Goals to Gold

by USjournal Student Writer: Rebecca Darrup, Cross-Country Cowgirl

I don't know about you, but when I make up my mind to set a goal, I resolve to take steps toward that goal until I achieve it! There may be days when those steps are small, or days that I only take one or two steps instead of three or four, or even days when my "step" is to simply not lose any of the ground I've already gained. I also have a tendency to set new goals in addition to the goals I previously set, although I might not have accomplished them yet.

And then there's the fact that I definitely don't wait around to use those goals of mine as New Year's Resolutions.

Here in the United States in particular, individuals will often set goals as each new year rolls around. These often involve exercise or healthy eating, but are completely up to each person to decide for themselves. There are also some people (yeah, like me) who might not necessarily set a goal at the start of a new year.

Barrell Racing

At my college, my rodeo coach asks each team member to set both athletic and academic goals at the start of every semester. This fall, for example, my goals included (to name a few):

With each goal my teammates and I wrote, we also had to give details as to how that goal was going to be reached. Those goals had to be typed and printed, signed by the athlete, and then turned in to Coach at the next scheduled morning practice.

Creating our own individual goals has helped to boost some of us into the regional college rodeo standings, and has lifted our men's team into third place so far in our region -- a feat that hasn't been attained in a good number of years.

Barrell Racing

When I got my professional rodeo permit at the beginning of the summer this year, I set some goals then as well, along with a handful of goals to have myself feeling more ready for this season of college rodeo. I practiced my roping and my goat tying more than any summer before, and also made each ride on each horse worth more. I set small daily goals with each of my horses, and especially if the task of the day was a tough one, I made sure not to overdo it to keep the horses and myself from getting frustrated. We took time to enjoy the small successes, which made the bigger triumphs even more special. Along with working with my horses to have them at their best, I made sure that I was exercising and eating right, something that I often brush off as not-so-important. Over the summer, though, I could tell the difference it made in the outcome of my rodeos and in other areas of my life, and so I've continued to work out and eat healthy -- most of the time, anyway!

Barrell Racing

At the beginning of the fall semester, I knew I had to set some goals at that point also. For the first time, I had tougher classes, such as trigonometry (I really don't like math, and it doesn't like me either).

I also had two online classes: I was really worried that I would forget about them! I decided to set two specific times each week to do my online classes, and made those times when I knew I wouldn't have anything else to do, which meant no excuses for not getting my work submitted before the deadlines. If I'm totally honest, I wasn't very good at sticking to the goals I set regarding my trigonometry class: I did pass it, but I know I could have done better. My struggle in that math class led to falling a little short on my goal of maintaining my high GPA, but thankfully it didn't cause it to drop too much.

I also set goals when it comes to my faith. Jeremiah 29:11 says that God knows the plan He has for each of our lives, and that His plan is good! Sometimes, though, I don't trust God's plan to be good; when my feelings are hurt or I'm homesick, how is that good? A couple of weeks ago, I made goals to read my Bible daily, and to try to memorize one verse each week.

I've been thankful for that goal recently, as our rodeo team was informed that our coach isn't going to be returning to Mesalands Community College for the spring semester. He was someone who cared about each of "his kids" as though we were his own children, and not just his rodeo athletes. We're going to miss him.

His departure has caused many of us to consider what our plans are, and if they truly are what we want them to be. Personally, I'm not 100 percent sure what this means for me yet, but next fall, I will more than likely be starting a new adventure at a new college. There will be more to come on that... Stay tuned!

Barrell Racing

As we make our way through these last few days of 2016, enjoy the little moments! Even if you don't set any New Year's Resolutions, I encourage you to re-visit any goals that you've set throughout this year.

  • Have you met them?
  • Do you need to re-set any of them, or maybe change your plan of action toward meeting certain goals?
  • Which goals are you carrying into 2017?
  • Are there any that should be abandoned? Why?

It has been said that when a person looks back over their life, they more often regret the things they didn't do, rather than the things they DID do. So set new goals, try new things, and enjoy the journey!

Wishing y'all a blessed holiday season and a fantastic 2017!

Barrell Racing

Here are Rebecca's other posts, in case you missed them:

Best of luck in all your endeavors,
especially as you move forward on your college path!

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