HORSE HEALTH

19 Jun 2020

7 Strategies to Help You Get Back on Track

horse and girl

 

The past few months have played havoc with settled routines and habits and as humans, we tend to focus on our failures rather than the lessons it often gets replaced by.

As James Clear, keynote speaker and New York Times bestseller, comments: “These small hiccups don’t make you a failure, they make you human. The most successful people in the world slip up on their habits too. What separates them isn’t their willpower or motivation, it’s their ability to get back on track quickly.

There will always be instances when following your regular routine is basically impossible. You don’t need superhuman willpower, you just need strategies that can pull you back on track.”

Inspired by a post from James Clear, here are 7 strategies you may find helpful in finding your old routine again.

Or for setting out on a whole new adventure!

 

1.  SCHEDULE YOUR HABITS INTO YOUR LIFE

If it is a habit worth keeping, it deserves a specific place in your life and there are different ways of achieving this.

One way is to add it to your diary.

If you want to add an exercise routine to improve your riding posture, schedule in a set time for it in your diary and stick to your planning.

Every morning at 6am. Done.

 

Another way is to link it with something you already do.

If your tack room is a mess and you want it sorted, get into the habit of putting away random stuff after the evening feed every day.

If you want to learn how to braid a mane for competition, practice every day after you’ve mucked out the stalls.

In this way, gradually, the same response will be triggered by the same action every time.

 

2.  STICK TO YOUR SCHEDULE

Even if it is only in small ways.

Often, missing one thing on your schedule may lead to subtly telling yourself it’s okay to miss more and eventually becoming so overwhelmed that you think you will never get back on track.

This is another reason why it’s important to stick to your schedule – even if you only complete a chunk of what you wanted to.

Don’t have time to do the whole 30min improve-your-riding-posture workout today?  Then do at least 10 minutes.

Don’t have time to do a full body inspection of Black Beauty today?  Then just check his limbs.

Taken by itself, these may seem not to have a huge impact.  But taken altogether, always sticking to your schedule will have an effect on the whole picture and if nothing else, will cement a character of constancy and reliability that are hard to find these days.

 

3.  HAVE SOMEONE EXPECT SOMETHING FROM YOU

If someone expects you to show up, it somehow makes it easier to do just that! And technology makes this so much easier.

Inviting someone to do the 30min improve-your-riding-posture morning workout with you – wherever they are – is now as easy as falling off a horse.

 

4.  FOCUS ON WHAT YOU HAVE TO WORK WITH

You can only work with what you have.  It’s of no use to you if you put off entering the show jumping event because you don’t have the most impressive outfit or the best boots. That is only an excuse, and deep down you know it.

You may not like where you have to start.

You may not like what you have to start with.

Your progress may be slow and very unsexy.

But you can work with this.

Don’t be put off by what you don’t have or don’t know.

Use what you have and what you lack will soon become less and less… important.

 

5.  JUST BECAUSE IT’S NOT PERFECT, DOESN’T MEAN IT’S NOT GOOD

Wanting to do things perfectly can so often prevent you from doing things well.

You may think that you and your trusty partner’s quarter pirouette at the canter is simply the worst in the entire training school, so maybe you should just take up basketball?

Just because you’re not getting it perfect right now, does not mean you cannot improve over time.

But it will only get better if you stick with it.

So what if perfection in the every Grand Prix Level move does not follow you around?

Consistent, small improvements in the fundamentals, will pave the way to success one basic step at a time.

 

6.  YOU CAN DESIGN THE ENVIRONMENT FOR YOUR SUCCESS

Motivation and willpower may be as fickle as the UK weather, and if you want consistent change, you do not want to base it on something as inconsistent as that.

We all know by now that the people we surround ourselves with influence our behaviours.  However, the items that surround us have an impact as well.

If you want to encourage yourself to stick to the 30min improve-my-riding-posture exercise regime every morning, try laying out your exercise clothes the night before where it’ll be the first thing you see when your alarm goes off in the morning.

Or if you need to lose weight for a special riding event, riding a particular size horse, remove all the junk food from the cupboards and replace it with fruit and veggies.

It’s in your hands to create the environment needed for your success.

 

7.  CHECK YOUR CARE-MOMETER

The new habits you are trying to form, or get back to… how important are they really to you?

If something is truly important, you will make time for it.  You will often find extra money for it.

Because you care.

And since you only have so many hours in a day, focus your energy on those things that will bring you lasting happiness.  Declutter your to-do list.  Keep only what you really care about.

 

Change is not always easy.  Getting back into (our breaking out new) healthy habits may be a case of galloping forward before unexpectedly cantering sideways.

Anticipating these moments can make all the difference.  If you can develop a plan to get back on track and into routine again as quickly as possible, small setbacks will not have any power over you.

Start today.  Find the track.  Get back on.

 

 

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maxie