Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony. ~ Thomas Merton

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Set a realistic date when you plan to accomplish your goal. Don’t commit to “as soon as possible”! If you don’t have a specific deadline for your goal, you won’t have a sense of urgency and you’ll start to put things off. What’s the hurry, if you don’t have a deadline? ~ Goal Setting, Step 4

Uh-oh!  How do you even begin to set a deadline for excellence?  I reviewed Step 1 to make sure I didn't misinterpret the intial goal-setting.  Nope.  Don't think so.  So how do I go about putting this goal on a time table?

I cannot reconcile attaching my goal of excellence in horsemanship with any tangible thing.  I've long held that attaining "level 3 in Parelli" doesn't mean a damn thing, in and of itself.  When you boil it down, a colored string isn't much different than a satin ribbon.  It means that at one time, by some means, someone thought you could do a certain task or exhibit a determined skill set to a particular criteria.

So how to proceed?  I need a deadline.  May 22, 2011.  I believe, if I go look at his papers, this is Moose's birthday.  It's also the one year anniversary of Bleu coming into my life.  It seems like a long way off but on that day I'll evaluate my progress towards my goal of excellence.


Kerrin Koetsier said...

I've found that simplifying my goals really helps... for instance-YES, I want to get my green string, but that's not really an objective goal. However, developing my porcupine game, so that my horse responds to phase 1, and eventually responds in zone 5 (backing from the tail) is objective. See what I mean?

So, maybe your horse can walk 10 laps of the circling game, but can you get him to maintain gait and direction at TROT for 10 laps?

You should have a look at the savvy club online vault. You can find assessment checklists, which give you a broken down idea of what you're looking to achieve.

Just my tuppence! Your goal setting course sounds really interesting.

Kerrin Koetsier
Parelli Central

Lisa said...

Kerrin - thanks. I already have my L3 on-line and liberty passed off so I'm 2/3 of the way to my green string.

I would consider passing L3 to be an objective goal because - with the exception of the subjectivity in the audition process - it is specific and measurable.

The next steps of the goal setting couse discuss mini-goals so I'm sure by the time I process through this I'll have figured it out.

Kerrin Koetsier said...

That's great, Lisa!

Just to clarify, when I said that aiming to get your Level 3 isn't objective, I was purely meaning it from the point of breaking it up into bite-sized chunks!

Parelli Central

inchwormwv said...

Lisa, I don't think of "excellence" as a good goal to choose in the context of the goal setting course. Too much like saying "I want to be rich", instead of "I want to save 20k for a down payment on a house". If you can't quantify or measure it, how will you know when you have gotten there? How will you know when to reward? Too easy to FAIL.

I think of "excellence" as the by-product of the completion of all the mini-goals that begin to add up--mini goals like your August goals that are quantifiable and measurable.

Imagine if Bleu or Cricket had to show "excellence" to earn the release - you would be setting up a situation that almost begged for micromanagement, and seldom would result in success.

"Excellence" is like perfection, in that it would be easy, easy, easy to fall short. That sounds like a burden to me. (Just an opinion, take it for what it's worth!)