Why I didn’t make a New Year’s resolution

It’s the question everyone gets asked in January; did you make a New Year’s resolution? In the past, I have. However this year I didn’t bother. Instead, I made myself a goal and an affirmation.

Every year after I make a resolution, I maybe remember it for a little while. I may try and follow it. But after awhile and definitely by March, I’ve forgotten what I resolved to do. The resolution is out of sight, out of mind. It’s gone like a leaf being swept up by the wind in the fall.

People resolve all kinds of things when the New Year’s ball drops. They may resolve to lose weight or be kinder. They may resolve to finish writing a novel or completing a degree program. Most of the resolutions get lost in the wayside like a forgotten wrapper on the side of the street.

This year I wanted to be different. This year I didn’t resolve to do anything. I made myself an affirmation and achievable goals.

I am the person and rider Jack needs.

To most people, it would almost sound silly. But to me, on those rough days where I think I’m not good enough, I’m too amateur for a greenie, I’m not a strong enough rider, I need to hear this. I need my affirmation to remind me I AM the person he needs. Actually, my affirmation was slightly different before my trainer heard about it. It had been “I am able to be” not “I am.” However she set me straight that by saying I am able to be, I am making it sound like I am not already. There is no way to measure success with I am able to be. As I teared up while she set me straight, I realized how much I needed this affirmation – especially on the days Jack tests me. I AM his person and I CAN do this.

The other thing I established was a goal.

I will have a more relaxed, softer ride with a strong leg and careful hands.

This goal is going to take longer than my affirmation. This is something I work on every time I ride, no matter if it’s on Jack or not. This is my overall, reaching goal for my riding in general and what I want to focus on this year. Could I have made the goal of “I want to go to THIS show” or “I want to go on a trail ride” or “I want to get champion for THIS ribbon.” Sure. But would it have made me a better rider? Not necessarily. I would have learned something from it, but it wouldn’t help me in the long run as an equestrian. It’s also something I can measure as I can feel how my rides go and how I progress. And after achieving this goal, I’ll see it in the show ring and at home and on the trails because it will mean I have established better teamwork with Jack.

So when you’re considering if you made the right resolution, turn it around. What affirmation do you need to remind yourself of? And what’s a goal you would like to achieve in 2018?

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