Make 2016 Your Best Year Yet...

“How can I set achievable goals to make sure 2016 is our best year yet?”

  Matt says: The start of a brand new year is the perfect time to think about your goals. You have 12 months ahead of you – and a Image courtesy of Dartmoor Animal Photographer - Debbie Fullerwhole season of competitions – to make some real progress that you can be proud of. As a trainer, I know the powerful impact which goal setting can have on you and your dog. It can increase motivation and keep you focussed. It can help you make the right choices during training and can add much-needed structure to your routine. Your goals should be challenging and inspiring – but it’s also important that they are realistic. Setting unrealistic goals can make you push yourself and your dog too far, and leave you feeling ultimately disappointed when things don’t work out. Consider what you and your dog’s strengths and weaknesses are and use them as a foundation for setting targets. I’d also recommend basing your goals on aspects of your sport or training that you both really enjoy. After all, training is most successful when it’s fun. shutterstock_256521271It’s vital to take time to think about – and even write down – specific, detailed goals and the steps you need to take to achieve them. A vague goal such as “I want to get placed higher in competitions” is not going to be effective. A better alternative would be something like: “I’d like to improve our speed with the aim of getting third place or better in 50% of the competitions we enter this year. This will require one extra training session every week”. We'd love to know what goals you and your dog have set for 2016, leave them in the comments box below :) Good luck!

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