Goals

Sorry for the crazy post yesterday… Sometimes I just get crazy happy and my thoughts go in all directions.

As you may have surmised, I’m a goal setter. I always have been. Recently, however, I’ve stepped it up a notch. In January I made some yearly goals. I typed them up and printed them out, then hung them up on the walls of my room for the world to see. Since they were so public, it seemed even more important to complete them.

There were many goals, and since I don’t have them right in front of me, I can’t tell you all of them, but the ones I do remember go something like this:

1. By April 2012, qualify for Pony Club National Quiz at the A/B level (that’s the highest level, and I would have to finish in the top four competitors to make Nationals, for those of you who don’t know).

2. By April 2012, obtain an 80% academic average.

3. By June 2012, run a cumulative total of 250 kilometers (started counting in January).

4. By August 2012, jump a 3’3″ course with Domino.

5. By August 2012, jump a small course with Felix.

Let me tell you how these goals went/are going. #1, make National Quiz for Pony Club, has happily been completed. I worked really hard, and studied for it a lot, and I made it! I was so happy when I got to take that goal off of the wall. #2, however, did not go as planned. I worked extremely hard this past semester in school, and going into exams I had a 79.9% average. I had over 83% in all of my classes except chemistry, which I was in danger of failing (I had a 57%… And I do not fail things. I take school very seriously). After exams, my average was only a 72%. To say I was dissappointed was an understatement. However, this failure only served to motivate me further. I can’t wait to go back to school in the fall and prove that I can do it.

Domino last year, jumping a cross country fence that’s around 2’3″.

Goal 3 was also uncompleted… I did well at the start of the year, but I think I’ve only run around 130 kilometres in total since January. My motivation just fell off. More about that later. Goals 4 & 5 are still in progress. I think I can do #5 with no problems, but #4 seems a bit lofty at this point. In all fairness to myself, when I made them, I thought it was going to be a challenge, but doable. I have reassessed, and I don’t think that 3’3″ is attainable this year.

Here’s Felix jumping for the second time ever. This definitely shows promise for Goal #5.

So I figured that I would make goals for the year, then reassess & make new goals only once per year. I’ve found that this doesn’t work… My priorities change, and there’s always new things popping up that I want to complete. I’ve decided to play it by ear; make new goals when I feel the need to. I’m also going to continue making them more and more public. I found a great tip somewhere to make your goals into your passwords for websites… Though I have yet to try it, this seems like a great way to keep your goals at the forefront of your mind.

So I made some new goals yesterday. Here they are:

1. I achieve my D2 Riding Level with Pony Club on July 2, 2012. (For those of you that don’t know, that’s just a certification that you can ride and compete at a certain level)

2. I run a half marathon on July 29, 2012.

3. I write the first draft of a novel by August 31, 2012.

4. I acheive 350 hours of riding on Domino by September 1, 2012. (I count my hours through the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Horseback Riding Program, where they give you rewards for riding for a certain number of hours).

5. I send in a draft of my novel to a publisher by December 31, 2012.

6. I achieve a 80% average by December 23, 2012.

So. Those are my short term goals for the time being. They are all attainable. For my Pony Club testing levels (#1), I have to jump 2’6″, which I know Domino is capable of. I have some novels on the go, and my boyfriend and I are running the half marathon together, so I know that he will help to motivate me. I’ve already got 295 hours of riding in on Domino so far, and I’m ready to work hard this semester for my average.

I’m a goal setter. It helps me to do the things I want in life. To be honest, I didn’t think I would be running a half marathon for a few years… It was a long term goal. That’s what happens when you have a boyfriend who dares you to do things.

Notice that I don’t set goals about knitting; knitting is a hobby for me, something that’s relaxing. I like to keep it that way, so I’m free to work on whatever I feel like, with no deadlines (except Christmas, of course).

What are your goals? What are your goal setting methods, and how do you motivate yourself to get them done? Leave a note in the comments; I love to hear what is important in your life.

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