For 2020 I set four goals. Three of these four goals were new goals for the year, while one was a goal I’d set for myself four times previously. Persistency is what allowed me to finally accomplish that goal.
A few months following my 18th birthday I purchased my Women’s Professional Rodeo Association permit. (You must fill $1,000 on your permit to purchase your professional card.) At the time I was riding my first consistent 1D horse and I felt she could help me fill my permit and set me on my way to professional barrel racing. But I was wrong. This horse had a different purpose in my life other than the purpose I had hoped she’d hold…but that’s a story for another time.
After purchasing my permit at 18 and again at 19 and again, well, you see the trend, I didn’t win any money on my permit—not even a dime. So when the 2020 season rolled around I didn’t buy my permit. I decided maybe this “short-term” goal was more than I had bargained for. But before heading to Texas for RFD-TV’s The American, I decided if the horse I’m riding now was good enough for me to haul 1,400 miles round trip for one race, then she maybe held the ticket to this goal after all.
So in February of 2020 I purchased my WPRA permit again. The season starts in October the year prior, so I was a little behind on the game. Then a pandemic hits. OK…so maybe this goal was going to just get pushed back yet another year. But this year I had actually tweaked my goal. I made it bigger, and harder to accomplish.
Instead of just having the goal in mind to win $1,000, I added that I also wanted to make it in the top 12 of the Mountain States Divisional Circuit to make it to the divisional finals. That meant I would have to win $1,000 that doesn’t count in the standings and then win additional money that would put me in the top 12.
While purchasing my permit late and dealing with a pandemic made the goal truly seem unattainable, I think it encouraged me to work harder. I wanted to prove, that despite the circumstances, I could finally accomplish this goal that I’d just made twice as difficult.
And I did just that. I accomplished the goal. I won $1,000 to fill my permit in just three runs and then won enough money to finish number 8 in the standings in a field of talented barrel racers. Fun fact: If the $1,000 on my permit counted in the standings, I would’ve been 3rd.
I write this not as a pat on my own back for finally accomplishing a goal, but rather to share that it’s OK for your goals to take longer than you think they should take. Goals can be a difficult thing for us to work with. Personally, I don’t write my goals down. I’m superstitious and don’t share my goals but with a couple of people, as I believe sharing may jinx my luck or may allow people who aren’t “on my team” to tear me down when I don’t accomplish something I want to. Instead I keep mental goals that allow me to change and adapt as I continue throughout my long checklist of things I want to do with my horse.
So set your goals and form a plan that fits for you!