Amp up your success with this question.

goals mindset Feb 20, 2024

Because you are receiving this newsletter, I know you embrace process goals (I see you and appreciate you!). Yet, clarifying your process goals can be tough for some. So, I have a question: "What does success look like?"

This is a common question in the corporate world used to evoke clarity and define the end goal, and it's just as applicable in mindset work. When we ask ourselves, "What does success look like?" we push ourselves to clearly define what we are after, whether in training or a trial. We can use this question as an alternative to process goals (because it's getting at the same thing) or in addition to them.

It's also a great way to get specific so we can measure (and celebrate) our progress. For example, if a coaching client tells me they have a process goal of "running connected" with their dog this weekend, I will likely follow up with, "What does that look like?"

Sometimes, we get a little vague with our process goals, and by doing that our success is also vague - how will we know we've done the thing without specificity? We are constantly trying to improve - often incrementally - but we still need enough specifics to measure our improvement and celebrate even the smallest victories.

When you look at the weekend ahead and ask yourself, "What does success look like?" you'll have to define those measurements. A "cue earlier" process goal becomes "cue one jump before." More specific and more measurable.

Steven Covey (remember him?) called it "starting with the end in mind." It reminds us that we need to know what we want before we begin because that goal should direct our actions. This not only goes for a trial/show environment but for training sessions, too.

If I grab some cheese and head to the backyard to work "fronts," then I will likely do the same things I've always done and get marginally better results. However, if I envision the ideal end behavior, I might get creative about how I break down the skill for the dog. Maybe I'll realize I'm trying to get the dog to come in straight, so I'll specifically work on that aspect, for example.

Knowing what success looks like has domino effects for you and your dog from training to the ring, and from handling to mindset. We have to understand what the target is before we can take aim. My challenge for you this week is to ask yourself, "What does success look like," before you head into training or a trial. Let me know how that impacts your plans and your process goals!

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