The Magazine May 2019

Goal-setting

Posted 1st April 2019

No matter your level or ambitions, having a horsey aspiration to aim towards will make for a summer of fun. Follow our goal-setting tips to maximise your results

Horsey goal setting

With summer just around the corner, the weather and daylight hours are finally on your side and you’ll be starting to feel as though all the man-hours you put in over winter were worth it. So, it’s time to get your planning head on and decide what to do with the gift of all this extra time.

Setting horsey goals to achieve is fun and motivating, but sometimes outlining something you’re keen to accomplish can bring a pressure element with it. Rather than feeling overwhelmed, though, try breaking down your ambition into its individual parts and you’ll find it much more achievable.

The key to reaching your goal is the realisation that all you actually require is the aim itself, a thorough plan, and a realistic and fair time frame. A deal of thought combined with a healthy dose of honesty are the final components you need to set the cogs in motion – plus a trip to the stationery shop, if you’re that way inclined.

Pick your goal

No doubt you’ve got boundless enthusiasm for your potential goal, and because of this it can be tempting to reach for the stars. But, before you do, it’s important to have a little talk with yourself and decide whether the goal you have in mind is realistically do-able in your time frame. Nothing’s more demoralising than having to shelve a goal you’ve wished so hard for, so step one is to decide on something achievable. This will depend upon a few everyday factors, such as…

  • budget Make sure your goal isn’t going to break the bank. For example, if you’re keen to start competing and aim to affiliate, forking out for regular training, registration and membership with the relevant governing body plus entry fees won’t come cheap. Therefore, have a think about how you might make little savings here and there to fund your ambition. Furthermore, you could cut costs by competing on day tickets, particularly if you’re only planning to enter a couple of affiliated competitions
  • your personal schedule Sometimes, our enthusiasm allows us to lie to ourselves about how much (or how little) free time we have. It’s important that you can maintain a healthy horse-life balance so you don’t run yourself into the ground. Be honest with yourself and work out how much time each week you can feasibly devote to working on a goal – this will help you form the right one for you

It’s also very important to ensure that your goal is a specific one. This means that, once you’ve reached it, you aren’t encouraged to move the goal posts and make life harder. Be kind to yourself and be proud of what you’ve achieved – bask in the glory of reaching a target.

Once you’ve set your goal use the goal-setting progress chart in May Horse&Rider, on sale 4 April, and use our top advice on coming up with a plan to reach your goal.

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