Goal Setting For Equestrians

I Catherine Respess

It is almost that time of year again when we reflect on our past year and determine what we would like to focus on for the months ahead.

Many call them "New Year's Resolutions." 

And by one estimate, 80% of people fail by February.

Ditch the resolutions and focus on HABITS instead! 

Habits work better than resolutions for achieving goals because they allow you to break things down into manageable action steps.

For example, let’s say you want to drink more water. A good habit to help you with that goal is to keep a water bottle within reach.  So the end goal is to drink more water, but the habit that will help you accomplish that goal is having the bottle. 

Goals become achievable goal when you break down them down into steps that you can complete in a finite amount of time.

Another example is if you want to move up a level in dressage. On its own, the goal may seem unrealistic and vague.

But if you formulate habits, or action steps, it becomes more doable. “Start interspersing smaller voltes ” or “Lenghten strides on the short diagonal every time you change rein.”

The key here is to come up with actions that are difficult to fail. It is possible to fail at "Get a better score at my next show." It’s a lot harder to fail if your action step is to “Lengthen the trot for 10 steps down the long side.” 

Work on developing habits.

Keep a record of your progress, and you’ll be surprised at how much you’ve accomplished this time next year!

We'd love to hear what some of your goals and action steps are for January! Let us know below.

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