Well, my New Year started out getting up at 6am yesterday and working for ten and a half hours (on my feet for most of it), then coming home and while my husband was bringing in firewood Storm escaped through the door when we weren't looking. We drove around looking for her and got lucky because a neighbor showed up and told us where we could find her. So we drove down the road to where she was last seen and she came right to us. Brat!! So I'm hoping that was just getting all of the bad out of the way so that the rest of 2012 can be totally awesome! ;)
So first we will look at the goals I made for 2011 and see how I did . . .
1. Take care of myself. This includes a great many things. Eating healthy, sticking to my 'no fast food' rule, cut back my consumption of refined sugars, taking my vitamins, flossing daily (I despise flossing lol), regular dental check ups, working with my doctor to find the answers to my health complaints, seeing a dietitian if necessary, exercising, weight lifting, etc. I just want to focus on getting healthy and staying that way because I've already wasted too much time being miserable.
I did really well in the exercise department. I couldn't do the doctor related goals because of my husband's job loss and no health insurance, but just exercising and taking my vitamins (which I was a lot better about too) made me feel a lot better so it's okay. I do okay with the eating better off and on. It will just take some work to get consistent with those habits.
2. Finish remodeling my house. Previously I've not wanted to spend money or time fixing up my house because I don't plan on living here for the rest of my life and I didn't want to spend money that I know I won't get back out of it, but now I want to. There's no sense in me living in an unorganized, crappy environment while I wait until the day I can move. I'm going to focus on cheap, creative ways of improving the aesthetics of my house and also the heating/cooling of it.
Um . . . finish? Okay, so keep in mind when I made this goal my husband still had a job. Getting injured and losing his job threw us for a loop, but we've come out stronger. I did start the remodel though!
3. Learn to drive a standard. Our main farm truck is a standard and I really want to learn to drive it. This could prove to be important someday if something happens to whoever is driving and I have to get the truck back. This year I plan to make the time for this simple goal.
We ended up trading one truck for another with my dad and it's a standard as well. The cool thing is it's a lot easier to drive because it actually has power steering hehe. So I did practice driving the new standard. I still need more practice, but I feel confident that I could drive it home if I had to.
4. Take at least one picture every single day of 2011. I want to improve my photography skills so I've decided that I'm going to start a blog, called A Picture of the Day, where I post one picture each day. Then my followers who enjoy photography can give me tips for improving the shot. :-) Even if I don't learn anything I'll still have fun.
I did great on this for the first six months, then I got a little burned out with it. I was so tired of trying to take a picture every day that I was snapping crappy shots just to get it over with. That doesn't improve skill lol. So I still consider it a success because I stuck with it for six months and it also made me realize that my goals and plans change within the year, so there is nothing wrong with ending a goal such as this one early.
5. Participate in Sunday Stills more consistently. The challenge is so fun and will help keep me motivated to take pictures. :-)
I did pretty good with this one, even though I did get too busy toward the end of the year to keep up with it.
6. Win NaNoWriMo again this year! I love NaNo!
I did it!! I won for the third year in a row and boy was this the most difficult year yet. I learned two important lessons. One is that I can write even if I don't like what I'm writing, it's just not fun lol. Two is that I do better with NaNo when I don't plan my story outline ahead of time. I work better with a vague idea and just letting it take me wherever it wants to.
Edited to add: I completely forgot to submit my novel on the website so it's not acknowledging me as a winner. :( I can't get my certificate or button.
7. Teach Jackal at least one trick a month. I'll continue to let you guys vote and post videos of the finished trick. I'll teach Storm some too if I have the time and it's one she can do.
I did it!! I'm so excited that I managed to stick with it and that he made it so enjoyable for me. :D We didn't manage to complete the Say Your Prayers trick, but we got a good start on it. I'll get the video up as soon as possible.
8. Operation Tame Led Zeppelin! I want to make more progress this year on taming Zep. This includes touching him, halter training, clicker training and target training.
I didn't do so well on this one. If you read my last post you'll see that my husband was able to brush him so that's definitely an improvement, but I just never had the time to work on the important stuff. After the straight line winds/tornado destroyed our barn I kept putting it off because I wanted to use Chrome's old stall and then I finally decided to just build him a pen, but I didn't have a way of making a shelter and I couldn't leave him in the rain because donkey's coats don't shed water well. Oh well. I'll keep trying. :) He does hang out with us when we're messing with the others and takes his free treats so that's building good associations with being around us. The only thing I don't like is I've noticed when he gets spooked instead of just spinning and bolting like he used to, he's spinning, kicking out and bolting. I do NOT like that! I doubt he'd ever kick me, but it's not a risk I'm willing to take, so I'll have to find out some way to work on that.
9. Keep a training journal for Chrome and then do a weekly and/or monthly post on the blog. When I start working with him regularly again this will prevent me from flooding the blog with daily training posts, since Chrome has to share blog space with the other critters. :-)
Well, I solved that problem by just bringing his old blog back http://rdxhorses.blogspot.com. I'm also keeping a written training journal offline for my records. :)
10. Long-lining and/or longeing Chrome. I plan to work on other things like clicker training, walking, tricks, desensitizing, etc. but since Chrome is turning two in May I would like to make it a goal for him to have the bare basics in long-lining and/or lunging before the end of 2011. Otherwise I can totally see him turning three year old and me having done absolutely nothing to prepare him for backing lol. I can just see that happening. :-)
I've done a LOT with Chrome (see video here http://rdxhorses.blogspot.com/2011/12/chromes-firsts-of-2011-video.html) so I don't feel bad at all that I didn't get around to long-lining him. Besides he did learn the basics in longeing because of his incisions closing up after he was gelded. Hand walking wasn't keeping them open, so he learned to longe. He was really getting into it too. He was making a circle, lowering his head and halting perfectly when I said whoa. I'm so proud of my smart boy.
I'd say I had a really good, productive year! I'm proud of the progress I've made, specifically with Chrome and Jackal. Now on to my goals for 2012.
First of all, a few months ago I started thinking about turning thirty year old. I'm twenty six right now so I have a little over three and a half years before I turn thirty. I really want to accomplish some of the items on my bucket list before then, so I made a 30 Before 30 list (thirty things I want to do before I turn thirty years old).
1. Go on an overnight camping trip with horses (mine or my friend's). I've talked to Chrome's breeder and we would really like to take Chrome and his mom camping in the spring. She would bring a horse for me to ride too, since Chrome won't be started yet, unless we decide to go in the summer. I would really like to make that happen this year because I know she would love to see him and I would love to see his mom again since I only met her once.
2. Stand in two/four places at once (state lines). Ever since seeing the movie A Walk To Remember I have wanted to stand in two places at once and get a picture of it. I've done it once without the picture, so technically I've done this already, but without photographic proof I can't share it with you!! So I want proof lol.
3. Go to a live horse race. It would be really cool to go to a big race like the Kentucky Derby, but I don't see that happening so I'll be happy just going to the track that is around two hours from here. I don't know why I've never gone before. Although I do want to go to a horse race that does not mean that I agree with a lot of things that happen at them, such as riding horses under the age of three. It's just something I've wanted to experience since I was a little kid.
4. Participate in a cattle drive on my own horse. A friend of mine told me that they do cattle drives in my area (never knew that!) so that's something I would love to do on Chrome someday!
5. Ride a/my horse on a beach. I've dreamed of riding a horse on a beach my entire life so I would LOVE to do this. It would be cool if I could take Chrome, but that's unlikely, so even if it's a different horse it will still count. :)
6. Ride a train. I have always wanted to ride on a train. No clue why, but I do. :D I know of a place that's not too horribly far that has an actual train you can ride, so this shouldn't be too difficult.
7. Ride in a horse drawn carriage/wagon/sleigh. Another thing I've wanted to do forever! I almost had the chance over this last Christmas, but it didn't work out. Oh well, maybe it will be me and Chrome someday.
8. Go out on a sailboat. I've been deep sea fishing when I went on my honeymoon and I've been in small fishing boats on local lakes, but never on a sailboat. Wouldn't that be so fun! I also want to drive my dad's new bass boat, which should happen in April. Yay!
9. See/Pet/Swim with trained/wild dolphins. I have wanted to see an actual dolphin in person since I was a little girl. I love dolphins. They are so beautiful, smart and fun. I always wanted to train dolphins too (I think Free Willy was at fault for that dream, just switch the Orca for a dolphin hehe) and I think that's part of what steered me toward clicker training. :)
10. Print out a coffee table book of photos I've taken. I think it would be really cool to have a book of my own photos. Although I don't have a coffee table anymore lol. I got a free digital picture frame (it's not here yet) so I'll definitely be putting all of my favorite photos on it, but I still want a book too someday.
11. Take a photography class. One of my best friends and I want to do this, probably in a couple of years when my husband gets out of college. There is a class offered about a half hour from here, so I'm excited about that! It will be so cool to actually learn how to use manual settings. Not to mention it's the perfect excuse to buy a new camera. Have to start saving up now!
12. Learn Sign Language. I already know some. I'm self taught so I learned Signed English instead of American Sign Language. I think I like the Signed English better, especially for teaching myself, but someday I would enjoy learning ASL too. Just have to find somewhere that offers a class. I've been learning sign language since I was a teenager because my brother has cerebral palsy and he uses it some. I've always been fascinated with it and think it's a lot of fun!
13. Attend a movie premier. I've been to the movies, but never to a big time premier. I always wait a week until it clears out some because I don't like large crowds. Someday I want to go to a premier though because it would be so exciting. I wanted to go to War Horse on Christmas day, but because we were out of town we couldn't. I did go watch it Saturday though and it was awesome!! There were some things that were not realistic, but as far as horse movies go they did a great job! They did use geldings for mares sometimes, but most horse movies do that hehe. For people who don't know anything about horses I'm sure it was believable. The story was great (when I can make myself stop looking for mistakes lol - I actually caught myself watching the horses walking in the background to see if they were lame and I was appalled at some of their feet lol) and the special effects were great. I enjoyed it. :)
14. Celebrate my fifth wedding anniversary. I don't know why I chose the fifth anniversary. Five years is a good mile mark I guess lol. I want to do something special though because normally we're working and/or too busy to celebrate.
15. Make working out a regular/permanent habit. This will probably always be a goal, but I'll consider it complete when I can work out for a year straight with no more than a week at a time off.
16. Learn belly dancing. I think belly dancing is so fun and a good workout too! I've been self teaching myself some, but I would like to take a class too.
17. Renovate my old house. I want to think of creative, cheap ideas for making my house look better and for improving the heating/cooling of it to save money.
18. Learn to be present in the moment. I have a tendency to get caught up in the stresses of daily life and then realize that time is just flying by too quickly, so I want to learn to be like my pets more and live in the moment!
19. Learn to be more self confident. I want to learn to trust my instincts more and stop second guessing myself. The second guessing is annoying and is holding me back. I have gotten a lot more confident, but there is definitely a lot more room for improvement.
20. Learn to stop worrying about things I have no control over. I am a TOTAL worry wart and it's so annoying. It makes my anxiety worse and the stress is not healthy for me. I have made huge steps in letting go of some of my controlling tendencies, especially those related to scheduling. I used to have to plan everything to a T and if it didn't go exactly like I planned I would have a melt down. So I'm improving, but I still need to work on the worrying part of it. Exercising helps the anxiety so it's all interrelated.
21. Learn to play Fur Elise on the piano. When I first started taking piano lessons as a teenager when my teacher asked me what I wanted to play, this is the one I wanted to learn. We worked on it, but I never did get to where I could play the left and right hand together. I can do them separately, but I have always had trouble making both hands work together.
22. Go on a romantic retreat with my husband. I'm thinking for our five year anniversary? :D The only thing I've done with just him was our honeymoon and we had so much fun, so I'd love to do something like that again.
23. Attend church more regularly. I don't know why I have trouble with this. I want to go and learn and meet people with the same views, but I just have trouble going. The evening service is too late in the winter and too early in the summer lol and I'm always working during the morning service. I'll try though.
24. See cross country in person, like WEG. I was going to go to WEG with all of my friends from the dressage stable where I used to work, but they all bailed so I didn't go. I really wanted to though because it was at the Kentucky Horse Park and I've always wanted to go there. Maybe I should add that to the list. :)
25. Train a horse from weaning to the basics under saddle. I'm only five months away from riding Chrome for the first time, so I'll definitely be completing this one this year. :) Raising Chrome from five months old has been one of the best experiences ever.
26. Take a dressage lesson on my own horse. I want to have a lesson on Chrome at my old barn (an hour away), but I'll probably wait until he's four because I want to get the most for my money and I don't want him working for forty five minutes on a circle until he's older. We might even wait longer. I want to get the basics down on my own and have her help me with our more dressage specific goals since she is a dressage trainer.
27. Teach a horse the basics in pulling a wagon. I would definitely love to teach Chrome to drive, but I'm going to need help with this one since I've never even been in a horse drawn wagon. I hope I can find someone who can teach us . . . as soon as I can afford harness and a wagon.
28. Take my own horse to an SCA event. My husband and I already participate in the SCA some (although there is nothing local anymore), but someday I want to take Chrome to one of the events where they have jousting and other equine events.
29. Train and take my own horse to a Competitive Trail Ride. I've decided this is what I want to do with Chrome. I'll probably do some lower level dressage shows too, but I've always been a trail rider at heart and this could be a really fun way to add some excitement into regular trail rides. :)
30. Pay It Forward. I've had several people do some really, really nice things for me this year, so I want to find a way to pay it forward.
Okay, so that's the list. Now remember those are the things I want to do before I'm thirty. I don't have to do them all in 2012 lol. That would be insane. Have you guys done any of these things or want to do some of them? I'd love to hear about it.
So here are my 2012 specific goals. I'm keeping them simple and open ended since my goals change through the year.
1. Work on my 30 Before 30 list.
2. Start working out again (and stick with it!)
3. Work on the house remodel.
4. Stop eating fast food/junk food . . . again!
5. Teach Jackal a new Canine Freestyle routine.
Those are all simple goals I think that I should be able to accomplish easily. Expanding on number five, I've spent the last almost four years (can you believe he's almost four?? In less than a month!) working on individual behaviors and tricks with Jackal. This year I want to work on teaching him to heel (instead of just loose leash walking). I want to teach the attentive, happy, prancing heel that you see in some obedience dogs, where he stays glued to my leg with his eyes on my face. Once he's heeling I want to bring it together with his tricks into a new Canine Freestyle routine. I think that working on a Freestyle routine will give us the opportunity to polish off his tricks in a way that's fun instead of it feeling like drilling exercises. :) Depending on how well we progress we might even make up our own routine or build off of the one we used for Honey's contest. I'm excited to see how far we can go in 2012. :)
For equine specific 2012 goals check Chrome's blog http://rdxhorses.blogspot.com later.
I hope everyone has a wonderful, safe, happy, healthy, productive year!!