Goals are better. Goals are flexible. I can tweak them as needed without feeling like a failure if they don't come out quite the way I intended. Look at 2011! I learned a TON of stuff about Phoenix and myself that never would have happened if we'd earned his UD and sailed right into his UDX without any hitches. As it turned out, the year was one hitch after another but I hope what I learned will bring an even better 2012.
I'm great at setting goals. Reaching them is another thing but at least they're out there and I know what I want to do. With that in mind, here are my goals for the new year.
Phoenix - Obedience: pursue his UDX. I can't wait to get back into the Open/Utility rings and make sure we have our feet under us in terms of team attitude. We can move on from there in terms of technical performance. I'd love to see him start getting some awesome scores but that's not what it's all about for us - happy teamwork will be awesome enough for me. I want to keep our trialing pressure-free and stay focussed on my dog giving me the best effort he can and vice versa.
Phoenix - Agility: get an auto down on the table. We had it. We lost it. We had it again. Sort of. I confess to not asking for it consistently, so of course it deteriorated because Phoenix finds STOPPING at any point on a course very annoying and having to lie down makes stopping twice as bad.
Then the AKC eliminated the table position requirement and I thought what the heck, let's not bother. This worked great, except when it didn't. With no position requirement, Phoenix thought it was totally acceptable to fly onto the table and fly right off to the next obstacle with zero decrease in speed. Also need to continue improving my timing and being a proactive handler vs. a reactive one.
Jamie - He'll be 13 this summer. I want these sunset years to be comfortable and happy. This may mean exploring some pain meds since I'm noticing increased stiffness in his hind end. He never acts like he is in pain but he rarely sits any more and stairs are getting to be more of a challenge. But he still chases Phoenix around and gives him hell on a regular basis.
Me - 15 pounds need to go away. It would help if I would quit eating like every meal is my last one. Seriously. And grazing at work. Ugh. It's a bad habit. Thinking about portion control and cutting way back on fast food meals and snacks (or making better choices) should help. My love/hate relationship with my treadmill continues. Maybe it needs to feel the love a little more.
Gardening - I'd like to plant some shrub roses this year. Also, try new combinations of annuals in planters instead of doing the same old thing again. I'm spending a lot of quality time with garden catalogs in preparation.
Have fun setting your goals for the new year!