Woman riding horse on the beach. we all start the year setting new goals

A New Year… A New You?

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New Year Resolutions.

Another year has finished and the new one has started already. Who’s been playing funny games with the clocks?

We don’t get any younger but hopefully, we are getting a little bit wiser.

For most of us, the new year comes with new plans, new goals and another attempt of the never-before-achieved New Year’s resolutions,

  • get fit…
  • stop drinking wine…
  • lose the extra 10 kilos…
  • ride the horse more often…
  • procrastinate less…

We all have hang-ups that haunt us. The stuff that always seems like a great idea but somehow never happens. So, another year another chance right…? Wrong!

I hate to break the bad news, so I will let someone else who is much smarter than I am, do it instead:

“Insanity is doing the same things over and over, expecting a different outcome.”

Whether Albert Einstein said the words or someone else, I think you get my drift?

So, instead of following the same old footsteps from last year, let’s create a whole new path!

The first thing is to be honest to yourself.

What has stopped you in the past from achieving your New Years Resolutions?

  • was it that you didn’t really want it bad enough?
  • was it that you couldn’t see yourself achieving it?
  • or was the old habit just too familiar, too comfortable and too much YOU to give it up?

You have to address the issues that come up when you ask yourself those questions before you can go to the next step and you start making plans on how to go about making changes.

Unless you become really comfortable with the actual change and all its consequences, you will not achieve it.

We are often too connected to the old to change to the new. There is a degree of letting go that has to happen.

Think about it,

  • how would you feel if you were fit and how would others respond to that?
  • how would your days/weekends be different if you would stop drinking wine?
  • who would you become if you lost the 10 kilos and how would others respond to that?
  • what would have to happen to make it possible to ride more often and what would others say to that?
  • what serves (rewards) your procrastination? What are you covering up by doing it?

These are important questions you need to answer before you start setting goals.

We are creatures of comfort, so we tend to do the same things because they are familiar to us. But that is exactly what we try to avoid when we plan on making changes. We don’t want to be comfortable and able to predict the outcomes.

The whole purpose of change is to get OUT of your comfort zone to experience new things that CAN’T be predicted. From the firs list of resolutions above,

  • getting fit, losing weight is all about becoming a new person. Recreating yourself by becoming a better version of the old. That is the aim.
  • drinking less is good if the old lifestyle brought you harm.
  • riding more and,
  • procrastinating less will lead to more success and better outcomes.

The key however, lies in LETTING GO. You first have to be prepared to let go of the old in order to create the new.

So, this year, instead of making yet another New Year’s Resolutions list, take time out to get to know your patterns and behaviours. The better you get to know yourself, the easier it is to see where you have struggled in the past.

Become aware of those old thoughts and habits you tend to fall back into, start to make changes there and you will find it so much easier to set new goals and achieve them.

Happy 2020 riding everyone!

This article was published in Horses and People Magazine January-February 2020 issue.

Tanja Mitton

Tanja Mitton is a riding coach and Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) master coach with over 25 years of coaching and competition experience. She has been working with the Australian high performance squad as a mindset coach and, in 2012, was invited to the Australian Institute of Sport to present a workshop on how to improve the Mindset of Australian Coaches. Author of the book ‘Seven Steps to the Mindset of an Equestrian Champion’, Tanja conducts clinics all around Australia and her seminars have been approved by Equestrian Australia for NCAS coach accreditation points.

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