Firn's Blog Post # 6

On Attitudes and Goals

As we stand on the threshold of 2015, the time for setting goals and dreaming dreams is upon us. We're busy grinding off some rusty edges and working off Christmas Eve dinner (which has such a depressing habit of depositing itself soundly in the region of one's waistline) in preparation for the new year, the new competition season, and all the hard work that comes with it.

But it's not about my goals that I want to write today. It's about one's attitude towards them.

Like pretty much everyone else, I look back on 2014 with mixed feelings. Some of last year's goals the horses and I met with resounding success; others, not so much. I was planning on having Magic at 3' 6" by the end of this year. Well, we're still popping over 2' 9" and trying not to be scared. On the other hand, I resolved to make at least some slight difference to my jumping position, and I succeeded in completely revolutionising my stiff, fixed hands into a totally exaggerated epic release (I never said I perfected it). Almost every year I've set goals, they've turned out like this; a miscellany of success and failure. And I know, judging from other bloggers' posts, that I am certainly not the only horseperson out there who's had a year like this.

The temptation is strong to dwell on all that is wrong, all the failures. There is such a dark satisfaction in beating oneself up, in telling yourself that you should never have expected as much from yourself, because you're not good enough. It's like a scab that you just can't stop picking at. But this year, between them, Magic and the longsuffering Mutterer taught me this: "I'm not good enough" is one more excuse. Because if you're not good enough, then it's time to get up and make yourself better.

For all of us, 2014 was a year of both successes and mistakes. Let's learn from them both and arm ourselves with these lessons. Look back and see how far we've all come, how much we have conquered; or if conquering didn't figure much last year, let's defy everything that wanted to stop us by the fact that we survived. It is the end of 2014 and we are still alive, which, when you're passionate about a sport involving riding half a ton of flight animal at thirty miles an hour over solid obstacles, is always a plus. So what if we didn't meet some of the goals we set for ourselves? The new year beckons.

Because as much as we think about last year now, the fact remains that we don't celebrate Old Year's Day, we celebrate New Year's Day. So this is the time to look forward. The past is over, there is nothing we can do to change it. But tomorrow is coming, is almost upon us; are we ready to seize it with both hands and do something amazing with it?

If you're anything like me, you've been putting things off "until January", "until the New Year". But maybe it's also time to realise that the only moment in which we can achieve anything is this one. If we can do something great in this moment, and in the next, and in the next, then by the end of 2015 we will have had a full year of amazing moments. Which is as much as any of us can ask for. It is written, "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." So don't fear the evils that tomorrow can bring - today is the time when we get ourselves ready to tackle them. Here is what I am going to do for this New Year's Day: Set my goals. Dream my dreams. And then when the dawn of 2015 breaks, set my eyes on the glowing horizon and follow the light, in horsemanship and in life. One day at a time.

What are your goals for 2015? What do you consider your greatest success of 2014? Your greatest lesson learned?

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