Last week I talked about past goals from 2016.  This week I want to talk about goals for the new year.  This is an activity I recommend to anyone that wants to accomplish something.  The new year turning is an obvious time to do this work, but you can set a goal and develop your plan to see it through at any time of the year.  In fact, I recommend you relook at goals and add more or redevelop them as time goes on to make sure they’re still what you want and still viable.  To reach a goal, you need to make the goal realistic…and outline a plan to get it done.  I suggest that you write down any big goals for the year and hash out what you need to do to make them happen…and make yourself aware of issues that could arise to keep them from happening.  If you make yourself honestly aware of potential pitfalls, you will watch out for them better.  Once you have your goals, review them at least once every couple of weeks and assess how you are doing and if you need to rework your plan or make adjustments to your actions.

You can see below an example of this goal development. I am not listing all of my goals, but just a few for examples.

Dressage

USDF Bronze by the end of the season and CDS Ruby.   I think that I can comfortably get to 3rd in this time period and Spice has already proved himself t0 PSG.

  • Finish 1st Level Scores – I’m not too concerned about this one.  I’ll be doing a show in February to knock out this final score I need.  We are very easily schooling 1st level tests from time to time at home and working on 2nd + level work now.
  • Finish 2nd Level Scores – I intend on doing 2-3 shows at 2nd level in 2016.  There are 4 shows in March and April and those will be my aim for 2nd level.  If I do not make the scores I need in that time, I have alternative shows over the summer.
  • Finish 3rd Level Scores – There are six shows from July – October to attend to work towards my 3rd level scores.

Potential Problems:  Something happens to Spice (he is turning 21 after all).  If this occurs, I understand these goals will likely not be met.  Personal illness or injury could equally put a damper on my plans.

 

Decidedly Equestrian

  • Redo website with updated review system.  The plan is to review proposed changes to design and approve direction by the end of January with work happening February.  Goal is to have the new site done by the end of March 2017.   Potential problems: loss of data, site bugs that take longer to fix than expected, server issues, time management.
  • Grow Instagram to 1000+ Followers.  2017 will be focused on using Instagram a lot more to communicate with our readers.  I am developing a Social Media plan in January to help develop Instagram specifically.  I will need to check Instagram as regularly as I check Facebook.  I will post at least 3 Instagram posts per week for January.  My goal is to ramp up more as the year goes on and be posting multiple times per day by the end of 2017.  Potential problems:  Facebook making Instagram a less viable tools for businesses.  Time management issues.  Not taking enough photographs.  Lack of interest in posting photos.
  • Grow Facebook to 5,000+ Likes.  Potential problems: Because Facebook is insistent on companies paying for posts to be seen, we are easing off on Facebook a bit for now.  We still prefer to use it over other social media, but it is not a viable option anymore to grow our fanbase without spending money.  If Decidedly Equestrian was a money making business, that would be one thing.  It is not.  I do not have paid advertising or get paid for any of the reviews.  Everything is 100% volunteer time to this point.

 

Personal

  • Lose a minimum of 20 lbs and keep it off.  Last year I had this goal and failed it (because I gained it all back).  I did lose a good deal of weight at the beginning of the year (14lbs in 2 months), but as is typical for me, after July the pounds started creeping back.  To much intense exercise led to injury which led to limited work outs.  In 2017 I am making my goals more reasonable and slow.  I intend to lose no more than 5-6lbs per month so that I’m maintaining a reasonable calorie intake instead of driving myself batshit crazy.  I will go to the gym or see a personal trainer no less than 3 days a week (unless I’m ill/injured/on vacation).  I should be at goal weight loss of 20lbs by May 1.  After May 1, I will up my calorie intake a bit to only lose 4 lbs a month (or 1 lb a week) until July 1st and continue the work outs 3 days a week.  Starting July 1st, I will MAINTAIN by continuing to track my food intake and continuing to go to the gym 3 days a week.   I will work out 3 days a week, but I do not need to work out 2 or more hours at a time.  I will be reasonable in my workouts and not push myself to the point of injury.  Potential problems:  Being lazy. Being injured.  Emotional eating.
  • Read at least 1 book a month.  I have a giant stack of books that have been staring at me for a couple of years.  The problem is, I keep letting the stack get bigger.  In 2016, I read less than 5 books the whole year.  In 2017, I intend to read at least one book per month and ideally 2 or more.  To do this, I will read every night before bed at least 10 minutes, even if I’m tired or it’s late.  I will read in the bath tub when I’m soaking sore muscles from those 3 workouts a week (and 3 to 5 days of riding).  I will read when I travel.  I will read when I have spare time instead of spending time on Facebook or watching Netflix.  Potential problems: Exhaustion.  Going blind.  Boring books.

Now that you have seen my examples, it is time to write yours out for yourself!  Feel free to share your goals!  We’d love to hear what you want to make happen in 2017!