Happy new year to you all! I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas period & enjoyed spending time with your family & friends. Now it’s time to get back into routine & start looking ahead to 2022 & what you’re planning to achieve with your horses & yourself!
This time of the year is great to start making plans for the season ahead & map out what you want your year to look like. Having fresh goals for the year can really give us a big boost & focus our efforts on that goal, bringing back that training drive we might have lost ahead of December.
The hardest thing is getting back into a routine after a break so keep things as simple as possible for yourself! Having structure & routine is absolutely essential if you want to make new behaviours like training or going for walks a daily habit for the long term. But how do you set up that structure?
I like to spend some time on a Sunday afternoon to set myself up for the week ahead & I encourage all of my clients to do the same. It doesn’t have to be a Sunday but using one day each week for 20 minutes to plan out your week ahead is so important when you’re trying to juggle horses, work, family, training, fitting in the kids etc etc! There’s always a million & 1 things to be done when you have horses so knowing your plan & having one is so important to keep you accountable & achieve what you set out to.
Split your day into boxes. So for me, I focus on;
-My own wellbeing box (so exercise, going to the gym, swimming, runs, spending time journaling, going for walks, riding)
-Horses box (time for yard work, riding, grooming etc)
-Work box (uninterrupted work time, coach mode on)
-Family box (this is where I spend time with family or friends & only focus on them, making sure I’m fully present not doing other things)
-Chill box (things like going for dog walks, watching netflix, reading books, mindfulness exercises)
Your boxes might look different from mine but it really helps to split up my week & day into these sections to give me focus. Then when I am working I am at work & that is my sole focus but in the evening if it is family time then I don’t pick up work messages or do a training session & I find this really important to keep control of your day.
Training is a big part of my well-being box whether that is going for a run or a strength session in the gym so I make sure I put this at the start of my day.
Ahead of December work & horses got so busy & I was leaving my training till the evenings which for me just doesn’t work. Getting up & moving first thing is the best way for me to start my day, I find it mentally & physically stimulates me & I’m not worrying about needing to be here in x many minutes so my focus is much better. In turn, it’s meant I’m working harder & getting more out of my sessions as I’m way more focused on the task at hand but also that I feel I’ve achieved something before my day has even started. Then by 8am you’re done with your exercise & can focus on the rest of your day.
Write your training days & times in your diary or add them to your calendar, this is SO important! Treat your training time the same as an important business meeting; you wouldn’t just text them 5 minutes beforehand saying, "Nah I’m not coming", so don’t do that do your fitness either.
If 11am run 5km is in your diary trust me you’ll get it done!
Setting your intentions for the day & week is really important to avoid overwhelm. I’m guilty of trying to cram too much into a day so setting 3 intentions as a maximum for each box really helps me to manage my day. I prioritise what absolutely HAS to be done & then it really helps you to have a clear focus of what needs to be done with urgency whether that is work or the horses.
Personally, I write down my work & personal intentions for each day in my diary, then when I get them done I tick them off & it helps me to know I am achieving what I set out to rather than feeling like I’m playing catch up.
If you can try to input 1 mindfulness task a day, if that seems too much then start with 1 a week. This is so important, it could be as simple as going for a walk with your phone on silent for some headspace or reading a few pages of your book. Something I’ve inputted this year so far is waking up each morning & straight away having a coffee & journaling what I’m grateful for. It has certainly helped me to have a better & more thankful start to my day. Mind & body go hand in hand so try to make time for this!
Scheduling social time with partners & friends is really important too. We need to keep strong relationships with those we love & sometimes when life gets busy it’s very easy to put these people on the backburner or equally take out your emotions on them. If you’re having a tough time being around supportive ones is what you need so make sure you account for the time to spend with them.
Plan in your horses riding & exercise schedule into your diary too, it will help you to know exactly where you’re both at & if you’re seeing your horse is galloping for 10 minutes today you’ll probably be more inclined to make sure you complete your training session too.
If you have a laptop or driving-based job try to schedule in time to move! It’s easy to sit at work 9-5 & not move a muscle which won’t help productivity but equally is one of the biggest factors of poor mobility in riders. Add in walking breaks or even just 5 minutes of movement here & there throughout the day to keep you active.
Planning out your meals on the same day you set out your week is a great tool to keep you eating well & on track but also to help you save money & time! If you have your meal plan, you know what you’re eating for breakfast all week then you can shop accordingly & be in & out. It will help you to avoid making maybe not the best choices & also overbuying or eating foods you don’t need. If you know time is short in the week then maybe spend a few minutes prepping up your meal in the evenings so you know lunch is in the fridge & you can grab & go.
Getting going again is never easy but spending a little bit of time each week to set out your intentions, plan your schedule & find your routine is really going to help you to have control & keep you moving forwards. If you’re struggling to get going & know you need some support & accountability then add yourself to the waitlist here.
Let’s make 2022 the best one yet-you don’t want to be saying at Christmas next year I wish I’d done X.