How to Set Riding Goals for 2022
As the new year sets in, many people are working on creating goals and aspirations for the new year. Some of these goals may be about your business, work, or personal life. However, some of the most exciting and fun goals to set for yourself involve your horse. Setting riding goals for 2022 can help you stay motivated when you are feeling overwhelmed or defeated and set a measurement for you to review at the end of the year. Setting achievable goals gives you a well-defined reference point for your year.
There are a few important elements to remember when it comes to goal setting. Remember always to set goals that are achievable but challenging. Setting goals that are not realistic for you, your horse, or your lifestyle can make you feel frustrated, frequently resulting in giving up on the plan altogether.
Set Personal GoalsMake goals that fit your personal needs because you know yourself best. While getting input from your trainer and friends can be helpful, make sure to stay true to yourself with your goals. These goals should reflect what you want to accomplish at the end of the year.
Consider Your Current LevelTake into account your current riding level when making goals. This falls under setting realistic goals. For example, if you are a beginner rider, competing at Grand Prix level by the end of the year would not be a good goal. Reasonable goals should be achievable but challenging, so they push you outside of your comfort zone.
So, using the same example, if you are a beginner rider competing in one or two shows this year would be achievable but a challenging goal to set for yourself.
Always Make Measurable GoalsMeasurable goals are specific and allow you to gauge your success rate quickly. Well, “wanting to ride better” sounds like a good goal; there is nothing to measure and makes your goal very subjective. Your trainer thinks you are riding better, but you don’t—is your goal achieved or not?
A measurable goal might include times, numbers, or specific items that can easily be measured. For example, I want to ride in one show this year. If you ride in one show, you know you achieved your goal.
Stay PositiveLanguage is very powerful, and using positive language in your goals can strongly affect your mindset. So, instead of saying “I won’t…”, say “I will…” You don’t want to include negative statements or thoughts in your goal setting.
Celebrate Each Small StepKeep yourself motivated by celebrating each small accomplishment to achieve your goal. Share your goals with your friends, trainer, and family so they can celebrate your wins, too.
Stay PassionateRemember why you love riding and don’t let your drive to reach your goals bog you down. Riding is supposed to be fun, and your goals are there to keep you motivated, not hinder your love of riding. If you become overwhelmed, take a moment to evaluate your goals and ensure they are working for you, not against you.