Do you know what it is that makes you want to have horses in your life? What do you love about these amazing creatures? Do you want to compete - locally or maybe even nationally, internationally? Or do you really love quiet rides through the countryside, perhaps accompanied by friends on their horses?
It really doesn’t matter why you want a horse in your life. It means different things to different people. However, having a clear picture of what you want and what makes you happy will get you a long way towards achieving your dream.
In sport psychology we talk a lot about setting goals, and not just for competition. Goals are like a roadmap showing you exactly how to get wherever you want to go.
Start with your biggest dream. Write this dream down. Then break the dream down into “action steps”. What do you need to do, have, and accomplish in order to make your dream happen? Write all of this down too. Add a few smaller dreams if you like and break these down as well.
Most people tell themselves they can’t have their dream almost as fast as they think it up. Don’t do that. Start with a clear picture of what you ideally would like. What would really be cool? What would really give you joy? Then, and only then, you can begin to identify any obstacles. List them. Next you will brainstorm possible solutions to these obstacles. This may take awhile, might be even days or weeks, but you may be surprised at what you can come up with if you give it a little time.
Make a “Goal Board”. Cut out pictures representing your goals and paste them on a large piece of foam board or poster board. Put this where you can see it every day. Make smaller ones to place around you where you can see them too. Paste pictures in your notebooks, date book etc. so you can “see” your goal everyday. The mind accepts pictures even better than words! My first goal board was a “Five year plan”. At some point I stuck it under my bed. Three years later I found it. I was shocked to see that in three years time I had already accomplished every goal on my board! It was even kind of scary. I now use goal boards in some form always!
Set target dates for accomplishing your goals, and also set dates for the action steps you will need to take. For example, “Find a really good trainer to work with”. Perhaps set a target date of by the end of one month. This can work well to keep you on task. If for some reason it doesn’t happen in one month-change your target date to the next month. It’s your goal, if you need to, you can modify any part of it you like. But it is important to have a timeline to give you a little push.
Review goals regularly. I like to write down my annual goals at the beginning of the year. I usually review these monthly or at least quarterly. Often I think of new strategies to add to my “action steps”. I revise my target dates if necessary.
So, don’t be afraid to dream. Write down goals. Create a “Goal Board” to help visualize your goals. Break your big goals down into smaller action steps with flexible target dates. Then just stand back and see what you can accomplish.
Now get out there and ride!