By: Brittany Bevis
The difference between a dream and a goal is having a plan that will take you there. In order for goals to be successful, they need to be specific and measurable.
For example, setting a goal that you would like to compete in Western Riding is a great idea. But, what steps are you going to take to get there? Making a specific plan with small, measurable benchmarks, that will lead you towards achieving your ultimate goal, ensures a better chance for success.
For this particular example, one step might include working on your horse’s arc and flexibility under saddle with counter canter circles. Another step might be to work on lateral bend when pressure is applied with your leg and neck rein.
In addition, it’s best if goals are positive instead of negative. Perhaps you’d like to stop forgetting pieces of your Horsemanship or Showmanship patterns. Instead of describing this goal in a negative manner of what NOT to do, reframe your way of thinking. Perhaps a better goal might be to work on your visualization and memory skills. You could do this by highlighting important transitions on a paper copy of the pattern, walking the pattern on foot, and finding landmarks in the arena to serve as visual cues.
Another helpful tip is to write down your goal on a piece of paper and keep it somewhere you will look at it every day, like your bathroom mirror or in the tack room of the barn. Keeping a diary record or list of your progress will help to keep you motivated when you see consistent improvement toward your goal.
Everything in life is more fun when you do it with friends, so find a group of people who share similar goals. You can support each other when things get hard and celebrate your successes.
Finally, don’t get frustrated if you slip up, make a mistake, or even fail. Nobody is perfect. It doesn’t matter how many times you mess up on the way to accomplishing your goal. It only matters that you keep trying until you get there. And you will, if you keep trying. There are no limits. Limits do not exist. They’re only in your mind.
Steps For Successful Goal Setting
#1- Make a specific plan with small steps to follow.
#2- Keep goals positive instead of negative.
#3- Write down your goal and keep it in a place where you will see it often.
#4- Keep track of your progress.
#5- Team up with friends who share similar goals and who can help provide moral support and encouragement.
#6- Don’t get frustrated if you slip up or make a mistake.