Last year (Jan 2023) I wrote a blog about resolutions and how horses can help me keep them. This year I thought I would review my year and grade myself on how I did with those resolutions and then plan for 2024 accordingly. Do those resolutions still apply? I change my mind (a lot) so I’m not afraid to come up with totally different ideas and directions.
Exercise More (PASS)
In 2023 I started an exercise program that includes lifting weights; I do a fair amount of barn work, and cardio (biking) but I was worried that many muscles groups were not being engaged. I’ve read about the benefits of weightlifting and resistance training for healthy muscles and longevity, so I incorporated a twice weekly routine, and I’ve kept it up. For 2024, I’m planning on getting a weighted vest to wear when I go hiking. This practice is called Rucking and I’ve heard a lot about its benefits. Check out this short clip Born to Carry: Dr. Peter Attia & Michael Easter's Take on Rucking #fitness #workouttips #rucking (youtube.com). I can even start taking my horses on hikes through the woods while wearing my rucking vest.
Meditate/Pray More (FAIL)
I always feel better when I meditate/pray so I don’t know why it’s so hard to keep to a consistent schedule. Lately I have so much office work to do (writing, social media, networking, etc.) before I head out to the barn that I have not been able to sit and meditate/pray. This is the most important area for me to focus on in 2024. I used to have a picnic table in one of the pastures so I could go sit and be around the horses in a very peaceful way – I think I will do that again.
Slow Down (PASS)
Working with Ben (my new horse) helped me slow down in 2023. I was rushing the relationship at first and he let me know that was not ok for him, so I had to pause and get back to the basics. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it and our relationship is growing better and better. Also, gardening in 2023 really helped me to slow down. I have a large garden and picking one flower bed at a time to spend a few hours on is very rewarding. Sometimes I bring Ben home to graze while I garden. He likes the fresh grass, and I like his company!
Pay Attention to the Small Things (MIXED)
Working with Ben, I had to start paying attention to our relationship and the small advances made such as him walking towards me in the field instead of away from me. Sounds like a small thing, but it’s huge. I also started walking out to the barn instead of riding my ATV so that I could pay more attention to nature. So going in the right direction with this resolution, but still room for improvement.
Play More (PASS)
Even though running your own business is a lot of work, I did manage to play a lot in 2023. Most of my horses are old and retired, but when I got Ben, I was able to start riding again. There is nothing like a great trail ride!