View Full Version : Your New Year's resolutions and opinions on them...

Jan. 9, 2011, 09:20 PM
Do you make resolutions? Why or why not? What are they? Do you ever succeed in them?

I end up thinking about this every year because every year I read everyone else's. Some I like, some I don't. Some I don't even see the point of. But I still usually come up with a couple for myself, usually personal ones and riding related ones.

A couple years ago I announced to my trainer something like that I wanted to do BN that year, as my New Year's resolutions. She more or less said to me that that was putting the cart before the horse and that was a dumb way of going about the whole matter. Why? Because I was not thinking of the little things that I would need to achieve in order to be compete at and complete a BN event. In the years since I have come to understand that philosophy a lot better, especially having observed other people's resoultions and general goals fail because of poor planning.

I blabbered about it for awhile in my blog, linked below, if anyone wishes to read. But I'm really more interested in what you all think.

Jan. 10, 2011, 07:17 AM
Is it usually poor planning, laziness, or stupidity? I mean, if your goal is not to make a sandwich (like in your blog), how many people would say "I am going to go in the kitchen and stack some meat and cheese on bread and chew it" instead of "I'm going to have a sandwich"?

I don't think there is anything wrong with having an "end goal", although it is dumb to state one if you have no idea what is involved in getting there, or if you don't have the wherewithal to pull it off. But really.... how many people don't know that to lose weight (a biggee this time of year!) you have to diet and/or exercise, preferably both? And how many people will fail in that resolution?? And really, how freakin' hard is it to pass up the ho-hos and get your butt off the couch? Rocket science it ain't! Yet so many people can't even manage to execute that simple plan. No wonder more ambitious goals are often doomed....


Jan. 10, 2011, 10:48 AM
Indeed. Perhaps it is us younger folks, but I've seen many people since high school that believe eating salad for lunch (smothered in ranch dressing!) and skipping breakfast will make you lose weight. I guess a similar concept in riding would like throwing yourself and your horse over single 3'6 fences at home, with little control or balance and saying you're ready for Prelim. It's a shallow attempt... no depth of skill or understanding of how the process works. Just, "Hey, if I look like I'm doing it it must be working!".

As for the sandwich thing, perhaps that was a poor similie. LOL It was late and I was trying to think of ways I could explain it. But I hope it makes sense... if you pile a bunch of things together, but can't handle them, you are not going to get the desired results just because you have all the things there.

Jan. 10, 2011, 11:12 AM
Well, there are plenty around here who think just because they can jump 3'6" over a single fence, they can make their eventing debut at Training.... without benefit of an actual trainer.... yeah, I just chalk that up to straight-up stupidity. Just like folks who don't realize that dressing, main ingredient OIL, is fattening....

Ever seen that movie, Idiocracy? The US of A in 500 years..... it's happening!


Jan. 10, 2011, 11:19 AM
I like to set some longer term goals for the year (such as going a certain reasonable level etc), because it helps me to focus on the smaller pieces that it takes to GET there, as opposed to just DOING it to achieve the goal. But that is for me. More of a goal as opposed to a "resolution". I work best with long and short term goals (short term goals being the smaller stepping stones to achieve the larger goal), so it works for me, but everyone is different!

That said, people do set some dumb freaking "goals" and "resolutions". All depends on your mindset and knowledge going in!

Jan. 10, 2011, 11:33 AM
Yes, if you acknowledge the little parts involved in big goals then all is well. People that just announce these splendid goals pertaining to high levels and blue ribbons without taking time for self reflection is what gets me.

Jan. 10, 2011, 02:17 PM
More of a goal as opposed to a "resolution". I work best with long and short term goals (short term goals being the smaller stepping stones to achieve the larger goal), so it works for me, but everyone is different!

Yes, I am the same. I have some "goals" which I created at the end of this past show season. I identified areas which I needed to improve and then set goals according to how I thought I needed to improve them. For example, my stadium goal is to work on precision and accuracy. Since I've ended my H/J days, my "eye" has deteriorated a little. At novice, my pony and I were capable of pretty much pointing and shooting and getting it done. But, since I plan to move up to training, I really want to work on finessing my stadium round. So, I've been working at lot at home on keeping a steady rhythm, letting the jump come to me, and letting my HORSE do his job instead of trying to do it for him! (amazing, I'll tell ya ;))

I don't think goals/resolutions are stupid, and I agree with ThirdCharm that most people create these goals with an idea of the steps involved to achieve them. I like goals because they keep me focused when I'm riding and prevent me from getting into dull routines/frustrated.

Beam Me Up
Jan. 10, 2011, 02:57 PM
I don't make NY Resolutions, but I do have goals (riding goals and others).

I guess I thought that implicit in a goal was a plan to achieve it. If not, I'm not sure really what the point is (a goal is something you work toward, a resolution is more of a behavior change, I guess, but still--if you just have a goal/resolution as an end-state and no transition plan--what are you doing).

I agree with your blog very much on making goals concern your performance (mastering new skills, etc.) rather than others (winning). If I have a fabulous event, then I am happy with it, and the success/failure of others in my division will not diminish my accomplishment. Whether 10 other people accrued fewer penalties, or if everyone else had major problems has no effect on my 3 phases or on my horse.