Happy New Year!
As we welcome 2019 it's the perfect opportunity to discuss goal setting. Setting goals can keep us motivated and help keep track of our progress. Goals help us stay focused on the things that matter most. In competition it's easy to lose sight of our goals and focus on end results instead of acknowledging the small wins like sticking a contact or getting that off side entry to the weaves.
I first began training with Mindy Lytle three years ago and one of the most useful tools Mindy taught me was to keep a training journal. Keeping a journal has been a great way to document my goals and map out a plan to achieve those goals. I'm also able to track our progress against those goals and look back through our journey to see how far we've come. Now that I have two dogs, it has become an invaluable resource that helps me record each individual dog's strengths and opportunities.
Initially my journal consisted of notes from my lessons, but as I became more comfortable as a handler my journal shifted to focusing more on our goals like building drive, trialing at a new venue or adding distance. I later added a section to record our best moments throughout the month so I can celebrate all those small wins. When I look back through my journal, those are the moments that make me smile the most and are my favorite stories to share.
For those of you that follow the blog posts, I'm sure you've noticed a theme in the advice from many of Mindy's students. You'll read statements like: "It's not about the titles or ribbons...", "Cherish every run" and most importantly, "Have FUN" with our dogs. Setting goals has been a great way to keep me focused on the what matters most to me and a helpful reminder to:
Celebrate the small victories,
Never leave the ring angry,
Cherish every run,
Have FUN with my dog.
What goals have you set for you and your dog?