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Question of the Month
Donna asks "My instructor is encouraging me to set goals. I think it's a good idea, but I just can't seem to get into the habit. I've spoken with a few other riding friends and they can't seem to get into it either. Is this normal"?
I commend you on your desire to include goal setting in your training program and encourage you to not get discouraged; it is actually quite common for many riders to struggle with it. Having said that, goal setting is one of the most beneficial tools any of us can develop, it helps us learn to use our training time more efficiently, stay focused on what is important, identify strategies that lead to success, provide us with feedback on our progress, gives us reasons to keep going, and provides us with a clear vision of what we want to accomplish.
There are many reasons why riders might struggle with goal setting, knowing what they are may help you understand what is holding you back:
A lack of willpower can also lead to goal setting difficulties. Willpower is defined as having the self-control to resist instant gratification so that we can achieve long-term success. Many riders believe that goals require too much time and doubt that the efforts they put in today will benefit them tomorrow. When done correctly however goal setting can actually be a time saver because it gives our training sessions greater structure and purpose and makes them more efficient by focusing more of our time on the skills that will benefit us the most.
Understanding why we do not set goals is only half the battle... the other half is learning how to set them. For more information on how to do this, I suggest you read the following Tip of The Month and to remember that:
Any goal worth setting is a goal worth working for.
Thanks for the great question Donna!
Tip of the Month
Setting Goals For Success
Riding is a very goal-oriented sport: Whether we are training a young horse, moving up through the levels, learning to jump, or developing a conditioning program, goal setting is an integral part of what we do. Learning to set goals is important, but it is just as important that we learn how to achieve them. Below are a few tips that can help you do this:
There are many other ways that goal-setting can set you up for success... watch for more goal setting tips in future newsletters!
To submit a question or sign up for equestrian sports psychologist Daniel Stewart's newsletter, visit www.stewartclinics.com