Episode 166-Goal Setting & Overcoming Obstacles Starter Kit
Obstacles can become stepping stones to your dreams!
In this podcast I’ll discuss; Why people avoid setting goals or quit, the role of dreams, dealing with the obstacle you know…and the obstacles you don’t.
As a bonus, I also share how to make more theoretical the goal’s like ‘gain confidence’ into actionable, measurable steps.
If you are ready to take consistent steps towards your dream, go download the free workbook and PDF that go with this and get started today!
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Episode 166-Goal Setting & Overcoming Obstacles Starter Kit.mp3
Stacy Westfall: [00:00:00] The more theoretical the goal is like this “explore the relationship and connection” idea, the more theoretical that is, here’s the twist: The more measurable the small steps need to be.
Announcer: [00:00:17] Podcasting from a little cabin on a hill, this is the Stacy Westfall podcast. Stacy’s goal is simple: to teach you to understand why horses do what they do, as well as the action steps for creating clear, confident communication with your horses.
Stacy Westfall: [00:00:36] Hi, I’m Stacy Westfall, and I help riders become confident, communicate clearly, and get better results with their horses. This will be the final episode of Season 14, which has been focused mostly on the rider’s mind. A useful fact about this podcast is that I set it up in seasons, so there are entire seasons that focus on the horse’s mind, the horse’s body, the rider’s mind, the rider’s body. Season 15 coming up will be another Q&A season where I’m going to use the voicemail questions that listeners like you have called in and left. You can leave your message by visiting my website and looking for the Send Voicemail for Podcast Use button. And here’s the deal with today’s episode. I taught a webinar on Saturday and the topic was goal setting and overcoming obstacles. It was presented live with slides, however, I think you can get 95 percent of what I presented from the audio-only. What you can’t see when you’re listening to the audio is the feeling wheel and some of the workbook pages, and you’ll occasionally hear me reference slides because I had visuals going. However, if you download the free workbook and PDF over on my website, you’ll be at 100 percent. So teaching the webinar inspired me to create a goal-setting starter kit that you can get for free over on my website. I wanted to make sure that you could make these things actionable. The kit includes a nine-page goal-setting workbook and a copy of the ever-popular feeling wheel, as well as an awareness exercise that I do myself. And you can find the video replay of the webinar over there, too. Plus, if you’re a regular listener, I think you’re really going to enjoy the bonus that’s on here and over there. You remember that little audio clip you just heard at the beginning of this episode? That is an audio clip from near the end of this. And if you’ve listened to Episode 163 and 164 with Suzi, you’ll get an update in here about how I’m taking that goal that’s kind of theoretical, that idea of exploring the relationship in connection, how can you take something like confidence and make that a goal? How do you make something like that actionable and measurable? I talk about that at the end of this podcast. Now, remember to get your downloads and let’s go ahead and listen.
Stacy Westfall: [00:03:22] Hello, welcome, everyone. I’m going to get this screen set up, and if somebody could type in the Q&A and let me know if you can see me and hear me that would be super helpful. Yay, you can see me. You can hear me. Very good. Ok, so the first thing you need to know is that I’m super excited about being here, and the second thing you need to know is that I’ve been fighting a cold or something all week. So if you see me sipping a little bit or doing something like that, I’m feeling amazing. If you’d asked me on Wednesday, was not feeling amazing on Wednesday, but now I feel amazing. I might be using this cough drop tucked in my teeth just a little bit. I might go back and forth, but please bear with me because I’m super excited to be here because I haven’t been doing everything else that I would have had planned, which actually fits perfectly into this webinar. So what I’m going to do right now, I can see all of you answering and saying that you are here and you can see me, you can hear me, and I want to know where you’re from. So if you’re over there in the Q&A type in where you’re from, because I’m curious to see. We’ve been getting people from all over the world during these, which has been super fun to watch, and let me share my screen while you’re doing that.
Stacy Westfall: [00:04:41] Ok, now you should be looking at my screen. Ok, we’ve got Germany, Western New York, Iowa, Virginia, Michigan, Colorado, another Colorado, North Carolina, Canada, Michigan, Idaho, Mount Gilead, Ohio. I used to live there. I bet you know that. All kinds of places. Oregon, 4 feet of snow, Australia. We can see that all of you have found where to interact with the Q&A. So we’re going to do the interaction with the Q&A. The interesting thing about having the week off from my regularly scheduled program is that I keep adding things to this webinar. So I’m going to go fast so that I can leave a little bit of extra time at the end to answer some questions. You can always put your questions in as we’re going. They–there’s a lot of people on here, so it may scroll down to the bottom. So when I ask again, don’t feel bad, like putting it in again, copy-paste it from somewhere if you want, you can put it in immediately, or you can put it in when I’m asking for it. Either way is going to work perfectly fine for me. And the first thing I want you to do is actually want you to set an intention for this webinar. Did you come to this goal setting and overcoming objections webinar because you’re looking for clarity around a specific goal? Are you looking for more steps? Are you looking for why you’ve gotten stuck in the past? Like, what is it you want to walk away with at the end of this time? Because if you actually decide that ahead of time, you’re kind of telling your brain what to look for during the webinar.
Stacy Westfall: [00:06:20] So, super-secret life hack, it’s a little bit like when you decide to buy a car and you start noticing like, Oh, I was going to buy that car, and now you see them everywhere. It’s the way your brain works. Let’s jump in. Today, I’m going to cover goal setting and overcoming objections. I’m going to go over, why set a goal at all? I’m going to talk about why people avoid setting them or they stop trying. We’re going to talk about your dream, my dream. What the heck? Why are we doing this? Obstacles that you know, obstacles you don’t know, how to turn those obstacles into strategies, and how you can work with me in 2022. And then there’s going to be time for an open Q&A. Somebody already sent me a really great question that I kind of wanted to cover, but I wasn’t sure and then it came in through an email and I was like, Yes. So I put this bonus in here. If you’ve been listening to the podcast–are you a podcast listener? If you’re a podcast listener type in yes or no in the Q&A. Are you yes, a listener, no, not a listener? Because what I’ve been talking about is goal setting, and I sort of had like a little mini goal breakdown in the last couple, you know, a couple of podcasts ago. And it’s been a really interesting journey because I do goal setting a lot. So the bonus is going to be like setting goals, if you’ve got lists, how do you measure a feeling if you have a feeling goal? Like, let’s say you want to be more confident or you want to be–there’s almost like a feeling that you want to have for a goal. I’m going to tell you how I’m working through that at the end because that’s work I’m doing right now. First thing I want you to think about is what is your 2022 goal and how will you know if you’ve reached it? What I want you to think about there is what is the goal? Just feel free to type it in if you want. Feel free to say it out loud to the air. Feel free to scratch it down on a napkin. Do you have a goal yet? It’s January 15th, and I want to know if you actually have like a specific, measurable goal. Are you more in the realm of kind of a dream? We’re going to talk about that. So that’s totally fine too. One of the things that takes something from a dream–from a dream over to a goal is knowing how you’re going to measure it.
Stacy Westfall: [00:08:38] So you’re going to see me give some examples of that. If you have your workbook, your free workbook that was a free download, you can actually use that workbook to walk through. And I’ll remind you about that at the end. But I really want you to be able to–to take this idea of the dream, the goal, and then be able to break it down into more measurable steps. And we’ll talk about why. So why set a goal at all? You’re here because you’ve kind of sort of got a reason. Maybe you’re super strong at goal setting and you just want to touch up. Maybe this is your, you know, attempt to do it because even though you gave it up, like, I don’t know, 10 years ago or something, but the main reason for setting a goal is that if you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time. I love this quote from Zig Ziglar. Now I love trail riding. It–I’ve been very open that trail riding is my favorite place to be with a horse. Now I can find lots of good things about lots of other places, but I love trail riding. I trail rode for a very long time as a child. That’s what I grew up as a six-year-old with my mom when I first got my pony all the way up through when I went to college trail riding all the time. And yet, even though I spent loads of time with my horse I was still in danger a lot of the times. Like I was not staying consistently above what I nowadays call the safety line. So the trail riding was giving me some enjoyment, but it was leaving me at risk. I couldn’t get my horse consistently in and out of a trailer. I couldn’t always consistently stop. If you’ve heard me talk, I hit a car once coming out of a barrel racing thing, I couldn’t stop when I wanted to. I got run away with multiple times. I had a plan for how to like, do things one being run away with because it was a recurring thing. So even though I was riding trail riding, I didn’t have a more specific, trail riding safely, trail riding whatever. Some of this maybe was youth, but I want to make sure that you know that even if it seems like it’s something like trail riding, we could actually like start to break it down even more so that we can make sure that we’re achieving that. I have been in a position in the industry for a long time to see people lose the dream because they, for example, struggle with safety issues. So I want to make sure that doesn’t happen to anyone. So why are goals in particular hard to set? Most people don’t have too much trouble dreaming about what they want to do, but goals tend to be a little bit harder to set. I think one of the main reasons is especially if you’ve ever set a goal and then you’ve not achieved either the goal or you’ve or you felt yourself failing along the way. That’s kind of me this week a little bit. So let me just tell you totally in the middle of real-life happening right now I did not have on my calendar, Be sick this week in January. So what that did was that came in and interrupted a plan that I had. What I’ll tell you now is that a little later in the podcast, I’m going to talk about feelings and I’m going to talk about how you treat yourself a little bit during the process and what has shifted massively for me. Stacy 2022 versus Stacy ten years ago. Stacy ten years ago would not have been kind to herself during this week of being sick because I would have made the goal the priority and like my health, my self-care, my way that I talk to myself in my head, those would not have been a high priority. And you know what happens if your goal is then something you use to beat yourself up? It’s not so fun to set goals because if you’ve ever had a goal and then you, let’s just say that in the workbook that I–that I gave you guys, it’s got a twenty-one-day goal and it’s the process of something you practice in a smaller time period and then you can repeat that month after month and you learn the bigger process on the smaller scale.
Stacy Westfall: [00:12:55] So for me, all the things that I had planned this week before I got sick, when I got sick to a certain level, I was finally like, Oh my gosh, I have to modify the plan. It was much easier for me this year to modify the plan and to be able to see that without the judgment. So a lot of times in the middle of failing, or maybe you try and try and try and try and try and you keep taking actions. Like, let’s say, 10 years ago, I would have been sick and I would have kept pushing and I would have kept going. And my husband and I also have like stories of ending up at the doctors and with like double pneumonia and all kinds of things from not slowing down. Because all of these feelings on this feeling wheel were, it was like I was feeling like in the past 10 years ago. I would have felt inadequate if I couldn’t do everything that was on my plan, I would have felt like I was being, you know, disrespectful or letting somebody down because I had the horse in training and I was going to have to take a week off because I couldn’t stop coughing if I was in the barn. And so the process of examining like when things are happening and they’re on track and it feels amazing, but it’s actually looking at those times when they’re off track when it’s failing. Those tend to be the ones that stop us from setting the goals in the first place because at some point a lot of people just throw their hands up and go, like, why bother? It’s just not going to work out. Or you can start saying, what am I going to learn from this experience? I’m learning how to listen to my body. I’m believing something different, which is maybe if I take care of myself now, I’ll shorten the length of what’s going on and then I maybe will actually recover time that I would know I didn’t in the past when I made myself sicker and sicker. So there’s all kinds of different things we can explore, like why do I think I would benefit from being mean to myself in this situation? I know I did that in the past. Why did I do it? So I just want you to think about if you’ve ever failed before. How is that possibly getting in your way now? Because what happens is these emotions, these feelings that come up like if we’re really frustrated, that feeling is going to change the actions that we take. And a lot of times, especially when I’m coaching riders, what happens is a lot of us, we have goals with our horses. Well, if we have goals with our horses, then this means that there’s some sort of action-oriented goal, even if it’s riding X number of days a week or if it’s achieving a certain thing. There’s a certain amount of time and action that’s going to be involved in most goals that we have with horses. But what goes on here is that I want to talk–I’m going to go real quick. I even shortened this up a little bit more and got it down to two slides. I want to tell you why change is uncomfortable and why your brain is resistant to it. So here’s two really quick slides. The resistance you feel when you set a goal is normal because your prefrontal cortex is responsible for problem-solving. That’s the part of your brain that’s going to set that goal. It’s going to say, you know, if by the end of the year I want to achieve x, y, z with my horse or, in my lifetime, I want to achieve x, y, z. These are some of the things I see as you know, being necessary steps or at least steps that if I explore and take, it’s going to lead me somewhere else. The reasoning part of your brain is the one doing that. Now your whatever the parts of the brain like we can–we can say it’s the hind brain, the medulla. This–there’s another part of your brain. Let’s just go that simple that’s responsible for survival and this survival part of your brain is the one that’s actually causing a lot of the resistance a lot of times. I think it’s really interesting because I just think it’s fun to to think every time my survival brain kicks in, I’m actually probably more empathetic with my horse. I’m in the same situation that the horse tends to be in. You know, your horse doesn’t have as much of this like reasoning, future focus, kind of use of their brain because that’s the way that they’re built. And so every time I fall into the habits that pull me away from my goals, I’m like, Oh yeah, I totally understand why my horse is like feeling that way. Because that puts me more into that sympathetic understanding of like, Oh yeah, I’m I’m resistant to work at times, too. I’m resistant to change. I’m resistant to some of these things. So why is change so hard? Any type of change, like incorporating physical activity into our routine, if that’s a change for you, can go against the neural pathways that have become automatic. So that’s why we tend to go back to the default. It’s the change part that’s hard. It’s the rewiring of your brain, whether you’re trying to make a new diet change or add a physical activity or change something. This is actually not just you being lazy. It’s not you having a problem with like the goal that you set, it must have been the wrong goal. It’s literally changing habit patterns. And I think what’s really interesting with riders in particular, people with horses, with horse goals. You tend to have the mental habit change and the physical habit change. So you’ve got the mental habit change to deal with. So one of my goals in recent years has been calendaring. So when I was doing a goal around writing down a calendar, keeping a calendar, keeping a daily, what I want to do list that was more mental for me than what I experience on a daily basis with my horses. So there’s the mental exercise, which was hard to do the mental exercise of teaching myself to plan ahead, to honor my plan to do those different things. That was a mental habit change that came with some physical changes of like following through. But what I’m talking about with horses is sometimes you have a physical habit change too, meaning muscle memory involved with learning how to do something new with your horse, as well as the mental energy into changing it. So I just want you to know because then it can be like, Oh, I understand why maybe I’m struggling here. I love this quote from Brooke Castillo. “Discomfort is the currency of your dreams.” And to me, just knowing that helps me understand that, yeah, I’m probably going to be uncomfortable at times while I’m making these changes. The discomfort of change doesn’t mean I’m off track. Good to know.
Stacy Westfall: [00:19:56] So I’ve covered why set a goal at all. We want to pick, aim, we want to go in that direction. We talked a little bit about why people avoid setting it because it feels terrible. If you feel like you’re off track and you aren’t equipped with, like how to handle those feelings and how to decide what is off track, what is on track. Do I just throw up my hands and quit now, January 15, the beginning of the year? Do I keep going? Do I keep going until June? I’m still not seeing results like, how long do you keep going? Now let’s talk a little bit more about your dream. So to me, when I’m structuring this, I always think about dreams as these big overarching things, and they tend to be more vague. So we’ll talk for just a minute about like, what would you attempt if you knew you couldn’t fail? This is–some of these things tend to be like, How we can find the dream? I think it’s interesting, just listen to these two different phrases to see which one works for your brain today. What would you attempt if you knew you couldn’t fail? That’s one way to say it. I actually prefer the second one. What are you willing to fail at every day if you knew you would eventually win? No judgment, if you like the first one better because, in a way, they’re both saying the same thing. But what I can see in my life is the second one works for me because then I’m not afraid of the failure that I’m experiencing every day. When I had that goal to write out my weekly calendar and honor it exactly as written for seven days in a row, it took me over six months to get to the point where I was pretty consistently hitting that. Like, it took me nine months to get to where I could really say, yes, I can totally do this. There was so much learning, but every time I failed like a month in, two months in, three months in, four months in, a failing to be able to follow my own plan for a week. It kept bringing up this highlight of like, I have a choice of how I’m going to treat myself during this failure. But there’s so much I can learn while I’m failing, I can learn that I’m overscheduling, I can learn that I’m ambitiously biting off more than I can do inside of a week. I’m learning that maybe there’s different ways I can arrange things so that it works better so I can fit more in. There were so many lessons hidden in that failure as long as I didn’t quit. So I haven’t been over in the Q&A for a minute. I’m going to go over there now. I want to know what is your big dream now? Remember, these are often kind of vague. They don’t have to be. Sometimes you can have a super clear big dream. But sometimes that big dream is a little bit more vague. And sometimes for me personally, I know that the big dream almost falls into more of the “why” category. And I’m going to share mine in just a minute after I go check and see what you’re writing. Lots of podcast listeners. Ok. Finish setting the goals. You’re on track with me. Goal, get my new horse and myself confident, no more spooking. Goal, feel confident riding in all environments. Goal, work with my quarter horse on the reining and be able to take some lessons on her. Show her once this summer. Where is the workbook? The workbook I will–you can either–you can click and get it on the home page of my website right now, it says download workbook because it gets emailed to you. I haven’t figured out how to pass you guys a PDF during one of these things. If anybody knows that, feel free to send me information on how that would work. But I know if you send me an email, I can reply with it or on my home page of my website you can type in your email address and it will kick it to you that way. So flying lead changes. Really sketchy, what I really want to understand more how to teach your ranch horse to neck rein. Measurable progress with my dull, quiet five-year-old and recording the miscellaneous magic too. You’ve been listening to the podcast. How I set goals for my students, I actually take them through this process. So the twenty one–the workbook is actually one that I work through with them. So we set goals together using literally the same tools that I’m giving to you like that. Ok, cantering on the beach. OK, lots and lots of goals. Working equitation, trail riding with my Mustang, better relationship with my sensitive mare, all kinds of things. Be able to lope for 15 minutes. Improve softness in lead changes. So many different goals.
Stacy Westfall: [00:19:56] Ok. Goals. Dreams. So for me, I’m going to share a couple of my bigger like, they’re my dream. They’re my overarching “why”. The dream, that’s kind of vague for me. Two of mine, you can hear how they’re different than goals. Learn all I can about horses. You mean, gives you an idea. Be an example of what’s possible. So those are a couple of the things that kind of drive me forward. But you can hear that they’re not very measurable, right? So what’s interesting, this photo kind of comes from an expression of the, learn all I can with horses, right? But this accomplishment with Roxy riding bareback and bridleless was built on much smaller steps. So the way I look at it, we’ve got the dream, we’ve got the yearly goal, we’ve got monthly goals, weekly goals, and daily actions. Let’s look at one a little bit more specifically. So one of my more recent dreams that if you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know I’m in the middle of a dream. Buy, raise, and train a foal from Last Chance Corral. Last year, my 2021 goal was–there was a little bit of a vague piece of it. Trail ride a lot. It was a little more specific as in like the number of days wasn’t set, but it was like every day that the trails are safe. I didn’t want to ride with certain riding conditions out there. And a much more specific one was, show at one live horse show. So at the beginning of the year like this, I made out these goals. I knew how I was going to track the trail rides. I knew how I was going to decide what days were safe, what days were not. I knew that the horse show was going to happen a lot further out, so I didn’t schedule the horse show at the beginning. I knew I was going to look at September, October and kind of have that in mind. I was going to make sure I left myself some choices that far out. I knew that to reach the goal of showing one live horse show with Presto, I knew I was going to trailer to new places and I knew I was going to need to plan for that bad weather when I was doing the trail riding part. What happened for me is I could see some of the obstacles. Those are what I just gave you. I just gave you obstacles meaning like, how is he going to behave at new places? What am I going to do with bad weather? Any–an obstacle is anything that sounds like these words: challenging, difficulty, issue, worry, trouble, complication, mess, snag. My cold this week or whatever this is. So, not feeling well. These are obstacles. And then we get to figure out how we’re going to overcome those. Some you could plan ahead for. You probably could be like, Hey, I might have a sick week sometime during 2022. You could plan ahead for that or when it becomes obvious, you then get a chance to learn how you’re going to walk through it then. So even if you don’t know them all, you’re going to actually be making your map. So one of the reasons why my calendaring goal of being able to follow that calendar, exactly one of the reasons it took so many months was because I was uncovering all the things I didn’t know. It was not possible for me to write down everything the first week of January that I was going to have to do to be able to achieve the calendaring goal. I couldn’t say exactly the date that it would come to fruition. I could, however, say I’m going to do this every single day of 2021. And that’s what I did. That’s how I kept getting the traction. So let’s go back to Presto for a minute. One thing I didn’t know when I started hauling him because he’d been hauled in some but not hauled and ridden and he was getting really worked up when I was hauling him to places. So my initial idea of how much hauling I was going to have to do had to change. I had to plan extra trips. I actually had to do work around accepting the idea that I was not going to ride some of the times when I took him places because he was so worked up that I could feel I was going to be pushing on something where I’ve got a–I’ve got a safety line that I don’t want to cross and I won’t go somewhere and just get on and ride just because I should, or just because I’m Stacy Westfall and I should be able to dare to get on whatever, whenever. No, it doesn’t work like that for me. And I could see how upset he was, and I decided groundwork was going to be a better in those situations. And then I had to do the workaround. Are people going to judge me if I show up at this place and I decide not to ride? So I had to examine my thoughts and my judgments about what I’m making it mean if my horse is doing this. Because a lot of times we get it a little bit tangled up.
Stacy Westfall: [00:29:58] Can you guys see how easy it would be for my horse to be acting up and make it about me? So this is the work that I was having to do while I was in the middle of the year. Again, I’m going to mention it. I mentioned it a little bit earlier, but I think the extra challenge you have when you have goals with your horses, is there are two of you. That’s why in the podcast and a lot of places where I teach, I use what I came up with and called the four square model. The idea that you’ve got the rider’s mind and the horse’s mind, you’ve got the rider’s body and the horse’s body. So I just want to remind you, be kind to yourself. Because for me, with that goal, with Presto, there was me making the plan, showing up, doing the work, and then there’s me interpreting him and the way he’s showing up. And you can start to see how that can get a little bit tricky for people at times because they get a little bit hung up. And like, what does it mean if I’m off track? That could just be in your own mind like that. But what if–what does it mean if my horse, you know, looks like something’s going backwards? It’s not going quite as well. Like, you’ve got to be really aware that there’s a lot of these different pieces, and I’ve broken it into these four segments just so you can make sure that you step in and double-check. Like, is this something that your body needs more time to be educated with? Do you just not know what to do with your left hand in that moment? Is this in your mind? Is this in your horse’s mind? Is this an emotional thing that’s causing him to do this? Is this a physical thing in his body? Is he just weak? And so he can’t canter for 15 minutes because he’s just not physically fit for it. So you have to figure out this journey as you’re on it and be kind to yourself. What would you be willing to think and feel on the way to achieving your dream? I love that I just looked over at the Q&A and someone wrote, I hate, I hate writing, but I really want to do this because I want to reach my goal. I love that you said that because I’ve sent out an email recently sharing some feedback that somebody sent and they were like, I was very resistant to using this workbook. I took several days, I allowed myself to pick it up, put it down, write. I thought, I’m never going to be able to do it. Oh my gosh, it’s so worth doing this work because back in that four square model, you’re working on the stuff in your mind. And every day of the week, it doesn’t matter if it’s snowing out. It doesn’t matter if it’s too hot, too cold, too something. Even on the days that I was sick this week, I felt like I was doing good work on my mindset because the way I treated myself when I was sick is going to show up in the way that I treat myself when I’m setting goals with my horse. It is going to show up with how I’m going to respond to my life in general. So stretching yourself and putting things in writing, and I agree it’s it’s hard and I face that resistance all the time. It is so worth it because again, you’re–you’re changing the way that your brain looks at things. And there’s lots of studies out there that writing, like, especially physically writing in a journal on a piece of paper, is one of the pathways that changes some things. It helps you change things.
Stacy Westfall: [00:33:22] So what would you be willing to think? What would you be willing to feel? The reason I bring this up is because a lot of times when we’re looking at, this is a success story and don’t panic if it looks like a lot of words on the screen because I’m going to break it down for you. A lot of times we want to know how to get to the success story, but we kind of would like somebody to show us the path where it felt good the whole way. I have shared more recently in the last year on my podcast and things about some of my physical goals, like I wanted to be able to run a 5K a couple of years ago. Last year in 2021, I wanted to run a 10k. A lot of the reasons, the number one reason I have these physical fitness goals is because of wanting to show up strong to ride my horses. So it’s really interesting, though, when I think about the physical fitness goals, I think it was physically hard and mentally hard to go out there and do it, but I got stronger from the challenge. I think the challenge is to rewire how you look at failure, how you look at those things that feel like they’re setting you back. So this is one of the students in my courses. And Suki wrote, my understanding has been deepened. Looking at failures as something that happens regularly completely makes the amount of frustration I feel as I struggle with the old and the new concepts, it makes it make sense. I can see how understanding and acceptance of failure frees my mind to be present and open to failure as a stepping stone to new understandings and better communication between my horse and I. As I accept failure as part of the journey I don’t experience frustration, the anger, reactionary kind, nearly as often. When I do get frustrated by failure I recover more quickly because I know to expect it and I know where to go for help. Isn’t it super cool that you can actually take some of these critical, frustrated, annoyed, furious, indignant, resentful, worthless, inferior, inadequate, you can take some of those and you can do this rider’s mind, this mental work around this, and you could actually show up as a different person. And I think it’s a superpower to showing up with your horse in the way that you show up and you’re more forgiving to yourself, which ironically, Did you know that when you show up frustrated with yourself, you’re just kind of radiating frustration? And when you radiate that frustration, your horse ends up in that bubble and they’re just kind of like, I don’t think I want to be here and this isn’t going well. So, so much of this work is valuable to do because it impacts even directly when you’re working with the horses. I put this quote in here because until I was putting together this webinar, I didn’t realize who said the quote. I had heard it before and loved it, but I really, really think that a lot of times we have big goals, big dreams. A lot of times I think that we–this is so true. Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in 10.
Stacy Westfall: [00:37:02] So let’s go back to that goal that I had with my calendar. You know, when I set the goal to follow my calendar in my mind in January, when I set that goal, I was like, not a big deal. I mean, I’m going to follow it. It’s going to be a little bit of rinse and repeat. I’ll figure it out. I didn’t put a time frame on it, but I definitely didn’t think it was going to take like six months to get to the point of like the breakthrough that I did at six months and then nine months to get to the next breakthrough. I didn’t know that ahead of time, I thought I was going to figure it out much faster because I overestimated what I could do inside of a week. I kept overestimating how much I could accomplish in a week, but I have known that that consistency matters. It matters so much when you’re working with the horses. It’s that consistency over time. I know missing this week my brain wants to freak out and tell me I should just throw everything out and not even bother, but I know that at the end of this year, this one week won’t have made a huge difference. If I can keep myself mentally on track and still mine this for the information that’s there. Underestimating what they can do in 10 years resonates so strongly with me because that bareback bridleless ride photo that I showed you a little bit earlier, that was 10 years from the time I got run off with–with my horse. When I first thought about riding–I actually was in a halter, but I was thinking about heading toward bridleless. It was 10 years from that run off experience to me achieving the bareback and bridleless. So I think when you think about that big dream or the big “why” and then you’re breaking it down, I want you to continue to make sure that dance of the big “why”. Learn everything I can about horses be an example of what’s possible the biggest “why” that you have. That’s a little bit more vague. Make sure that your goals for this year line up and support it, because as simple as that is, just making sure that that’s going to kind of line up and support it, it’s amazing how much traction you can get over time.
Stacy Westfall: [00:39:21] Going to check the Q&A real quick. Yes. So with the feeling wheel I can make sure that that is put somewhere where you can see it. I’ll tell you this, though. I love the feeling wheel because I love how pretty it’s displayed. I also have several–if you just Google like feelings, you can get lots of printouts that have lots of different clusters, and the printouts that are in columns aren’t as pretty as the wheel. But a lot of times the printouts and columns have a lot more words on it and a lot of what I do, whether it’s using the feeling wheel– so inside of my–inside of the–the riding bundle course–like this is a workbook. This is the Train Your Own Horse With Confidence workbooks. It’s in there. And one of the things that’s in there is that feeling wheel. Excuse me while I cough. So there are definitely places you can find it, and I’d get real familiar with the different words. One of the reasons I encourage riders to do this is because a lot of times people don’t understand how they have just a few go-to feelings that they practice a lot. It is so cool to Google a bunch of feeling words and figure out some new ones you want to try on. And I’m going to share those with you in just a minute when I share some of the work I’m doing on my 2022 goals. So long story short, even if I don’t get the wheel right up because I’m trying to think where I’m going to put it, but even if I don’t get that right up to you, what I want you to know is you can Google a list of the words and you can find feeling word lists that are super helpful for learning how to be able to identify and come up with a lot of these different words. It’s one of my favorite things that I do. So shat I’ve covered so far is all the stuff in orange and so we’ve talked a little bit about like why set the goal, why of why people avoid setting them, why they stop trying. Knowing your big “why” is that dream part, like kind of remembering why, because the dream to me drives it. And then remember, right now you’re going to write down some obstacles. You’re not going to know them all. The work is setting the goal, writing down the obstacles you know, going out and taking action–this is all outlined in the workbook and I’ll pull up the workbook in a minute–It’s all lined up in there where then you go and you start taking action and then you go, Oh, here’s another obstacle. I’m going to be sick this week. Didn’t see that coming. How am I going to adjust for that? What’s my strategy? How am I going to handle that? Can I still make this useful in some way?
Stacy Westfall: [00:42:11] I’m going to talk for just a minute about how you can work with me in 2022, if that’s something you’re interested in doing. Then we’re going into the Q&A and that little bonus I mentioned at the beginning. So if you have riding goals, so if you have goals that involve riding your horse this year, I’m not–I’m not focusing on groundwork in this, I’m focusing on riding. I can help with the program that I’ve created where in this riding bundle I’m showing you how to be effective with your rein aids. I’m showing you how to effectively use your leg aids in conjunction with your rein aids. I’m teaching you how to understand the process from the horse’s point of view. I talk about it like horses move from kindergarten up through high school, up to college. I explain how even the same rein aids look a little bit different in their presentation. A lot of the confusion that people have come from the fact that they’re not viewing it like the horse is actually going through changes as they understand more. And I give you tools like this workbook that I was just talking to you about. I give you these tools where you can understand your–the role of thoughts. My focus in February is going to be all on feelings and thoughts, and I’m going to teach a lot of that inside of the course in February with a lot of live classes because I want you to understand the role of your thoughts as you’re working with the horse. So the riding bundle includes my two masterclasses, and when I was scrolling through, there was somebody over here who was like, I want to achieve flying lead changes, but I don’t know how–I don’t know all the steps and how to ride it. So what’s interesting is this is such a complete program because first I made the Complete Guide to Improving Steering and Teaching Neck Reining. And then I made Establishing Collection and Introducing Lead Changes and they hook right together. They move from one to the other. Then I put, Whoa, and then I’m doing all these live calls, I’m doing lifetime access to these courses, 30-day money-back guarantee, live group coaching multiple times a month, the Train Your Own Horse with Confidence workbook, video reviews inside of there, so you get to see students and you get to be a student who’s getting your videos reviewed. And the reason I think it’s interesting is because inside especially–because Jennifer, no Jackie asked about the lead changes. It’s so step-by-step I actually made that course by having students go through it. So you actually watch students train their own horses. I didn’t want you to be able to say, Yeah but that’s Stacy on her horse doing it. You actually watch students training their own horses. It’s super cool. And you’ll see people getting their videos reviewed this year in 2022 inside riding bundle, people who are working on it, so you could see the common problems. It’s live and happening already. This is another piece of student feedback. Laurie said, This is just what I needed for this winter. She’s going to find it really useful in the summer too, but she just sent this in. Accountability to step outside my comfort zone, to brave the cold and be more consistent with my training, and work with Gracie. She’s in there, she’s participating. More student feedback. The audio ride guides have been invaluable as I like having your coaching in my ear. So inside there, I’ve got these things you can actually download like–like little podcasts and I’m coaching you riding through the pattern. So I’m reminding you don’t touch the inside rein, to the neck right now. Are you leaning? She’s also enjoyed the three Zoom calls that she’d attended at that point, learned so much. The questions that she has are being answered inside of there. That’s what I’m doing. I’m also so excited about doing this because I really want to get people taking action, and I know that with the four square model, I know with the rider’s mind, the rider’s body, changing your muscle memory, the horse’s mind, the horse’s body, the horse going like, who are you and why are you using new techniques today? I know that this is something that takes some time, so I’m committing to showing up inside of here and coaching people live inside the riding bundle every month in 2022, multiple times a month. And I was like, How can I get people to participate more? So I created this form in there where you can submit your questions, your videos, and I’m actually rewarding people who participate by watching the courses and participating, they’re going to earn entries to win this saddle, which I think is crazy cool. I also think it shows that I’m all in on getting you guys results. Now we’re at the part where the workbook, reminder if you want it, you can jump over to my website Stacy Westfall. There’s an orange button that says, download the workbook. You can go there and do it right then automatically. It’s a really amazing book. I’m going to go through ane answer this. I’m tempted to pull it up right now, but I kind of don’t want to take the time right now so maybe if we have a little bit at the end. But totally get it, it’s self-explanatory, you can walk down through it. And I think the coolest thing to remember about the workbook is that it’s a 21-day thing, and every time you go through it, you’re going to get better at doing it. It’s going to become a habit. It’s the same structure that I use for my yearly goals, but it’s broken down into a smaller goal because I think when you see it working inside of that twenty-one day period, you’ll understand the theory so you can expand it to the year or you can contract it down. And I’m going to tell you in just a minute how I’m using it.
Stacy Westfall: [00:48:08] This is where the questions you have about your goals and the questions you have about obstacles,this is the time to type them in here because I will be answering them. But I want to make sure that I get to the question that was sent in ahead of time. Here’s the question. It says from the email, it said, I’m looking forward to Saturday’s goal-setting webinar. Thank you for offering this. I have one question slash curiosity and interest about hearing more about the goal you talked about on your part 2 recent podcast about creativity. It’s harder to quantify, but maybe so important to the joy we have with our horses. I love your curiosity. Keep it coming. Thanks again, Catherine. I wanted to give you guys–and if you’re if you haven’t listened to the podcast, you can go and download that anywhere. You can go on the website and you can you can do that. And it’s really kind of cool because you hear me talking with a friend and unpacking like, Oh, there’s–I’m hitting some kind of a wall. So I want to talk you through a little bit of that because a lot of times people are like, OK, you’re making this make sense because I’m hitting something similar. What I went through was I sat down to set my goals for 2022 and I noticed a feeling of resistance to one of the goals that I wrote down. And the goal that I wrote down was to get my silver medal with Willow. So what I had to do was I had to recognize there was a feeling of resistance. I could’ve just written the goal down on a piece of paper and kept going. But a lot of times we don’t reach our goals because we’re not doing this process right here. Like this is what I did. I thought, Why am I having that resistance? You actually hear me talk it–talk through it with Suzi because I think sometimes you actually need somebody to help you bounce things back and forth sometimes if you hit this. That’s what I’m going to be doing inside some of the coaching calls inside the riding bundle. We’re going to start doing thought work on some of those, where we’re talking through these problems. What I realized was I needed to answer the question, What am I making it mean? This silver medal. Why do I have the goal of the silver medal? Why did I set it at all? What else do I want to do if it’s not the silver medal, what else? This is interesting. When I answered the question, what else? I had to then also answer in my own–This is what I did I was like, how are these two goals the same? The goal that seems like it’s different than the silver medal, how are they different? So this is the deeper dive that I took into it. I noticed the resistance. I asked myself the question Why do I have that goal? Suzi helped me clarify a lot in that podcast that maybe I had just set that goal because it’s the next rung on the ladder, meaning there’s a system in dressage and you work your way up through. And that really resonated with me. That made me like, Oh, yeah, like that. Yeah, I mean, I was like, I did my bronze, next comes silver. That’s what you do. Now, what that freed me up to realize is, what am I making it mean? What I was making it mean was I shouldn’t change a goal once I have that thought. Once I have the thought of that, I shouldn’t change it. I don’t want to be a quitter. Am I quitting? I had to do thought workaround like quitting versus pivoting, changing, allowing myself to change, allowing myself to know whether or not I even really wanted that. Of course, I could force myself through something. It’s actually not going to be a super pleasant experience for me or my horse, but it’s possible. But I want I don’t want to operate like that, so I have to do this work of getting clear. What else do I want? You heard me say, I want creativity. I want exploration. How are these the same? How is this like creative idea goal the same as what I’ve been doing, so I realized I’ve been exploring different disciplines, I’ve been doing the exploration. I’ve been going to multiple shows. The creativity is the piece that felt like it was a little bit more lost. And I also said I’ve given myself all the way through the end of January to like, figure out how I’m going to measure this creativity thing. What is it that I’m looking for here if it’s not like something super crystal clear, like my silver medal goal? So how are they the same? I can see some of the exploration, for sure. Maybe not quite as much creativity. There’s been some creativity in how I’ve reached my dressage goals. What is different? The number one thing I’ve come up with that’s different between what I’ve done in the last few years with my goals that were heavily related to shows, one of the biggest differences is I’ve been measuring my goals with show attendance. You heard me say it a minute ago with Presto. So then I come back to this and I go, OK, my yearly goal is something around–notice the question marks? It’s something around explore the relationship and connection idea at a deeper level. Ok. That sounds a little bit like a dream. Can you hear how it sounds a little bit like it’s floating up there? So then it’s like, but how can I make this actionable and measurable? How could I take this dreamy feeling thing that’s not crystal clear, like just go to the next rung of the ladder, how can I take that and make it actionable? So I know I’m going to be looking at monthly, weekly, and daily. And the more clear I can get on that, the better. Here’s something I know from past experience, like the experience I gained from doing my calendaring goal and fail. You guys have been going through your life and make sure you remember when you have success in one area of your life, like calendaring or weight loss or exercise or healthy eating, or whatever the different choices you’ve made. If there’s an area you have gained skill in don’t be afraid to crisscross that with the horses. So I happen to know that if I’m going to do this, I need to. The more theoretical the goal is, like this explore the relationship and connection idea. The more theoretical that is–here’s the twist–the more measurable the small steps need to be. Let’s go backwards. Let’s look at the daily action. So a daily action where I could measure something like confidence, like connection, like relationship. One idea for being able to measure that would be to journal daily about the discoveries I made. Here’s what I discovered January 1st. Here’s what I discovered January 2nd. If I do that three hundred and sixty five days, I guarantee I’m going to have a different outlook on relationship connection, whatever the words are. Creativity, confidence, any of those are going to be explored more from that activity.
Stacy Westfall: [00:55:19] Now, when I look at it, I’ve been doing a lot of stuff with horses for a lot of years. I know one of the key things here is also going to be scheduling my horse time and altering my schedule every week. Because the challenge of having a more theoretical goal, like exploring relationship and connection is that it feels like you could skip it and maybe it’ll still work because how much time does it take? I mean, you might know how much time it takes to like, go get ready for a horse show, but it’s more fuzzy than that. So maybe it doesn’t take as much time. I think the reverse is true. I think when you’re exploring relationship, if you want to explore relationship, think about people who want to do that when they’re dating because they want to get married. Does it take more time? It takes time to develop and explore relationship. So this will probably end up being a very time and journaling-oriented goal-setting measurable thing. Now I can leave myself flexibility so I can say something like my monthly goal would be to pick an area of interest. So maybe that–maybe that fills my creativity need. Maybe my creativity shows up in the things that I pick on a monthly basis. But I do have to have things that are going to anchor it into a daily and a weekly and I know this from past experience on setting goals, and this is how I know that I’m going to be able to take something like exploring relationship and connection and be able to make it much more measurable.
Stacy Westfall: [00:56:58] I really hope that helps answer the question. I’m going to jump over here and go through some of these–some of these questions. Yes. Somebody’s like I screenshotted the feeling wheel on my iPad. Great idea, Lisa. I saw the feeling wheel earlier. It’s lovely. Now I want one. How do you overcome nerves? I’m good at practicing, but competition my nerves get the best of me. Oh, I guarantee. Let’s, let’s see if I can–let me go back to this. You’ve got to figure out some of these questions, like, what am I making it mean? What am I making this show mean? Because for me, for sure, like the show nerves, it’s like, Am I going to look like a fool? You know, is, is blah blah blah going to happen? Is so and so going to watch? Like, there’s so many, there’s so many of these things that when you start gaining awareness of how your–what–what am I making this show mean? Because you’re saying like, my practice at home is fine, but I go to the competition my nerves–start chasing down the nerves. Start writing down the feelings in your body. My hands are sweating. My stomach is tight. I couldn’t eat. My breathing is shallow. Start doing the work around tying together those feelings. My shoulders roll forward. I can’t think clearly. And then you can start unraveling them and try to figure out where they’re coming from. Ok, I’m going to take a deep breath. Ok that makes me my thoughts flare up like a fire. And now I realized that I’m really nervous because, you know, of who the judge is or who’s watching. Or, you know, am I going to be able to do better than next time? Start chasing these down because it’s these questions that I’ve put back up on the screen here that are going to be key to you figuring out where those feelings are coming from. Ok. How do I narrow goals down? I have some big goals. Improve, health, spend time with my horse, better time mother, but–and then under those are one hundred goals. Ok, I’m going to quit resisting the urge and I’m going to do it. Let me pull this up for just a minute. Here’s that workbook that I was just telling you about. So what you’re going to find in this workbook is you’re going to find my ideas on these goal-setting things and then I want–I give you some breakdown of like–like, I give you an example. So like for–let’s just grab your, you know, spend time with my horse. That one can be a calendaring goal. And would you be willing to do what I did? Would you be willing to do it every calendar, every single week for the year to try to learn what you need to learn about calendaring? Would you be able–would you calendar I’m going to be with my horse these days each week, this amount of time each week and on Sunday I’m going to write down how I’m going to put that in. So you start doing it and then you start noticing, I didn’t show up on Tuesday for my horse when I said I was going to. Why didn’t I? So you start unpacking and figuring this out. Those are how you start to turn those obstacles. And I give you examples that come from actual students in here. You’re going to write down and every time you go through these, a lot of these obstacles, that’s what you’re going to start figuring out how you’re going to make a plan. Could be something as simple as a recovery plan. When I miss a day, this is how I’m going to treat myself. This is what I notice I’m doing. I’m beating myself up. I’m being mean, I’m giving up. This is what I’m going to do differently next week, tomorrow, whatever that is. And then you’re going to start to gain some momentum to understanding like, look at some of these, some of these things. It says, if I miss a day, I’m tempted to skip another one. I’m afraid I’ll make a mistake and mess up my horse. These are some of the obstacles that you’ll start coming up with. And what’s fascinating about it is a lot of times we think that the obstacles are things like, I don’t know how to physically cue my horse for a change. Well, heck yeah, that’s true. That could definitely be possible. I’m going to stop sharing, but this is like the final like you could–you could go find this. We can–we can download. I’m going to share this other screen again. Real quick. Whoops. Not with that button I’m not. You want to make sure that you keep doing the work and showing up day after day because those obstacles begin to point you towards your common thoughts and common action things. So if you don’t know how to do a lead change, that’s where you might need to learn the steps by steps. But if you’re not showing up to execute the steps, that might be in your mind. So that’s why the–the body–like what does the horse’s body have to do to create a lead change? Where does my body have to be? What does my horse have to understand? What do I need to understand? Those are technical things that are in like my lead change course. So they’re technical things that you can find the answers to. Then you’re going to find out why you’re not showing up to do the work if that’s where you’re struggling. So it’s really all about unpacking all of these. And then Jolie, if you’re really struggling, a lot of times get traction on one goal. Get traction or one goal in a twenty-one-day period. Like just do it with time spend or just decide how you’re going to measure whatever that is. Like, let’s do time spent with your horse. Just work on that one, because here’s the massive skill that I can’t even like tell you how awesome it is. Once you figure out how to do this in one area–it could be keeping your office clean. It could be like keeping your kitchen cabinets, you know, orderly or what. It doesn’t matter, like these goals, if you conquer one area that doesn’t even seem like it’s related, you will gain traction in other areas because of the skills that you learn.
Stacy Westfall: [01:03:09] Ok, I see somebody else is like, I don’t really have like a theme. I have like attend a clinic, trail ride a couple of times, desensitize with tarps. Do I need a yearly theme? How do I find it? First of all, no, you don’t have to have a yearly theme, but you can put them all together. Like you could write down attend clinics, trail ride a couple of times a week, do more desensitizing with tarps and umbrella. You can just on one side of paper you could just write down all those things and then you can start just on the other side, like why? Why do you want to attend a clinic? Why do you want a trail ride two times a week? Why do you want to desensitize with the tarp? Why do you want to desensitize with an umbrella? What are you going to make it mean if you accomplish this? What are you going to make it meanif you don’t? And what’ll happen is you’ll start to uncover why you want these things and then you may or may not have a theme. Like there’s been years where I’ve only been real kind of goal-oriented with it and there’s other times that I’ve had this theme felt like more of the driver. I really do both all the time now because I love how it feels. I feel like I need to do many different things with my horse. Ok, Jill, you’re in the bundle. You’re like, I’ve watched a lot. I feel like I need to do so many different things with my horses. How do I incorporate it? Yes, the workbook inside the course is the Train Your Horse with Confidence workbook and the daily work in the back of that workbook, if you could take a look at that right now in the next few weeks or whatever, February I’m going to, I’m going to lead you guys through that. And it’s very purposeful on understanding that the idea that it feels like so much. Like those are some thoughts that we’re having that are going to impact us different ways, and I’m going to show you how to break it down step by step. So that’s February’s work. So January’s work has been about like evaluating, figuring out where you are, setting your goals. February’s work is going to be very focused on getting you guys aware on a daily basis.
Stacy Westfall: [01:05:08] So thank you guys so much. It was super fun to come and join you. Thank you for tolerating my stuffiness and my occasional muting of the microphone while I was coughing. I’m so thankful that you spent the time here with me. Make sure you get the workbook. I know it’s work to do it, but you can count it. You could make a little checklist. You could be like, I did that. But what’s so funny is you could start changing the wiring in your brain. You could start changing the way that you think about goal setting. And I’m telling you, it’s these little incremental things like exploring the resistance. I still have resistance to going out and working my horses some days. I’m not like Mary Poppins, happy over here the whole time, but I go over to do it. Like, sometimes I go like, I don’t feel like working my horses today, but I go out and I do it because I know that me three months from now is going to be happy that I’ve put in the time that I did. So thank you guys for spending the time with me today, and I’ll talk to you again in an upcoming call.
Stacy Westfall: [01:06:13] I know that this has been a little bit longer episode than what I’ve been putting out recently. I hope you enjoyed it, and I hope you were inspired to take action. Go over to my website and download the workbook and the PDF. Especially if, like me, the weather is bad or you’re not feeling great. These actions can be some of the things that keep you going, and the last thing I want to share with you here is from a listener. I referenced it in that recording, and here is what Terry wrote. Happy New Year, Stacy. I’m sitting at my desk today, New Year’s Day, working through the goal-setting packet. I loved the webinar you hosted yesterday and I’m so excited to be working with you via the riding bundle. I have to say that I have not had very good success in the past with goal setting. Your recent podcasts and yesterday’s webinar helped clarify for me why that is. The first thing I caught myself saying is I’m not good at goal setting. After listening to podcast Episode 161, The Power of I Don’t Know How I’ve changed my self-talk. Every time I catch myself thinking I’m not good at, I change that self-talk to, I’m new to or I’m learning how to. This change in thinking is full of grace and gentleness. When I sat down to complete the goals packet, my initial thought was to quit or rather do it in my head, not on paper. Paper is so hard. But after your goal-setting webinar, I found new motivation. It’s taken me two full days to complete it and a lot of putting it down, walking away, deep thought, soul searching kind of stuff. As I muddled through it and came to the obstacles/skills page, my thought was, Well, how the heck do I know the skill? That’s why it’s an obstacle. Even so, I committed to giving it a try, and to my astonishment, I was able to devise a skill for every obstacle I wrote down. My theme for the year is faith with courage. This exercise helped show me I can have faith in myself. I am competent and capable, and when I don’t have the skill or ability to accomplish something, I do have the ability to find a path forward. This has been such an eye-opening experience for me. I’m looking forward to seeing who I am at the end of the year, but I’m also looking forward to each step along the way. Thank you for your commitment to helping others have a very blessed new year. Terry S. Terry, you are so welcome. I’m honored to be part of Terry’s journey and yours as well. Thanks for listening, and I’ll talk to you again in the next episode.
Announcer: [01:09:18] If you enjoy listening to Stacy’s podcast, please visit stacywestfall.com for articles, videos, and tips to help you and your horse succeed.
Links mentioned in podcast:
Free Goal Setting Starter Kit: Goal Setting Workbook, Feeling Wheel & Awareness PDF, and more
Riding Bundle: Two Masterclasses, one classic and live coaching multiple times per month in 2022
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