When my website crashed at the end of 2016, I lost many of the more recent posts I had finished – including my list of 2017 goals. Being the super organized, highly responsible person that I am…I have no idea what those goals were anymore. I can take a guess on a few. However, I saw a lot of improvements in my riding and art last year, so I’m going to call it a job well done, and am ready to move forward!
Here’s what I’m aiming to accomplish in the coming year: (yay lists and bullet points!)
- FINISH THE DARN BOOK. Ugh. Get it together, Self. I’m aiming for spring. Say your prayers and keep your fingers crossed.
- Increase sales by at least 50%. I sold more this past year than any year previously, so I want to stay on that trajectory!
- Offer realistic digital paintings as a commission option. Planning on releasing this within another month or so.
- Save up enough to upgrade my digital drawing tablet by the end of the year. Was planning to get that done this past year, but sadly, vet bills. I’ve found my niche, and reinvesting in my business will help me further develop and hone my skills.
- New content schedule. Late spring through early fall each year tends to be pretty busy with the FL crew returning, VT show season starting, and more riding. Late fall through early spring slows down. I think I’d be smart to keep my blog posts coming more regularly during the winter, and then cut back/post scheduled content during summer…as opposed to just falling off the earth 😉
- Keep up with blog reading. Even if I don’t comment, I want to keep up with all of my fellow bloggers’ adventures!
Riding in General
- Improve position. I want to make a huge effort to improve my riding this year. Specifically, I want to nail the sitting trot, especially on bigger moving horses. I can get by just fine, but I don’t want to just “get by” anymore. 😉 To do this, I need to focus on strengthening my core, stabilizing my legs more, and improving my posture. Additionally, I want to continue to work on my hands/arms – you know, good ol’ “short reins, hands out”. Don’t pull – push.
- Learn to be proactive. I am a perfectionist when it comes to my riding, and sometimes it leaves me extremely frustrated. As a result, my brain gets fried and it’s a challenge to keep from spinning my wheels mentally. I want to make a concentrated effort to work on this. I’ve found that if I start asking clarifying questions earlier on in my lessons, it helps me break up the mental tension and gets my brain to stop spinning in place. A lot of what I do is by feel, so I tend to get stuck when I need to methodically think certain things through. #chronicoverthinker
- Improve confidence. This goes with the above ^. I want to continue to grow my confidence in my riding and training.
- Finish Bronze. I have one more score, and ideally I’d love to snag this at the first recognized show our barn attends in June, depending on funds.
- Show 4-1 in our June schooling show. We made our debut at 4th in Sept last year, so I’d like to start the year where we left off. If I get the chance to attend another recognized show after finishing my Bronze scores, I’d love to take a stab at 4th then, too.
- Practice visualizing my tests. I practiced this a lot at Pony Cup, as per Ruth’s instruction. I do think it helped overall, especially since I’m such a visual learner. However, I need a lot more practice – just having the focus to get through the whole test in one sitting can be challenging.
- Finish the year headed towards PSG. HOW COOL WOULD THAT BE!!!! (I’ve already picked out my dream shadbelly because #matchyoutfitsFTW.) By the time December rolls around, I want to feel like PSG is at least doable.
- Fitness/flexibility. I saw big improvements in my riding while I was practicing yoga once a week, but…I am terrible at motivating myself to keep at it. Even if I can find a way to do something every so often, that’ll be better than nothing.
- Pay off Avery’s vet bills before the grace period is up. The good news here is that I thought I only had til March, but I actually have until July! So that’s a relief. I’ve made my first payment, but I have a long way to go. I need to keep moving forward with commissions and new products in the shop. I’ll be brainstorming!
- Regain fitness after winter. Pretty self-explanatory. Hoping to come out into spring a little better than we did last year.
- Straightness. I’ve been concentrating so hard on where his shoulders are that I’m forgetting to have proper bend. If I’m working on one thing, I can’t let it be at the expense of the other.
- Flying changes. When I have him truly straight (see above), our changes improve. Shocker.
- Ride at least 3x per week once spring comes. Doesn’t have to be serious training each time, either. He’s the kind of horse that doesn’t always need to be ridden everyday.
- Quick thinking. Continue to address issues (softness, response to my aids, etc) right away instead of letting them build during a ride.
There you have it. 2018, I’m coming for ya.