Here at home, this year, we have had two major projects completed and, at times, the progress on each of them was PAINFULLY slow!
Project number two was finally finished yesterday (well I say “finally” but there are still a few bits and pieces to be fully completed!) and this got me thinking about how we see progress in all sorts of life areas – especially in horse riding of course.
Project number one was planned to take about six weeks and ended up taking four months. Project number two could have been completed in about two weeks but we had to wait nearer to six months!
When you have a riding goal it’s so easy to become fixated on the outcome. You dream of doing your “thing”, achieving your goal, doing it/being there/seeing the results……
Progress is rarely as simple as setting a goal, doing the training and preparation and then enjoying the result with a glass of wine in your hand and a big smile on your face.
So what can you do when progress is slow?
Looking back at our two projects there were times when we definitely felt cross and frustrated. There were other times when we could see progress was being made and it was these times which kept us from getting too angry.
For the most part, the delays were nobody’s fault. Perhaps with some better planning and some more efficient systems in place the delays might have been partially avoided but most things were out-with our, and the contractor’s, control and we simply had to wait.
When your riding goals are delayed by things over which you have no control, such as your horse needing to be on box rest for a period of time (which was a little bit like the case in our second scheme), it’s important to find ways to use that unexpected time productively. Can you work on something “off horse” which will help you when you can get back to riding? Could you give yourself a different goal which you can focus on at this time and return to the first one later?
If the delays are due to aspects of progress which you CAN control then you have to ask yourself what you are going to do about that.
Setting progress goals i.e. small, and achievable steps which will help you to move in the right direction will help you to feel more in control and give you some satisfaction as you work towards fulfilling your dream.
Keeping your ultimate outcome goal in sight will certainly help to keep you motivated and working on those things which are within your control will allow to to head in the right direction.
Some goals may be achieved quickly and others may take a long time but as long as things are heading in the right direction then you can enjoy the journey.
NB If you feel stuck, or if progress is heading in the WRONG direction then please do seek out support to get you back on track.