I believe in goal setting, and I believe you have to write those goals down. It keeps you focused on what you need to work for, day by day, to get you to the finals or whatever you want to do in life. Martha Josey and Orange Smash at the 1998 National Finals RodeoMartha Josey and Orange Smash at the 1998 National Finals Rodeo

Write your goals down and tape them to your mirror so they are the first thing you see each morning and the last thing you see at night. Remind yourself what you are working toward. Always make your goals achievable – you don’t want to say you are going to win the world today, because you can’t. Instead, set goals you can start achieving now.

            A survey was done at a leading university asking seniors how many set goals and how many wrote their goals down. Eighty percent had no goals, 20 percent said they had goals and two percent said they set goals and wrote their goals down. Guess how many were success­ful? The 2 percent who wrote their goals down.

To reach a goal like qualifying for the NFR, your list of goals might look something like this:

• I need to be the best rider I can be and learn as much horsemanship as possible.

• I need a good, consistent horse.

• I want to attend barrel racing clinics.

• I want to read and listen to as many motivational and instructional books, videos and DVDs as possible.

• I need to find the best truck and trailer that I can afford so I can haul safely.

            Once you have accomplished these goals, start going to your local rodeos and National Barrel Horse Association shows. There you can find out if you are ready to compete on the next level. There are some great open competitions such those sanctioned by the Cowboys Professional Rodeo Association, Louisiana Rodeo Cowboys Association, etc.

            When you feel good about how you are running, set your sights for the NFR or go win a big futurity, NBHA Super Show, American Quarter Horse Association show, or the like. There are so many opportunities to win big! Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple Inc., said it well when he said, “Put a dent in the universe.”

            Learn how to be your best cheerleader. I love Reba McEntire’s story. When she first got started, she knew she was a great singer and performer, but she had a hard time getting recognized for how great she was. She sang the National Anthem at the National Finals for $10 a performance. Red Steagall heard her and said, “My, that girl has got talent.” She never gave up; she knew how good she was. Remember, “Quitters are not winners and winners are not quitters.”

Learn how to be an overachiever. Have the “I can” attitude. You can’t win if you don’t have the confidence before you go down the road. Learn how to win, and if you don’t win, learn from that defeat. Take your video camera with you and learn how to study your runs.

I have been very blessed to have won many barrel racing futuri­ties, barrel racing association championships and have qualified for the NFR in four con­secutive decades. I believe my dreams came true because I set my goals and worked hard toward them every day. Write down your goals and let’s hit the ground running toward the goals you have set for your year.


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