Monday, December 21, 2015

Goals Achieved at Year's End

In January, I set some guideline goals for myself for the year. They were more general than specific for a good reason - it made them a little easier to achieve.

In July, I checked in at the half-way point for these goals. While the year had its ups and downs, I was really on-track with where I wanted to be.

So now, to bring things full circle, I want to check back in and wrap everything up.

Happiness - 

My happy place. One of them anyway.
I am happier than I have been in years and years. Maybe happier than I've ever been. I'm content. I'm relaxed. I'm rarely hard on myself. I am proud of what I've accomplished and I hardly take time to dwell on things I wish I did/didn't do/etc. Happiness has become a habit - a really wonderful habit. Once you form a habit, it is easier to maintain it, which is just what I've done. I foresee continuing this habit for many years to come.

Health for myself and the animals -

As I noted in July, yoga slacked off with the summer months. It's more of a winter thing for me as I tend to stick to more mobile activities through the summer. As predicted, with winter I'm picking yoga back up again.

I even led several times this year. My head is in a better place every year -
though in this picture I was second-guessingmyself before I clipped the
rope into the second draw at the end of the climb. Classic Liz-brain
freak-out here.

I climbed more than I had in years this year. Didn't hurt that I had a full-time climbing partner for the first time in a very, very long time. My days climbed rivaled my ski days - just what I wanted! In addition, I picked up mountain biking this year. I still love it and very much plan to continue pursuing it next year for both the enjoyment of the sport itself and because it lends greatly to rider fitness!

I've purchased a bike trainer so I can continue to gain exercise benefits from my bike through the winter months. I'm already utilizing it multiple evenings a week. (Something to be grateful for since I've only seen one day of snow (<1 inch) so far this season!)

Mountain biking on December 14. Should have snow but we're doing this instead.

Kenai's health had quite an obvious bobble, but we moved onward and over that hurdle. We're maintaining steadily on the other side. It's been such a saga, but I have learned a ton. Ultimately, I have a very happy dog now - which I am so very grateful for! His only want is for snow to better enjoy himself in...

The horses have continued to be par for the course. I'm very pleased with their weights going into winter.

Q's fitness is fabulous. I am going to strive to maintain it through the winter and then fine-tune it in the summer. This should be achievable while still allowing ample rest as she has done incredible with the schedule of riding for longer amounts of time but on fewer days. We're striving for 1 or 2 rides per month until March rolls around.

Griffin's fitness is great, but I will fine tune him through the winter. I'd like to install a few new buttons and new skills before spring that will help trim him down some as his belly is still a hair on the chubby side. (Don't tell him!)

Budget -

I'm right on-track for the most part. I'm pleased with where I am. I'm not struggling greatly, but it would be awesome to have ski season begin so I can bring in a little extra for a few months!

Slow Down -

West Virginia through the seasons as seen through my eye and lens this year.
What a beautiful place to call home. <3
L to R Top: En route to Bald Knob on a -14 degree day;
vista of Canaan Valley from Timberline ski slopes; honeysuckle
L to R Middle: Canaan Valley; Blackwater Canyon from Pace Point;
single track trail in Canaan Valley
L to R Bottom: Mule Hole on the Cheat River; fall foilage on Bald Knob;
Roaring Plains in Dolly Sods
Knitting, reading, crafting, cooking, and photography. The knitting is about the only thing I haven't done much of only because I'm just not feeling it lately! The other things though? Definitely have excelled in all of them this year! Instagram has been great for my photography - aided by living in such a beautiful place that I've been so active in this year. <3 West Virginia.

Horse-specific -

My hands down favorite photo ever of Q and I.
One of very few photos where I think Q is accurately represented.
Becky Pearmany Photography - used with purchase
Q - Is by and large in a MUCH better place mentally than she's been in years. Our partnership has strengthened a lot, too. While our competition season was shorter than planned, it went well and she completed both rides sound and happy with lots of gas in the tank. We will be moving up in distance next year as long as winter maintenance goes well.

My favorite photo of Griffin and I jumping to date. 
Griffin - He has been sound, strong, and happy all year. We didn't pursue a single competitive event as I'd hoped, but I'm totally okay with letting that slide. Honestly, the budget couldn't have handled it. Next year I will definitely be pursuing something competitive with him be it jumping, endurance, or something entirely different. I adore this grey horse. I can't wait to start doing more with him.

This horse has come so far thanks to the time I've put in on him.
My riding - The lessons 1x a month didn't happen for financial reasons. I DID take a lesson in October though with a dressage instructor in Virginia. I drove 5 hours round trip for that lesson. While I thought I could financially handle it once a month, I'm not so sure of that right now. $65 for a 45 minute lesson plus 5 hours in the car? That's quite a deficit to my wallet and my time. I may take more lessons, but I don't know with what frequency. It's so hard to commit to when all decent instructors are >2 hours away from me one-way.

The jumping photo above thrills me. There are still so many things for me to tweak and perfect, but damnit, for a self-taught "backyard" rider, I think I'm doing damn good. My horse is happy and willing, too, which speaks volumes, IMHO. I'll continue to work on things because learning is a forever thing, but I'm quite pleased with my progress this year. I'm not nearly as defensive as I once was and overall, riding a jumping horse becomes more "second nature" each ride than it was before.

Additionally, photos of Griffin this year have been so plentiful. He has come so far -- but second to his transformation is mine as a rider. I've learned so much more about riding thanks to this horse. It is so incredible to think about where I was vs. where I am now. I'd really like to commit myself to auditing some clinics this year and taking more lessons; time is the issue though, and it is hard to say how things will fall into place right now.

30 before 30 goals -

I went skydiving. It was awesome. I plan to do more and potentially get licensed to go on my own one day in the future when money is a little more free. (Haha, is money ever easier to come by? I suspect not!)

I've mastered multiple chords on my mandolin and can play several songs. I'll be taking a few lessons this winter to hopefully learn a few more things that are harder to pick up on my own. I'm marking this goal as "achieved" because I can play it, I'm just limited in how many things!

All in All - 

A very successful year so far as goals were concerned! I expect my 2016 to be very similar goal-wise with little changes. I love where I am at and will mostly seek to maintain this balance into the future. Happiness and healthiness are paramount to all else for me. Having those two things leads to a wealth of other opportunities.


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