Goals: 90 Days to Your Dreams – Organization Before Execution

woman planning and setting goals

 

Why Set Goals?

Think back to a time when you were in the ring. Were you feeling highly competitive and “in the zone?” That’s because you took the time to prepare your dog 100 percent. You worked hard to achieve your dreams and goals. Maybe since then you have stopped working with them. If you want to recapture that feeling again, you’ll want to revisit goal setting. You’re not going to be a superstar overnight, but you can get there when you are clear about what you really want to achieve and maintain. That’s what goal setting will do for you.

Goal setting may seem dry, even mundane. Still, think about it like this: when you regulate the ordinary, you free the creative spirit that makes showing dogs such great fun. With preparation and planning comes success. And winning is FUN!

 

What is My Plan?

My favorite system is “90 Days: Dreams to Reality!” Setting a time frame for goals is crucial because our minds are able to capture the challenge more easily in a condensed time frame. Before we go any further, consider this: every short-term goal should support a significant, long-term goal… a big, shaggy, audacious goal (BSAG) that supports all the show dogs in your home or kennel, if you have one. This enormous goal supports your heart’s desire for your breed and possibly your breeding program.

 

How to Proceed

Set Goals for 90 Days

Ninety days is a particular time frame where we can plan, execute, pivot, review, and redo. Statistically, a 90-day framework means fewer days where things can change and it allows more flexibility for future calendar events.

In reality, precisely 90 days is arbitrary. You may want to go somewhat longer or shorter. Plan your cutoff around a set of important shows like Montgomery County Kennel Club even if you change the number of days, plus or minus 90. If you start or end the new interval right before a big push, be mindful of how any changes may affect your dog.

 

Use Common Sense

In January, set goals through the end of March, with longer-term goals through next year. But whatever your time frame, be strategic.

 

Be Strategic

Start by creating one set of goals for each dog. Ask yourself, “What do I want to achieve with this dog?” At this point, don’t worry about the “how.” Just focus on the “what.

 

Focus on the ‘What’

The most effective goals are specific, descriptive, and have a time frame that is realistic as well as stretches us as individuals. If the goal is too easy, it’s not going to be challenging. You’ll achieve that objective, but your dog won’t reach his full potential. If the goal is too challenging, it’s not realistic either and you’ll have difficulty reaching it.

 

Be Specific and Descriptive

Stretch yourself to do more and be more.

 

Implementation

In the Dog Show Mentor system that I developed, set your BSAG goal; then go to the smaller goals that will support it. Here you will create a road map for getting to your ultimate reality.

Here’s an example:

If your goal is for your dog or bitch to be the No. 1 Producer of All Time, you will want to finish the championships and other titles on as many of the offspring as possible, regardless of quality.

Alternatively, if you want to be world-renowned for quality dogs, you won’t want to spend the time finishing mediocre dogs.

Get clarity around what you really want. Ask yourself, “Are these decisions and actions supporting my ultimate goal?

Avoid getting caught up in spending time and money on activities that don’t support your goal.

In both scenarios your goals are valid, but you will need to strategize differently for each.

After setting your 90-day goals, it’s time to develop an action plan that supports them. Write down every step you need to take to make this happen. What steps will you have to take?

In the Dog Show Mentor system that I developed, set your BSAG goal; then go to the smaller goals that will support it. Here you will create a road map for getting to your ultimate reality.

 

Can I Do This by Myself? Yes, You Can!

Here’s an example of framing a goal meticulously:

Non-Descriptive:I want to win more.

Better:Fido rises to the Top 20 in the next 90 days.

Descriptive:Fido rises to the Top 20 in the next 90 days with his owner handler.*

Realistic:Fido rises to the top 20 in the next 90 days with his owner handler* with multiple Group placements.

Stretch:Fido rises to the Top 20 in the next 90 days with his owner handler* with multiple Group Firsts.

Audacious:Fido rises to the Top 20 in the next 90 days with his owner handler* with multiple Bests in Show.

 

What if?

What if I don’t achieve my goals? What if I get distracted? What if I forget to revisit these regularly? How do I stay on track?

It’s imperative in goal setting and strategizing to have a Plan B. Inevitably, roadblocks occur and they will necessitate pivoting. Often these roadblocks result from a poor action plan; Other times, they are unavoidable. For example, your dog may blow coat unexpectedly or come up lame and require you to sit out some shows that you consider critical. When your goals seem dashed, having a mentor to help you problem-solve can get you through difficult periods.

 

Stretch Goals

Set “stretch goals” that are realistic as well as challenging. As previously stated:

The most effective goals are specific, descriptive, and have a time frame that is both realistic as well as stretches us as individuals. If the goal is too easy, it’s not going to be challenging. You’ll achieve that objective, but your dog won’t reach his full potential. If the goal is too challenging, it’s not realistic and you’ll have difficulty reaching it.

If it’s too difficult, it’s not realistic either and you end up feeling defeated—and you are defeated, and that’s not productive and can cause some exhibitors to feel discouraged.

Of course, those with true grit are never discouraged. They are spurred on! Setting a 90-day time frame supports a healthy outlook and achievable goals. Think clearly about what you’re doing and why. The time frame is essential to support the success, both short- and long-term.

Goals must be specific, descriptive and have a time frame.

At the end of each year, Dog Show Mentor members work on goals for the following year. As a mentor, I’ve seen owner handlers become wildly successful simply by setting goals in 90-day increments and staying accountable to themselves. Goal setting is your roadmap to success.

The time frame is essential to support the success, both short- and long-term.

 

*Dog Show Mentor thinks outside the box. The term “professional handler” is not hyphenated; we believe “owner handler” should not be either.

  • Ms. Lee Whittier has been involved in the sport of purebred dogs for over three decades. Her involvement began as an owner, exhibitor and, subsequently, a breeder of Rottweilers. She has owned Akitas, Bullmastiffs, and a Sussex Spaniel. She currently owns, breeds, and exhibits Tibetan Terriers. Ms. Whittier began judging in 2000, and then took a hiatus for several years to work for the American Kennel Club as an Executive Filed Representative in the Pacific Northwest. She returned to judging in 2011, and currently judges the Working, Terrier, Toy, and Non-Sporting Groups, eleven Hound Breeds, six Sporting Breeds, Bouvier des Flandres, and Best in Show. Ms. Whittier has judged dog shows around the world, from the United States to Asia, at shows large and small; all of great importance to each and every exhibitor. Some of the larger shows are Westminster Kennel Club, Kennel Club of Philadelphia, Del Valle, Great Western Terrier Association, Northern California Terrier Association, Hatboro, Malibu Kennel Club, and the Kennel Club of Palm Springs. Ms. Lee Whittier is a standing member of Dog Fanciers of Oregon, the American Rottweiler Club, and the Tibetan Terrier Club of America. She is Show Chair for Vancouver Kennel Club and the Terrier Association of Oregon’s January show with Rose City Classic. As an active member in numerous clubs, she has worked in the capacity of Show Chair, President, Vice-President, Secretary, Board Member, and Constitution & By-Laws Revision Committee Member. In addition to judging, Ms. Whittier developed the Dog Show Mentor program, exclusively for owner handlers. This is an online program where owner handlers of all stages and levels learn to develop an individual, strategic approach to showing dogs. She also travels to speak to owner handlers all over the world. She currently lives in Vancouver, Washington, with her husband, Wayne, and their three Tibetan Terriers. Her other interests include gardening and hiking with the dogs.

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