Required New Year’s Post

Just like going to the gym, eating healthier and smarter, and cleaning the apartment more regularly are the go-to resolutions for a new year (at least for me)—I am adding a new one to the list: writing blog posts more regularly. And writing more regularly. So there. I wrote it out loud, so hopefully that will help me get some skin in the game and do it. You are all witnesses.

You know what else I’m going to do? Train my dog. Regularly. And my only expectation is that she have fun. Trix knows basic manners (well, kinda sorta—because not all the “basic manners” are important to me and I’m perfectly happy with how we coexist at home as is. Thanks Sara Reushe for the perfectly articulate post you wrote about that: What’s Important to You)

But from this day out I am going to train in a way that ensures she has fun and that we stop working BEFORE I start second guessing myself, or worrying about us not working as a team as well as Beth Blue Ribbon Hog or Sammy Show off, or that noisy Brianne Bragger. As a good friend told me a few months ago, I can’t compare my journey to anyone else’s.

My focus will remain on our relationship and training smart. I want to  be present and focus on what works. When something doesn’t work, instead of focusing on the perceived failure, I am going to re-think the challenge at hand instead of telling myself that someone else could have trained the behavior faster or better—oh, and get this—make a training plan! Revolutionary.

I am not going to compare my dog to other dogs and I am not going to compare myself to others in a way that makes me feel like garbage. That may mean I stay off Facebook a bit more than I have in the past or set a timer so it doesn’t become a gigantic time suck or downward spiral into “everyone else is doing whatever-it-is-I’m-worried-about better.” (See Kathy Keats’ perceptive blog Social Media can Undermine Confidence). What I plan to do when I catch myself falling into bad habits is to actually pick up a phone and talk (not text, not email) to a friend I trust. More Revolutionary.

And I’m going to remind Trix that she’s the best dog in the world. Because she is.

What are you all thinking about this New Year’s Day?

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