Jan 08, 2018

Daniel Stewart's Tip of the Month: Legacy Goals

USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo.

Last month we began a four-part series on positive thinking, but since this month begins the New Year, I thought it would be a great idea to put that on hold for a bit so that we can discuss a great way to get the most out of the new year . . . and your entire riding career!

The amount of success and enjoyment you experience in 2018 will be influenced by many factors, but perhaps most importantly, it will be influenced by your ability to set and achieve meaningful goals. If your goals don’t motivate you or if they’re beyond your ability to achieve (i.e. perfection), the chances of feeling doubt, disappointment, and defeat in 2018 will increase while your success and enjoyment decrease.  

You’re familiar with short and long-term goals, and while these goals are important, the most important goal for creating lifelong success is actually something called a legacy goal. A legacy goal is basically the culmination of all the most important and meaningful things you'd love to accomplish in your riding life and how you plan on achieving them. For example, if your friends and family got together to celebrate your life as an equestrian, what would you want them to say?  Would you want them to say that you worked tirelessly to mentor young riders, dedicated yourself to the betterment of horses, and never gave up when things got tough? If so, set these as your legacy goal and then go out and make them happen.  

Here are a couple examples of legacy goals: 

  • My legacy goal is to become a dedicated equestrian who always believed in her ability to overcome emotional obstacles, who devoted herself to helping others do the same, inspired young riders to find their love of riding, and worked tirelessly to ensure her horses received the level of care and devotion that they deserved.
  • My legacy goal is to become a talented rider, dedicated horseman, knowledgable trainer, and lifelong mentor, and to use these skills and commitment to keep my horses and students safe, healthy, and successful throughout a lifetime of schooling and showing experiences.

This year, create your very own legacy goal and live each and every day as if building that legacy, knowing that doubt, disappointment, and defeat won’t define you in 2018 because legacy goals aren't diminished by the number of times you win or lose, how often you forget your test, or how many rails you pull. In fact, it's how you handle challenges like these that will ultimately define the legacy you leave in 2018.   

Think about it for a while and when you have your legacy goal print it in a big, bold font and frame it and hang it somewhere you'll see it every day. Commit it to memory and then remind yourself that your riding success and enjoyment won't be measured at one show or on one afternoon, it will only be created after a lifetime of living each and every day as if building your legacy for tomorrow.

If you enjoy Coach Stewart’s tip of the month, you’ll love his weekly equestrian sport psychology video tips. You can sign up for all 52 video tips by clicking here.

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