December 2019 Training Challenge: Focus on Completing Your Yearly Goals

It’s time for our last training challenge of 2019! Your December challenge is:

Last chance for 2019 goals

For those of you who’ve participated in our training challenges from the very beginning (before this blog existed!) you know that our January challenge was to create 1-3 2019 goals for your pet. With the end of the year rapidly approaching it’s now or never to complete those this year! If you joined us later in the year (welcome!) then your challenge is to come up with just one goal for this month and complete it. 

Here’s how Oso and I are doing on our goals:

Our 2019 training goals

As you can see, there are some things that we did well and some things that we didn’t do well. He’s done awesome with his vet visits this year but I definitely did not do one happy vet visit each month. Something we can aspire to next year! I still have time to finish his Western Hold Up trick so you know what we’ll be working on this month. 

If you’re like me and you know there’s a goal that you definitely won’t complete this year, here’s what I recommend doing with it:

  • Reevaluate how important it is. Do you want to try it for next year or scrap it altogether? There’s no shame in scrapping! 
  • Identify your barriers to performing that goal: the real reasons, not excuses. I could easily say that we moved this year and that’s why I didn’t do one happy vet visit per month, but the real reason is that it makes me anxious to take him because of his past behavioral history from years ago. Even though he’s made leaps and bounds of progress since we adopted him I need to work on that more for me, not him, and my comfort level. After that I can return to our happy vet visit goal.  
  • Think about your process instead of your goal. I’m currently reading a (so far) great book called Atomic Habits by James Clear(this is an affiliate link). One of the big points it makes is that if we focus on a process, like “train 5 minutes per day”, instead of a goal like “have a better trained dog” that we’ll be more successful. For those of you who participated in our October “Train 5 Minutes Every Day” challenge you know how true that is! 

Now what?

  • Get training and have fun! Don’t sweat it if you don’t finish everything on your list. There’s always next year!

Happy training!