Tracking Resolutions

New Year’s is the traditional day that we reflect on self improvement- meaning that we begin the New Year by listing our faults. A resolution that focuses on a shortcoming seems counter-productive and kind of depressing. No wonder statistics say that 88% of New Year’s resolutions fail in the first 90 days.

A more positive approach seems to make more sense. Maybe its time for a resolution of self-celebration.  New Year’s is a fresh chance to re-invent yourself a bit, and launch a new attack on the monotony and mediocrity.

If you live part of your life in a barn, you are blessed to begin with. You could choose a goal that is simple and challenging at the same time, that’s easy where horses are concerned. And like anyone else in E.A. (Equestrians Anonymous) -take it one day at a time. Now, where to begin?

Most of us have thought of keeping a riding journal. We have files of notes from clinics, articles about health concerns or training tips, and lots of old photos. We’re famous for misplacing invoices from the vet. Our computers have several a bookmarked lists of various equine sites. We’re surrounded with pertinent information, but if we needed to find a particular piece of paper, it might be impossible.

Here is a simple way to start a riding journal, and organize your horse life in the process. Consider a free blog, I like WordPress. You don’t have to turn into a blog diva; I am recommending it as good software for keeping a journal. It can be private, you don’t have to publish it, or even use spell check if you don’t want to. Best of all, you can write even when you can’t ride.

You could chronologically journal your rides, health concerns, clinic, show or trail experiences; celebrate the good days, and reason out the hard days. Then categorize entries and tag your contents so everything is personal and easy for you to find. Technology on these blogs is great; you can email posts or even phone them in. Eventually an entire closet filled with boxes of papers, photos and articles can all float in your blog cloud.

I have two secret blogs- One was started for a horse that had been with me for years. I kept wishing I had started writing about him at first but every year I put it off- worrying I had waited too long. Studied inertia! It was a relief to let myself off the hook finally and just start.

Journaling is so valuable as a process of understanding. When all is said and done, maybe you will share your journey with others on the same path. Or maybe it will become a book; the private story of partnership shared, written one day at a time over the course of two lives.

Journaling is a positive resolution to support and track other positive resolutions. Let me know how it goes. Here’s a  toast to riding and writing in the New Year!


(Photo: Infinity horses dashing through the snow.)

Anna Blake

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