I think it helps to concentrate on developing habits, rather than only seeing the end result of your goals. At some level you have to decide, this is what is best no matter what the outcome, and dedicate yourself to changing your lifestyle.
I'm dedicating January to the development of these habits (a habit being something I want to continue doing past 2012 and despite and beyond any "end results".):
1. Have Cowboy diagnosed by a Chiropractor and begin his physical therapy. Exercise and massage him lightly five days a week (T Touch) with an emphasis on relaxation. (I got two rides on him last weekend and he felt very tense and bothered. I'm thinking that his negative experiences last summer have made him more anxious, so my goal will to be work with him slowly and spend a lot of time during the tacking and grooming process just helping him relax through T Touch.)
2. Continue Beautiful and Cia under saddle and get Beautiful comfortable tying. Also, use the T Touch method with them each day to help them relax before "training". I need to go to TTouch workshops and watch online videos to understand the process better, especially the groundwork.)
3. Exercise Red and Shadow regularly since they're getting old. Use the TTouch daily with them as well.
Me:I want to get fit and learn to relax and balance in the saddle so I'm not an obstacle for my horses to overcome, but rather a partner in making them stronger.
1.) 1 mile every day on the treadmill or outside when the weather's nice. (Use arm weights on the treadmill because I've been losing arm strength the last couple of years. Age, I guess.)
2.) Stretches to relaxing music (I'll have to compile a special CD) not rushed, not brainless, but thoughtful, drawn out stretching. I want to take my time with myself AND with my horses. It seems like, looking back, I've always been in a hurry.
3.) Learn to eat smaller portions more slowly.
4.) Avoid sugar—(I seem to have developed an intolerance except to dark chocolate.)
5.) Take advantage of getting out during EVERY sunny day. (Postpone all inside projects to the rainy, windy ones)
6.) Continue water color. (More pictures of my horses!)
7.) Submit my finished essays and start new ones.
8.) Be very clear and bold about expressing my love and appreciation of the people in my life, and care less about my own feelings and more about theirs.
9.) Play more games with my kids in the evening. (Sounds unusual, but my kids really do LOVE to play games and we don't do it enough.)
Some of these habits are going to be tough to form because my husband and I have to travel to Gig Harbor, WA for his work every week for the next four months, starting this Thursday. That will only give me five days to work with the horses, which means I have to work with them EVERY day I'm home. I'm going to set the goal at five days anyway because I think that's a minimum for what they need. I've always been a fan of TTouch, but have never incorporated it into my daily routine with all my horses. I'm starting to think it's very important with all of them and I may accomplish more with the TTouch than I do "working" them.
2012 will be, "The Year of the TTOUCH," at our place, a year to slow down, relax, and abandon all "end goals" and rather, live in the moment together doing what we know is right.