Jan 04, 2020

Daniel Stewart's Tip of the Month: Resolution Reminders

USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

If you’re like most people there’s a pretty good chance you’re going to make a New Year's resolution this year . . . and if you’re like most people there’s also a pretty good chance you’re going to have a really hard time hanging onto it past the beginning of February!

We all have good intentions in life, but sometimes life gets in the way of our good intentions. One reason many people struggle keeping New Year’s resolutions (or achieving any other goal for that matter) is that life can sometimes be very distracting. Staying mindful of our goals is, therefore, one of the most important factors in determining whether or not we’ll achieve them, and that’s where resolution-reminders come in.

Resolution-reminders, also called mental triggers, work by giving you timely reminders of the things you’re hoping to remember. After all, if you can remember them, there’s a much better chance you’ll keep doing them. One of the best ways to do this is to link your goals to things that occur often in your life. For example, taping the note, “Health not hot dogs” on your refrigerator (and another on the hot dogs inside) is a great way of reminding yourself that you're making an effort to eat healthier this year. In this way, the note does two important things: first it's a reminder, and second, it's a motivator.

Resolution reminders also come in the three other common forms. Below are examples of these different triggers, each one of them designed to help a rider overcome show jitters:

  1. Sounds: Remind yourself to smile every time you hear the ding of the bell before entering the dressage arena, or the sound of your jumping class being called over the show-ground speakers.
  2. Locations: Remind yourself to repeat a motivating motto (i.e. Relax, Ride, Repeat) every time you enter the cross-country start box, or pass the letter “C” in a dressage test.
  3. Movements: Remind yourself to take a deep, relaxing breath every time you put on your boots or snap your helmet strap.

Interestingly, resolution-reminders are a part of a larger mental coaching technique called classical conditioning, automatically conditioning yourself to do things like smile every time you hear the bell, repeat a motivating mantra every time you enter the start box, and take a deep breath every time you put on your boots. The idea behind this kind of mental conditioning is that, with a little time and practice, you’ll no longer need to try and remember to do these positive things, your brain will actually just link the sounds, locations, and movements to those actions automatically… meaning you’ll no longer need to remember to do them at all, because they’ll happen without you even thinking about it!

In the end - and in the beginning of 2020 - always remember that your goals won’t work unless you do. You just need to remember what means the most to you!

I wish you a wonderful Holiday Season and a Happy New Year and hope you’ve enjoyed my 2019 monthly tips. I also hope to see you in one of my 2020 riding clinics or training camps around the country. For more information visit https://pressureproofacademy.com.

Oct 26, 2021 Competitions

US Equestrian Announces Additional CCI4*-S, CCI3*-L, and Advanced Level Competitions for 2023-2027

US Equestrian is pleased to announce two additional competitions approved by the USEF Board of Directors to host CCI4*-S, CCI3*-L, and Advanced level events during the 2023-2027 competition cycle under the new Eventing Calendar Process. The Florida Horse Park has been allocated the CCI4*-S, CCI3*-L, and Advanced levels on Week 16 and the Advanced level on Week 40.

Oct 26, 2021 Volunteers

The VIP Volunteer: Jim Moyer

If you take one look at Jim Moyer’s Facebook page, you will see it is filled with sweet sentiments from the lives he has touched through his work in the equine industry. Moyer’s involvement with horses began when he met his future wife Jean 50 years ago. As Jean went on to become a prominent instructor in eventing, Moyer found that their friend circle was full of horse people, so it was only natural that he should find his place in the community.

Oct 25, 2021 Competitions

Winning Day for the Law Family: Great Britain's Leslie Law Claims CCI4*-S and Open Prelim Victories at The Event at TerraNova

Horses and riders in 12 divisions, from Starter to CCI4*-S, tackled the show jumping phase of competition Sunday at The Event at TerraNova, over a track designed by Nick Granat in the world-class setting of the main arena. Prize money was awarded in all divisions.

Oct 25, 2021 Convention

USEA Podcast #295: Maryland 5 Star Review with Jennie Brannigan & USEA Convention Preview

USEA Official Podcast Host Nicole Brown looks back on a brilliant Maryland 5 Star with Jennie Brannigan, reflecting on her fourth-place finish and highlights of the inaugural running of the event. USEA CEO Rob Burk and USEA President Max Corcoran then join Nicole to look forward to the 2021 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention which takes place in December.

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