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Set Goals Rather Than Resolutions, by Barbra Schulte



Barbra Schulte

Barbra Schulte

“A Better Way Than New Year’s Resolutions?”

It all sounds like a good idea … to make resolutions for 2014.

But for me, the word “resolution” has some sadness to it … and drudgery. It’s almost as if to say, “This part of my life is really messy, so I’m going to sacrifice and be better.”   The bottom line is that most resolutions never make it past Day 4 or 5. And, they have a feeling of dread about them.

I have some replacement ideas for the old resolution concept.  It’s a 3-part process that can take you into an awareness of what you love and want to do … and then can help you achieve your dreams through consistent, small, fun steps … ultimately to success!

1. Set Outcome Goals and focus on the excitement of the reasons why you set them.   You want to make it to a top ranking in your discipline’s year end awards?   You want to take some adventuresome trail rides in State Parks you’ve never even dreamed possible before because you knew it wasn’t safe because of your riding skills … but now you will be able to do so because of becoming a safer, skilled, confident rider?

These are examples of Outcome Goals … goals that are measurable. (You’ll know by your year-end ranking, or if you made it to those state parks by December.)    When you choose Outcome Goals, focus on the EXHILARATION of the goal … how much fun you will have … all the show adventures along the way … how having better horsemanship improves the quality of your experience with horses for a lifetime, etc.   Get pumped. Focus on the benefits … the real reasons why you are setting the goal. Only choose goals that get you super excited.

2. Put Rituals in place that lead you toward your destinationThe word “ritual” is another warm and fuzzy word for habit.   It’s a manageable little thing you do everyday (or most days) that keeps you headed in the right direction for what you want to do.   It’s all about incremental steps. Easy, daily rituals are fabulous baby steps. Choose rituals that you ENJOY.

For an Outcome Goal like an award, it could be as simple as watching … everyday … with great intensity … winning rides on YouTube and totally loving being that rider in the magic of your imagination.   For a goal like going to 3 challenging trail rides, it might be to do something everyday like getting more info on the trails or studying articles or videos about the horsemanship skills you need to learn.   Do something everyday in your mind that hones your skills towards where you want to go. Make it a ritual. Don’t miss it. Make it fun! The key is making it a habit!

3. Set Performance Goals for each time you ride that keep you moving towards your goals in Step #1.   Performance Goals are manageable things you can do and control, like staying calm, or keeping your eyes focused in a certain direction, or softening your rigid shoulders.   Note that the Outcome Goals in Step #1 are totally out of your direct control. It’s important to really understand this.   But because Performance Goals are TOTALLY in your control, you constantly keep moving toward your Outcome Goals … baby step by baby step … Performance Goal by Performance Goal.

When you add the results of your Performance Goals (always achievable) to the results of your daily Rituals (always achievable), you stay psyched and sustain exhilarated momentum toward your Outcome Goals.   Then, at the end of the year, no matter what the external, measurable result of the Outcome Goals (out of your control,) you did absolutely EVERYTHING you could do to get you there and had fun along the way … (all within your control). There’s huge satisfaction in knowing you’ve done everything you could possibly do.

 Go for it this year. Pick an Outcome Goal that you gets you pumped … do a daily Ritual that’s intense, fun and meaningful … and set Performance Goals when you ride.

Taken from Barbra Schulte’s January 2014 Email Daily News, “Keep Fireworks Going All New Year”

Future Events  on My Calendar

Cutting Clinics  –  May 16 – 18, Lewisburg, WV,  May 23 & 24, Pembroke, NH

 Horsemanship/Working Cattle/Cutting/Clinic:  June 16 – 18, Damascus, PA


How do you keep your horse’s bit warm before riding?

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