New Year’s Resolutions

I love this time of year. Even though I rarely publish any goals or resolutions, I take time to reflect on the past year and to make plans for the next. I am very interested in goal setting and change. What makes the difference between doing something for two weeks in January and changing something for good? What kind of goals are most likely to help us accomplish real change in our lives? I will get back to this, but I wanted to ask all of you about your goals and/or New Year’s Resolutions for 2013.

  • What have you decided to to more of with your dog in 2013?
  • What have you decided to do differently in 2013?
  • What did you decide on a year ago? Did it happen? If not – why not?
  • What do you think can make a resolution a tool for real change?

Please let me know and I’ll get back to you soon with more thoughts.

Epic asleep

Epic is dreaming about a year filled with sheep and dogwalks

  • reply Kristen VanNess ,

    Easy! For 2013 we will do more trials… we’re already entered in more for January than all we did in 2012.

    We will spend less time training perfect and more time training “good enough.” This will be hard and our training friends will help us.

    Last years goals did not happen. I was too busy, Griffin got hurt, and he wasn’t ready. We did a lot of training and that will help us for this year.

    • reply Kristiina ,

      First I want to say hello and Happy New Year to Fanny, Thomas and all classmates from online courses 🙂

      My goal was to develop as a trainer and handler. I and Manja have participated in great online courses, including Fanny’s and Thomas’s Foundations and Obedience classes. We have learned so much already and had lots of fun! I think I have improved a lot as a trainer, but there is still lot to do in developing my knowledge and skills and especially learning to use and adapt everything to our own training. I also should think more of “good enough”, not only “perfect”. Thanks Kristen for pointing that out!

      In 2012 my goal was to participate to obedience competition with Manja and get Q from Finnish FCI obedience class 2 (open class). And we did it, with good points and winning the class despite of Manja’s quite severe fake pregnancy. In agility, I wanted to start competing, first in unofficial competitions and then in real competitions. We did that, and also got Q from our very first official agility run.

      Our goals for 2013 are:
      – training without stress and pressure, having fun while training
      – to finish training obedience exercises for Finnish FCI obedience classes 3 and 4 (winners and elite)
      – to compete and get Q from obedience class 3
      – to maintain Manja’s enthusiasm in agility (after losing some of it temporarily due to too difficult training)
      – to compete in agility and get Q’s for next class

      • reply Fanny Gott ,

        Congratulations on good results in 2012! It’s been a pleasure to work with you and Manja.

        Are you going to use goal setting actively in your training during 2013? If so, how? Your goals are either only based on results (get Q) or abstract (“without stress”, “maintain enthusiasm”). My experience is that those kind of goals need some work to get useful in everyday training.

        Happy New Year!

        • reply Kristiina ,

          Yes, I will actally use goal setting in training and also include some schedules. I’ll have some plans and goals even written in excel .) Few examples include: – January: distant control stand-sit-stand and stand-down-stand named and in stimulus control. All elements of heeling trained separately. Retrieve elements and silent retrieve ready during the online class. Regarding to the more abstract ones, one example would be do not overtry or overdo anything, stop session in time and think if something goes constantly wrong.

          • Fanny Gott ,

            Sounds like you’ve got it all covered. I hope that we can get an advanced, goal-oriented obedience group going here during the year. And I hope you and Manja will be a part of it!

      • reply Fanny Gott ,

        Happy New Year Kristen!
        We really look forward to following you and Griffin in the trial ring during 2013. Having the courage to move forward in training even if things aren’t perfect is an important skill, because nothing will ever be perfect. And even though there might be details that can (and should) be perfected, there has to be a balance between perfecting skills and getting the dog used to the big picture. Perfect details aren’t worth anything unless the whole is good too. A chain is never stronger than it’s weakest link.

        I really hope that I get to see you in real life next year too!

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