maybe that was the missing puzzle stone for the current short term goal...
  6. Sooner or later: live that dream. That is the moment when you forget about all the pain. The moment of reward. I guess that it is not ONE moment, it is a compilation of many small victories and I am sure that you can turn every ride in one of such. At least, that is what I am trying: get off my horse and have a better feeling than before!
Next year, we will definitely work on our second level and try to turn to third level at the very end of the season. We still need some results for the next license and we will travel to foreign countries for shows. All in all, it will be a very exciting year and I remember that every time I walk to the fridge, when I see my list hanging right next to it (very good place for such things as the fridge is a frequently visited spot - at least in my flat :D)...

No matter what your resolutions and plans are:

                                     
                                     

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