Habits, Good or Bad

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Does anybody else have their next day planed before going to sleep? How common is it being a regimented planner, or do most people get up and let their day simply unfold?

I can’t imagine doing that, not even on vacation.

Since grade school, I’ve made daily, weekly, monthly, even seasonal lists. My theory for how this started relates to my horse competing and training days.

Oh so long ago, at age seven, I got my first pony. Star, and I are pictured above.

My parents didn’t have a horse background. Check out my Bio Page for how this came about. Our family lived in the city, so the little gelding was boarded at a local stable.

I fell in love with everything horse, and by age 10, I entered my first Barrel Racing event.

Passion kept escalating, and it became apparent I wasn’t going through a phrase like people suspected. In a few years I out-grew the Shetland, and a slightly bigger gelding, an ex-chariot racing pony replaced him.

There never was money for riding lessons, so I read all I could, listened, observed, and studied others who rode at the stable. Occasionally, I would ask an experienced mentor at the barn questions. With trial and error, I began the self-taught venture of re-training my racy mount and honing my horsemanship skills.

Learning this way came with great benefits, I gained a feel, or understanding of horses. Often, I could sense changes in their behavior before they became issues.

Together, the feisty Welsh-Thoughbred and I became accomplished at showing in Western Pleasure, Equitation and Trail classes.

As a teen I worked part time and saved for a young, unbroke, registered Quarter Horse. My parents surprised me when they paid the remainder owing and had him delivered on my fourteenth birthday.

For me, this is where planning and setting goals really began. Still, without outside help the gelding and I worked hard. Together we learned, and became a very competitive and successful duo in Western and English flat classes, Jumping, Driving and even gymkhana events.

Many other horses and breeds followed in my almost 40 years of showing and training.

I believe daily goal lists began because of the need to plan and schedule conditioning and fine tuning between shows. It was vital to have horses peak at the right times while giving them their deserved down time too.

I may no longer strive to perfect a horse’s training but the habit of making, to do lists, carried into all aspects of life.

I thought this behavior might ease when we retired at the lake but it hasn’t. What has changed are items on my, to do list. They’re simpler, mostly hobbies, crafts and chores. I’m not as structured, getting distracted from a chore happens often and is no big concern. Some things remain on a list for long periods before getting checked off.

But a day without getting even the smallest thing accomplished feels like a wasted day for me.

Do you plan your day or week in advance?

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