This quote has become one of my new favorites: “Bees don’t waste their time explaining to flies why honey is better than sh!t. Remember that next time someone is trying to talk you out of your dreams.”
Breakdown your dreams into small steps then make those steps goals… Here’s how to set goals for achievement instead of disappointment:
Choose worthwhile goals:
The purpose of setting goals is to propel you forward. Goals have to be motivating to you. If you don’t genuinely want it, dont bother with it, because you will end up discouraged.
Deciding you want to drive your horse is a worthy and life changing goal. It’ll inspire you to do research, look for ideas, and start doing more with your horse.
For example, I’m going to use my goal to put together and drive my own four-in-hand team of horses. I started the goal about 7 years before I actually drove my own, self put together, team.
Choose goals that are in achievable stretches moving towards your bigger picture:
Your goals must be engaging and challenging or you won’t stay interested in them, but they also must be small enough steps that they are attainable. If you make your smaller goals too hard, you’ll just end up frustrated and abandon the process.
One of my first goals towards driving my four in hand was to put together a pair. I already had the single horse, Savannah, but I didn’t have a match to go with her. I drove her single keeping an open mind that if the match for her crossed my path, I’d snatch it up. It wasn’t too long before the pair-mate came into my life, Dancer, and thanks to his owner at the time I was able to make him horse #2 for my team.
Goals must be specific:
When setting goals, you have to be very specific. Having a big picture dream, like arriving at an address you’ve been driving to, is great, but you need the step by step GPS or mapping instructions to get you there. Those step by step turns are the specific goals towards getting you to the final destination. Some of those steps might be longer than others to get to, but they all are small obtainable steps that lead to your final destination.
One of the specific goals I had in putting together my team was finding the right team carriage to drive them in. I went through a few carriages I bought and resold finding that one that felt right… and even when I didn’t have 4 horses yet to drive it in, I knew it was one of the steps to driving four horses out together. I actually achieved this step before I had the 4 horses to put together.
Commitment is key to success:
One of the best ways to commit to a goal is writing it down. I used to, and still do, write notes in my phone of the things I want to do. Like right now, one of those things is to attend a pleasure drive with the four in hand.
By writing goals down you can see the action plan in front of you and stay focused on the steps to the bigger picture. Remember accomplishing goals is not an overnight process.
Make your goals public:
This is one of the biggest ways to keep yourself committed to the task. Once everyone knows you want to do it, peer pressure will help you stay focused and moving towards success. I use Facebook for this… you already know, I’m sure, because you probably got to my blog from my Facebook www.Facebook.com/AbacusSavannah or from my business Facebook page www.Facebook.com/TanglaoCarriageDriving But you can also just tell your friends and/or family. Just make the goals known! Brag! Be proud of yourself!
No one will advocate for you better than YOU do.
Prioritize the goals:
Once you’ve comprised your smaller goal steps to achieving the big dream, prioritize what goals are most important to getting you to the next level.
With my four in hand the number one smaller goal to getting to the end (driving my own made team) was education. I knew before I could drive four horses in a team I needed to know how to hook them together, how to know what horses go in what positions, how to assess the horses I would consider for my team, and how to train the horses first single and in pairs. My first goal became to work for and learn from team drivers. I was lucky enough in the beginning to work for 3 very accomplished international team driver competitors.
Make your goals real to you:
Visualization is an excellent way to make a goal feel “real” and attainable. I used to, and I still do, go to sleep thinking about what it must feel like to be Boyd Exell in the dressage arena with his beaitiful black horses in perfect harmony. While I’m no Boyd, the visualization does help you to then actually produce movements needed to do the task. In this case, the task for me is as simple as just keeping the 4 horses relatively together.
I’ll keep dreaming and visualizing what it must feel like to be Boyd and someday I’ll get a little better at this driving thing with it!
Reward yourself for every step:
This is the easiest part for us horse people… For us, the reward of seeing our horses succeed is usually all we need. But also allow yourself some other rewards. Every now and then I reward myself for achieving another goal by a dinner out with the husband to celebrate. Sometimes it’s a day off that I give myself. Other times it might be a small little reward like a power nap. But if you forget to reward yourself for achieving goals, you will quickly lose interest in continuing to go after the next goal.
What goals do you, my readers, have? Let me know if I can help you in anyway! Even if you just need someone to hold you accountable for your steps to achieving your goals, let me know! Embrace the process, dream big dreams, and don’t let anyone get between you and success! Remember bees don’t explain to flies why honey is better than poo…. We are bees making honey and we have a job to do: achieve our sweet dreams!