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SMART Goals for the New Year

The new year is upon us, which means setting new goals to follow throughout your year. It’s an exciting time where everyone gets to start fresh. Most goals consist of saving money, working out more, or trying a new hobby. Well, as equestrians, we have a whole new category in which to create goals. Goals can be a vital part of achieving greatness and keeping yourself focused on the end goal. Sometimes goals can be overwhelming because of how many different ones you can have. Using the SMART goals outline can help keep your goals realistic and achievable.

1. Specific

Make your goals specific to what you want to accomplish. Making goals vague can make them intimidating and hard to know exactly what you’re asking of yourself to do. Think of this portion of your goal as the mission statement to what you want to achieve.

2. Measurable

Decide how you are going to measure your accomplishments to achieving your goal. If you make a goal of training your horse to nail the flying lead change then how are you going to measure if you are getting closer to achieving your flying lead change? Having small milestone markers within your goal is what makes larger goals seem more attainable.

3. Achievable

This portion of the goal focuses on what skill sets and what you need to make your goal attainable. It might mean adding more lessons with your trainer, spending more hours in the saddle, or as simple as getting into a different mindset. Think about the things that are will be needed to achieve your goal. Achievability of a goal is like your goal’s tool box. What tools do you need in your tool box to achieve your goal?

4. Relevant

Relevancy relates to how much you can commit to this goal. Is this going to be a big commitment for you to achieve? How much time will this goal take up? Is this a goal that is going to help other parts of your horse career? It is also important to decide here whether or not you can be reaching towards other goals while you are trying to achieve this goal.

5. Time-bound

Of course, this can be the most important module of creating your goal. Is this goal set in a realistic time frame? Decide on what time frame would work best for this goal and by when you want to achieve it. If the goal has a realistic time frame it may make it harder to achieve.

Setting goals for the new year is an exciting thing to do. It’s a personal favorite of mine to sit down and brainstorm what to achieve for the next year. It can also be better to think of resolutions as goals rather than resolutions, so they stick throughout the whole year. Some people tend to think of resolutions just for the beginning of the year, so calling them goals can trick you into using them all year long. No matter how big or how small, a goal is a goal. Happy goal setting and Happy New Year!

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