The slate is cleared and it is a time for new beginnings (as opposed to old beginnings?!). The chapter of our lives titled "2010" is complete and now it is time to write the new one -- "2011".
A fact lost on too many of my students is that good writing always has a plan or an outline -- and so it is with this new chapter of our lives. Some people do not like to establish goals for a New Year -- why not?! The only way to hope for an "A+" on this new chapter is to start off with a plan.
Goals should be realistic, specific, and measurable; it is also helpful to have short-term goals, even if they are intermediate steps towards loftier ones. We should reflect on the reasons we want to achieve the goals, and even write those down to remind ourselves when the barriers to achievement start raising their persuasive arguments.
Finally, it is important to remember that we are human and that the path to our goal may be fraught with detours -- no matter! Just keep your eye on the goal and keep chugging -- detours are simply another way to arrive.
I have Hopes and Wishes for 2011 in various areas of my life, and they are written down with specific action plans. For example, I want to propose a presentation for a large 2012 veterinary conference; this is a work-related intermediate goal towards a larger goal of having a strong tenure application next fall. Note that I did not say, "get the proposal accepted" because I cannot control that -- all I can do is control whether I submit a strong proposal by the deadline in February.
I want to share the Kaibab dog goals with this caveat -- I have time and expertise to achieve these goals but not everyone does and that is okay. Ten years ago I could not have listed most of these -- the place we are in our lives opens some doors and keeps others firmly closed. For example, raising a family requires one to be focused in that direction and does not permit one to have extensive dog goals -- that is just how it needs to be (for now).
And so please understand that no goal of yours is insignificant -- achievement is not measured against others because none of us have equal lives, strengths, or priorities. I raised three kids and went to school/worked, and then added three more kids. I have paid my dues and now it is my turn to chase my dreams, and if this is not your time yet -- don't worry because it will happen for you as well. But whatever you are doing now -- it is important and it matters and don't compare yourself to anyone else.
And so because I am kid-free (and remember I had two kids before I was 21 so it is about time I am kid-free!! ) and I finally have a dream house with room to train and I have a great job that I love and a great husband -- here are the crazily ambitious Kaibab 2011 Dog Hopes and Wishes...
I already shared that Maize's goal is to have fun and do fun things -- but there is more. My hope for Maize is that she is able to teach all of us things we need to learn as we walk with her towards the end of her life. Maize is not done with the accomplishments of her lifetime -- none of us ever are.
Halo deVil (aka My Little Calico Dog)
I took most of these pictures this morning, including that one. Halo LOVES that crate and thinks hanging out in there is most fun. She had just finished growling at Mac who dared to lay down close to it, oblivious to the fact that he had crossed the invisible crate door boundary :)
Anyway, Halo is eight -- what is your eight year old doing? Obviously one hope/wish is that Halo is alive and happy throughout the year -- that is a given for all dogs so let me say that now. But getting older does not mean becoming useless -- Halo's goals for 2011 are as follows:
1. Earn her OAP (an agility title), thereby becoming a BMDCA Working Dog Excellent (Goal #2).
3. Earn her NFP (another agility title).
4. Earn her RE (rally title).
Cadi is going to (hopefully) have her second and last litter this year, and that will take up the first half of 2011. Once the litter is done and placed, Cadi has to get busy to achieve these goals:
1. Earn her CDX (obedience title), thereby becoming a Working Dog Excellent (Goal #2)
3. Earn additional agility titles (OAP and OAJ) to become a VCD 2 (Goal #4).
Asia's goal is probably to make her pesty little sister go away! I have different hopes and wishes for her -- she is going to be a bit of a specialist this year, concentrating on tracking (especially through August) with other things added in just a bit.
1. Earn the VST title, thereby becoming a Champion Tracker (Goal #2).
3. Earn her CDX, thereby becoming a BMDCA Working Dog Excellent (Goal #4).
5. Earn her two brace draft titles.
Zoey (see above picture :)
Zoey's hope/wish is that she can please be done with the beauty pageant crap so that she doesn't spend half her day wet with diluted conditioner!!!
I have a similar hope/wish because it is taking over an hour per day to groom her now -- and that should be a clue that we have some shows coming up soon...
Hopes and wishes for Zoey -- they are big...
1. Finish the championship.
2. Earn the NDD (draft title), thereby making her (with the CH) a Versatility Dog (Goal #3).
4. Earn a Grand Championship.
5. Earn her DD (draft title).
6. Earn agility titles through excellent, thereby making Zoey a (with the GrCH and DD) Versatility Dog Excellent (Goal #7) and a BMDCA Working Dog (Goal #8).
Sydney's wish is to play the Virgin Mary now that she learned that doing so means riding a donkey! We can talk about that next December but in the meantime, the hopes/wishes for Syd in 2011 are as follows:
1. Earn her championship.
2. Earn her NDD and DD, thereby making her a BMDCA Versatility Dog (Goal #3).
4. Earn an agility title, thereby making her a BMDCA Working Dog (Goal #5)
Montana Mac -- the Honorary Kaibab Dog
Wait until you see Mac's new harness!!! Holy Fashion Statement -- all the other dogs will be supremely jealous and you will want to quickly get such a harness of your own -- well, for your dog, that is :) More on that soon...
The hopes/wishes for 2011 for Montana Mac are:
1. Earn his NDD (draft).
2. Earn agility titles, thereby becoming a Versatility Dog (Goal #3).
4. Earn his CD (obedience), thereby becoming a BMDCA Working Dog (Goal #5).
Mac also is hoping and wishing he and Cadi can get married!!
Of course we hope that 2011 brings us all health and happiness -- that is most important -- but likely even that requires some planning! There will be unexpected joys and sorrows, and so we also hope and wish that we have the internal and external resources needed to handle whatever the year tosses our way.
I wish blessings on all and invite you to email or post (in the comments) your dog hope/wish for 2011 -- and we will all do a Year in Review next December, celebrating our accomplishments and learning lessons from the goals that are yet to be achieved.
Congratulations on completing Chapter 2010 and best wishes on Chapter 2011 -- make it a good one :)