As is customary this time of year, many people are planning their resolutions and setting their goals for the year ahead. An increasing number of deals have landed in my inbox and feeds from “experts” and “thought leaders” offering to help me with this. A new year, a new decade and a new opportunity to shoot for the moon, they say, because even if you miss you’ll still land among the stars.
This of course is all hogs wash. Where you’ll land is face first in the dirt, unless you set yourself up for success.
Setting goals and aiming high means nothing unless you’re also prepared to do the work, push through the barriers, and stay the distance. And you’ll be more likely to do this if you form the right team to steer and cheer you along the way.
In other words, the “what” matters less than the “how” and the “who”.
It takes relentless hard work to turn a dream into reality and I’ve yet to come across anyone who has achieved truly great things all on their own.
If you achieved great things this year, all credit to you and why not take a moment to share how you did that? There’s surely lessons in your accomplishment for others.
And if you fell short, now is a good time to not only set your sights on what you hope to achieve in the new year, but also how you plan to get there and who will show you the way.
2019 was a breakthrough year for me, having finally achieved a goal that that has endured almost five decades, yet remained stubbornly out of reach. Not because I couldn’t think big or set my sights high; but simply because there had been pieces missing in the execution puzzle. And this was largely because I didn’t have the right team around me.
There are many mountains we can conquer on our own in life, but equestrian sport is not one of them. “Two hearts” is a term used to describe the inextricable relationship between horse and rider, and a key requisite for success in any partnership. But because my goal was to compete in Eventing, the horse and rider would be just the beginning of the story.
Eventing is often referred to as the Equestrian version of triathlon because of its three differing phases – Dressage, Jumping and Cross Country – and when I set out on this journey I was equally incompetent in all three!
But this year – after five years of training, 1,820 hours in the saddle, 936 lessons with specialist coaches across the phases, regular 5am starts to fit training around family and work commitments, the generosity of spirit of my family, coaches and connections, and of course the most amazing gelding to ever grace the earth – I have experienced the most indescribable feeling of achievement. We did it.
And while this was a personal ambition, it’s been amazing to see the lift in my professional performance over the same period. With being the fittest and healthiest I’ve ever been – both physically and mentally – has come greater focus, awareness and critical thinking capability. Transferrable learning, with exponential outcomes.
Truth is there is a long, long way to go on this journey and I have just as much road ahead as behind. Fortunately, I have the best possible teacher in Shamus, my Barrel of Fun. Many areas of improvement remain, that will become the new focus for the new year. But at least we now have the right plan and the right people in place for support.
I truly wish for you a happy new year in 2020 filled with wonder and joy. May you stay the distance to achieve all the good things you’re willing to work hard for, and I look forward to hearing of your success.