Goal Setting #3 Main

Goal Setting: What to do When it Gets Tough (Because it Will).

Click here for the first installment of the series.

Click here for the second installment of the series.

So how’s that goal setting going?  Has the “universe” started to push back on you yet?  I’m sure it has if you have had any forward momentum on your goals.  The more you’ve accomplished, the more push back you’ll probably discover.  And if it hasn’t it will soon!  This starts to happen when you start getting stuff done.  Why?  Lord knows.  Some of it is self imposed and some of it is luck.   When you open yourself up to change and progress forward, part of you is going to want to keep yourself right where you are (because it feels safe).  That part of yourself is going to LOOK for stuff to happen.  It’s going to ask the universe to send roadblocks your way.  Seriously…we do this.  It’s pretty messed up, but it’s easier to stay safe and stay where we are than push forward and take risks.  So we self sabotage.

Sign up for your free Goal Setting Workbook sponsored by Decidedly Equestrian and StreamhorseTV.

How’s that push back going for me…well…the image at the head of this post sums it up.

After our EPIC 1st show of the year, the show Jax and I had planned to do next filled a month before the show… (WTF…that’s never happened).  Then he’s all of a sudden bucking and trying to kill people more than normal (oh goodie).  Then he’s slightly off in front…then behind…probably from all that bucking…okay (got that handled…now what).  Next show option is Easter Sunday…okay…well I guess there’s no choice now if we want to qualify like I wanted for certain things.  Bah!

Client website hacked.  Projects I thought long dead from clients and self imposed “volunteering” are all roaring back to life at the same time.  Ah crap.  Oh…and I need to get all my regular work done.  And a friend of mine is going out of town for three months (which I hadn’t planned on) and I’m now house-sitting for her and managing mail and business that comes in…my spare time is now gone.   Several started projects on the house stalled do to time and funds (some urgent).  Baby sitters canceling.  Need to take the car into the shop.  Oh dear where will I find the time!

THIS is the universe pushing back.  THIS is the time we usually throw in the towel.  This is where this stuff starts getting real tough.  How to get through it?

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First thing…take a deep breath (or twenty).   There’s a way through.  How?

1.  Meditate

I’m serious about the meditation.  It doesn’t have to be some 30 minute slog…or even 10.  It can be 1 minute.  Or 30 seconds.  When you feel overwhelmed with how to move forward, focus on your breath and nothing but your breath and let your thoughts go.  You can’t begin to handle anything if you’re being attacked constantly by a non stop flow of to-dos and thoughts ramming into each other in your brain.

2.  Know that this is an Excuse. 

All this drama and time suck-age is you looking for an excuse to stop.  Don’t let yourself undermine yourself.  Push through that.

3.   Build in Outs to Your Goals

It helps to have done this when you wrote the goal (there’s a space for it in the download workbook), but if you haven’t done that yet…do it now.  When you write your goals, list acceptable reasons to not get stuff done.  In my case, I built in exceptions to my goals with Jax this year based on possible layups for injuries and for issues getting into shows due to Covid, weather, illness, whatever.  Because I built those acceptable reasons for failure/postponement/readjustment into my goals, I’m not going to beat myself up about it.  I gave myself these outs in case they happened so I didn’t lose heart and stop altogether.  This is one of the best things you can do for yourself when goal-setting, because sometimes s$%& happens.  If none of those acceptable reasons for failing are showing up when the universe is pushing back, don’t let those things stop you from proceeding on.

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4.  Prioritize

This is the real kicker.  You have to let stuff go.  When the universe starts to push back on your awesomeness, you have to double down on the things that are MOST important at that time.  And you have to be honest about what’s actually important to your future vision.  Is it 100% important to get your work done for clients/work?  Yeah…sure…but if that work isn’t pushing you towards your goals, you need to move other stuff up to your priority #1 list.  It’s okay for to-dos to step back a minute.  Remember…keep your priorities in line with your vision for your future.  It’s easy to get pushed off track.

5.  Adjust the Plan

Battle plans are only good until the battle starts, then you have to adjust the plans in response to the changes of battlefield around you.  As things change (as all things do) adjust your plan…and do it on paper just like you made your goals on paper to begin with.  These adjustments will be ongoing.

My rewritten plan for Jax:

My goal for the year is to qualify for and attend (and win!) CDS RAAC North and USDF Regional Champs/CDS Championships with Jax at 2nd level.

  • Get bucking and lameness handled (chiropractor/vet out) – Done.  As of today, he’s sound and acting back to normal.  Take it easy schooling and slowly build him back up.
  • Wait list for March show.  If it happens, great…if not…moving on.  Done.
  • Clinic in March/April.
  • Sign up for Easter show.  Done.
  • Clinic in May/June
  • Decide on 1 other show to do before RAAC (assuming qualifying scores at all shows) and put it on the calendar.
  • If I get to do March and Easter shows, I will not need another show until RAAC in August.  Consider “warm up” show in July or Early August.
  • Sign up for RAAC by Aug 1.
  • Sign up for USDF Regional Champs/CDS Championships by Aug 30th.

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I’ve kept my built in “excuses” for myself of course and those haven’t changed.  Things happen and I’m prepared to not feel like a disappointment if stuff out of my control happens.   There!  My to-dos for this goal has been readjusted based on the current “battlefield.”

Remember that things are always changing and you’re always going to have “bad” things happening and getting in the way.  The only way to accomplish your goals is to push through the resistance until you come out the other side victorious.  If self-accountability isn’t your thing…perhaps you need to move on to #6.

6.  Find a buddy. 

Find someone who will help you hold yourself accountable.  Your trainer.  Your BFF.  Your spouse.  Your child.  A life coach.  A goals coach.  Somebody.  Having someone to ask you how things are going is priceless when you have to push through this hard stuff.  You can always email me if you need a pep-talk.  My door is always open.  [email protected]


Don’t forget to sign up for your free Goal Setting Workbook sponsored by Decidedly Equestrian and StreamhorseTV.