But seriously, even though I had no goals for 2016 and just three resolutions, I feel like even those simple resolutions ended up being very worthwhile. My first two goals of either working out for 20 minutes or riding and also stretching EVERY SINGLE DAY has been much more successful than I would have ever predicted. I think I have something like 98% compliance with a few days off for medical testing or heavy illness. My back has not bothered me at all in 2016 and I notice my cardio and core fitness are much better. This now feels like a habit. Just something I plan for and do and I notice it helps me ride much more consistently to avoid working out. Just saying.
My other goal of getting my carbs under control has not been as successful. Don't get me wrong, I haven't gained weight, I'm right in the middle of normal BMI, and I am basically pretty healthy(knock on wood!) but I have 10 pounds around my middle I would love to lose for health and also vanity. That said, my husband doesn't care and my blood work/pressure is great, so maybe some of this is a lack of real motivation. I really struggle with the carbs. If I go super low I lose weight, feel good, and eventually my thyroid starts to act up. If I go more moderate carbs, I crave more carbs, pack that extra 10 around, and I sleep better and my thyroid works great. Not a terrible place to be, but a definite impasse.
You might rightly ask yourself what the heck this has to do with dressage biomechanics. I'm a big believer in global habits. That the things you do in real life reflect into your horse life and vice versa. Since I have gotten away from setting specific test or show goals for riding and have focused on riding 3-4 days per week and getting better quality of work at a lower level, my personal habits have been my focus for a couple of years. My overall goal with Jet is to learn to be a better, more correct rider with a willing and harmonious partner, not to get to a certain level or show. Tristan Tucker's TRT Method and Karen Rohlf's Dressage Naturally have helped tremendously with this in the past year. I feel like everything I am learning with Jet will be so useful if I do ever decide to show again or buy a more purpose bred dressage horse. So, I really feel that we are on track, I am learning a ton, and in a few years when the kids are in college I will have some deeper knowledge and some fun opportunities. None of this leads to specific goals like ride this level or test at this show though. But maybe that is a good thing since I am kind of hyper focused? The horse does seem a lot happier now while making some good progress.
Anyway, since the crazy has to come out some way, here are my three resolutions for 2017:
1) Watch a Dressage Naturally video before every ride. I find when I do this, the DN principles are at the forefront of my mind and I tend to have even better rides. Hard to make myself do, but many of the videos are short and thus it is a do-able, tangible, way improve my riding and training.
2) Take my exercise or ride every day to 40 minutes by June (I am now at 25) on the exercise days. Keep the stretching every day and also add in a yoga podcast once or twice a week. Not looking forward to this to be honest, but it is do-able.
3) Whole 30 for 30 days in January and see if that helps me with my carb craving issue. The key is to dial back the carbs while not going too low and doing a cheat day once a month. This will be tough. One last try at low-medium carb in the Whole 30 format. We shall see.
What are your New Year's resolutions and goals? What have been your previous successes? Jet and I would love to know!