Happy New Year!!

The new year invites a sense of renewal and increased motivation for me in many areas of my life.  I find it necessary to think about where I want to be at the end of 2010. 

For one, I’ve found a rekindled passion for running after nearly burning myself out completely over the summer.  I’ve entered a local marathon in March and am already 6 weeks into the training and feel fantastic!  This will be my 4th marathon in 7 years with my personal best time being 4:13 in my first race in Napa, CA.  This time I *will* finish sub 4hrs.  I definitely feel way more focused and commited to my training this time. 

Secondly, I’m nearly finished with the Ribbons book (Jane Savoie).  I feel this has been instrumental in my growth, both competetively and personally.  Mainly, I’ve been working very hard on changing my attitude. I think that’s probably the one area of my personal psyche that needs the most attention. I’ve tended to be the type of person who “hopes for the best, but plans for the worst”. A lot of that probably stems from the sudden loss of my father when I was 20yrs old….15 years ago almost to the day. From that I think I learned to prepare myself for the worst outcome so that I wouldn’t be disappointed or hurt. But that’s not a very fun way to live. I *want* to be positive, I *want* to expect the best and be prepared for that outcome.   Holiday time is especially difficult for me and my family. We’ve got a few “stinkin’ thinkers” here, so I’ve been really working on “diluting the negative”.   I would like to work towards being more even keel in my moods and finding fun in more situations.  I thank my friends for helping me to start on this new journey and this book is a great guide.

As far as agility and the dogs are concerned, I took a look at the goals I set for both dogs a few months ago…some are the same, but I’ve changed/added some for 2010.


Long Term Goals (Define Your Destination)

Miles: MACH by fall 2010

            Qualify for and attend 2010 USDAA Nationals

            Qualify for and attend 2011 AKC Nationals

            Qualify for and attend 2011 AKC Invitational

  –Rue:   Qualify for and attend 2010 Southeast USDAA Regionals

                 Qualify for and attend 2011 AKC Nationals

                  Qualify for and attend 2011 USDAA Nationals


Short Term Goals (Make a Road Map)

 – Miles: MX/MXJ by spring 2010

                  Earn Q’s in Performance Speed Jumping, PVP and Performance Grand Prix by spring 2010

                  ADHF (Golden Retriever Agility Dog Hall of Fame) by summer 2010

This month:

 – Learn how to communicate the difference between a lateral motion rear-cross and a forward motion/deceleration rear-cross

– Trust him in longer lead outs if needed in competition

– Practice pushes into a tunnel under the frame/dogwalk

– Practice lateral pulls off the aframe

–  Practice discriminations without having to go so deep to get the tunnel

 – Maintain at least 5yps course times in JWW and at least 4yps course times in Standard

 – Achieve and maintain consistency at speed earning at least 130 points per month

Rue: AX/AXJ by early summer 2010

              Earn a Q in (at least) Steeplechase by late spring 2010

 This month:

– Make the teeter a favorite obstacle

– Tug in as many different locations/situations as possible

– Achieve a reliable and drivey start line routine

– Visit and train in as many different locations as possible

– Alternate running courses without cookies with higher pressure short sequences with rewards on me

– Ask neighbors to come over and watch us train and act as ring crew/judge

– Start working more seriously/systematically on dogwalk turns

– Achieve and maintain at least 4yps in JWW and at least 3yps in Standard


 Word your goals thoughtfully:

– Rue is motivated to work/play with me
– I am confident in my handling choices for each dog
– Miles slams into a down on the table
– Rue had a fast and drivey teeter
– Rue runs fast and extended
– Rue and I move together as a connected team
– Miles rides the teeter all the way down

Know the reasons why:

– Winning is fun

– Proving that Goldens can be very competitive in agility

– Becoming a more credible dog trainer

– Pushing myself beyond my limits



 – More letters after/before my dogs’ names

– Recognition from peers, instructors, and elite competitors

– Credibility

– Sense of accomplishment

– Fun

 – Sense of self-worth


– Fear of failure

 – Fear of injury

 – Embarassment

One thought on “Happy New Year!!

  1. I love the goal setting; I may have to put up a quick blog of my own outlining my goals. I like your division of general goals (making nationals) and specific goals (yps, obstacle performance, handling maneuvers). Best of luck!

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