Goals for the New Year

We’re now on day 4 of the new year. I NEVER make New Year’s resolutions. They just don’t work, so rather than make resolutions and beat myself up about not sticking to them, I spend the first few days of the year reflecting on where I’ve been and where I want to go. Then, I make some very specific goals and a plan on how to accomplish those goals.

ButtonsThis time last year, I was once again dealing with crippling fear in the saddle. I was right back where I had been almost a year before. I had actually considered downsizing to the one horse I could never part with and letting him have an early retirement. Thankfully, I met someone who had been where I was. She reassured me that I could deal with this, and I could find my way back. Thanks to her support and her loaning me a schoolmaster, I did exactly that. I’m starting 2016 able to walk, trot, and canter my horses. More importantly, I have some effective strategies for dealing with the fear and anxiety when they does rear their ugly heads.

One of the things I identified that was adding to my fear is the fact that I had put on weight and didn’t feel like the balanced, fit rider I once was. I just didn’t feel like a capable athlete. To that end, I started working on a sustainable weight loss plan. I’m now starting the new year 27 pounds lighter than I was last year. I’m much more fit and capable of training and riding my horses, especially my young mares.

So… Goals for 2016?

  1. Get my weight down to 170.
  2. Be fit enough to canter my horse for at least 5 minutes.
  3. Take my 4 year old mare Buttons to at least 4 shows.
  4. Take my 3 year old mare Sammy through all the Downunder Horsemanship Fundamentals exercises.
  5. Attend at least 2 clinics.

I already have a plan in place to achieve my first goal. I’m down 27 pounds and have 16 more to go. Last year, I created a Facebook group for goal setting and accountability that I use as a support mechanism not only for this goal but for my other goals as well. I also have my planner/journal to set daily goals and track progress. While I’ll be gaining momentum and fitness for goal 2 while I’m losing weight, I don’t intend to attack it until I’ve reached my goal weight.

SammyFor goal 3, I plan to ride Buttons in the Central Tennessee Dressage Association schooling shows. We’ll start with Intro Level Western Dressage and see what we can accomplish. I would love to report back that we moved up to Basic Level, but I know slow and steady wins the race! 🙂 For goal 5, I’m currently planning to attend a Western Dressage clinic in April. I’m checking schedules for a second clinic.

For goal 4, miss Sammy is already under saddle and has completed the Fundamentals groundwork exercises, but I’m volunteering at a Walkabout Tour in Memphis in April to earn a Colt Starting kit. After that, we’ll go through each and every exercise to make sure we’ve mastered it and are ready to move. I want to make sure that when we roll around to 2017 that Sammy and I are ready to hit the show ring. I intend to spend 2016 building a lasting partnership with her. I think we could be a great team, but we need to spend some time building trust and respect.

I accomplished a lot in 2015. It wasn’t in the show ring, and I don’t have any fancy prizes to show for it. But my head is clear. I’m back on track and ready to go. I am so looking forward to what 2016 will bring!

What did you achieve in 2015? What do you have planned for 2016? What support do you have in place to help you get there?

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