Begin as you mean to go on, and go on as you began.
In 2023, I used the first half of this quote as a mantra for things both large and small. For example, I tried to begin each riding lesson as I wanted it to go on: forward, with a positive attitude and an open mind. I also began new habits I wanted to establish long-term, like half an hour of intentional exercise and applying sunscreen every day. I was pretty successful, at least by my own measure. Madigan and I understand each other better and solidify our partnership every ride. Story and I are learning to speak the same language – my hunter is rusty and her dressage is very basic, but we both know trail riding and foxhunting. I managed to get a workout in on 345 of 365 days. (I was less successful with remembering to apply sunscreen.)
This year, I want to go on as I began. I want to carry the momentum I established last year forward. I am notoriously bad at setting goals, much to my trainer’s bemusement. (“But Stephanie,” she’ll say, “don’t you want to get your bronze medal?”) My goals are as basic and unexciting as ever this year: ride more frequently, row more than I did last year, remember to apply sunscreen, work on one home improvement project every month, mail birthday cards to friends. What can I say – I like goals that are low stress and achievable!
I’m looking forward to 2024, and I hope you are too. Happy New Year from Hand Gallop!