It’s halfway through February, and while I typically like to set goals much earlier in the year, I struggled with a list of what I wanted to accomplish this year. In part, I think it’s because last year was such a roller coaster both in terms of my equestrian life and the rest of my life. The other issue I faced was putting into words what I really wanted this year to look like. Ever since I bought Miles, I’ve had big goals I wanted to cross off my list. But now I find myself in the (wonderfully!) unique position of having accomplished them all. So where do I go from here?
When I sit down to write goals, I want realistic goals that are attainable. Some ‘reach’ goals are perfectly fine, but I don’t want more than 25% of my goals to require extreme amounts of effort or a myriad of things to go right. Horses (and life!) tend to throw curve balls, and at the end of the year I don’t want to look back and feel like I failed. My goals are meant to lift me up and keep me motivated; not make my life difficult.
- Learn shoulder-in and haunches-in
- Improve Miles’ leg yield
- Jump natural obstacles in the field
- Jump 3′
- Develop a better crest release
- Improve sitting trot
This year I find myself in a new position: I don’t want to move up in height and I don’t need to make a huge change in terms of my riding skills. Of course I want to continue to improve and finesse my trips over fences… but now I’m focused on smaller details, rather than the big picture. This is a really exciting and awesome place to be, but it’s really new to me and makes writing goals a bit elusive. I’m hesitant to write out specific show goals or even horse specific goals because things can change so, so fast. So while I have in my mind the ideas keeping up my confidence with Miles and showing in Equitation divisions… I don’t want to make those my goals. Instead, I’ve broken them down to be more specific. To improve my Equitation, want to learn and improve my lateral movements, as well as my release over fences and my sitting trot on the flat. To improve and keep my confidence on Miles, I want to get out of the ring and eventually jump outside and jump some larger heights at home.
- Create and stick to a workout routine
- Be more detail-oriented at work
- Add more religion to life
This is always the category I struggle with the most, so I’m keeping it sort and simple. I want to improve three areas of my life, and that’s it. I want to make it easier to focus my energy on these things by cutting the crap. Get and stay healthy, be a better employee and be more religious. I just simply need to make more time for these items, and force myself to add them into my weekly routine. It’s that simple… but also that difficult. Change is hard!
- Develop one new printable product
- Make and sell at least 5 ribbon hangers
- Write 5 guest blog posts
I’m a creative person, and I enjoy having this blog and my Etsy store as an outlet for those passions. But my time is valuable (and becoming more so every year), so to justify my time spent on these endeavors, I’d like to make a little bit of money from them. Developing more products for The Printable Pony and getting a few guest blogging gigs would be excellent. Last year I made about $750 from these side projects and I’d love to increase that to the $1k mark in 2017!
- Win a hunter division champion
- Place in a hunter derby/special class
- Go to an overnight (for me) show
This is where I like to put my horse show goals. It might seem a bit silly, but I never feel bad for not completing something on my bucket list. With horses, so much has to align — you and your horse have to be healthy, sound and prepared, you need time and money, you have to be the best there is that day. Sometimes it feels like the stars literally have to align to get to a horse show, much less do well! And I don’t want to focus on the ribbons, or feel like I failed because money was tight… so I put those “goals” here; and I never feel bad if they don’t happen. Although I am really hoping to make it to the TJCTIP Championships at the Kentucky Horse Park…