Happy 2019 everyone! Did you make a New Year resolution? Do you expect to keep it? I read recently that most people don’t keep their resolutions past February. I have my theories on that, right or wrong. First I believe that there are several parts to keeping our resolutions. Let’s examine those a bit.
First, is your resolution realistic? If you say that you are going to work out for 2 hours every day, for most of us that might be something that would be hard to start of keep up. If you already workout for an hour and half, maybe this isn’t a stretch for you at all. If you tell yourself you are going to read 3 books a week but barely find time to take a shower, perhaps you need to rethink that resolution.
Second, how much do you want whatever it is that you are resolving to do or not do? It is not just about willpower, but about your commitment to that goal. It is about the desire to attain the goal and your willingness to commit to it, even when it’s hard.
Third, there are not many things that happen totally as desired without a plan. Make a plan for yourself. Make a contract with yourself. Decide how you are going to get there, what steps you are going to ensure your success and how to thwart and react and adjust when the plan takes a different turn.
Fourth, the rewards. Small rewards. Big Rewards. We all need them. Reward yourself along the way. In your plan, don’t forget the milestones and reward yourself for reaching them.
Now, here’s where I am going with all this folks. If you want to build your relationship with your dog, if you want to work on tasks, solidify behaviors or eliminate undesirable ones, train an assistance/medical dog, therapy dog certification – it is no different of a strategy than you use to tackle things in your human life. If you want to be successful, you need a plan and the steps you need to achieve it. You need to understand how to communicate with your dog, to understand what your dog is trying to communicate to you. Yes, it is work. Yes, it takes commitment. But the reward for both you and your dog will last a lifetime. Are you ready?