Tag Archives: motivation

Monday Motivation – When the SMART goals need a magic boost ;)

You know, I am sure. that for the goals to materialise they need to be specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time- bound.

Sometimes, however, when all the maths, analysis and reason gets rinsed off with the rain, when no method seems to be working and the morning alarm rings just way too early, you might want to abandon all the usual steps and follow the one below 😉

the quest to create something from nothing-2 Hope you all had a good Monday 🙂 If you have your own magic one-liner, feel free to add it in the comments 🙂

Q & A: “How do you stay motivated and inspired to ride in winter months”


The title question is from a reader of Aspire’s newsletter and I thought I would do a quick answer on the blog since winter months have a rather overwhelming influence on many of us. There are many ways of staying inspired and motivated to keep up with training, lessons and rides  but there definitely isn’t one perfect method for all.

Here is my key to stay motivated: I choose to fight for something I really want to become. It might seem obvious but many a time we decide we want something or be someone but have no willingness to do the work. We find excuses, obstacles, reasons against. When I want to achieve something, properly WANT it, then the motivation comes by itself. When you really want to improve your skills, your understanding of something, your method of doing something, your ability to change something, then you feel inspired by your own drive…You respect that drive and the journey you already made even if it hasn’t been a long one yet.

Yes, sometimes your motivation might be low but when you want something – really want something – even the low motivation is high enough for you to keep going.

builddreamsWhen you chose well on what you are focusing on, I bet you, getting up to run into muddy field won’t be nearly as dreadful. My advice, for what it’s worth, would be to not be too worried about how to stay motivated to do something but how to chose the focus, the “why”. When your motivation petrol runs low, remind yourself your why.

If you can’t see any meaningful why, then you might need to change your focus, alter it a little, seek what really makes you happy – then get into overalls and make it happen 🙂

Please feel free to share you views in the comments – how do you stay inspired and motivated?



Guest Blogger Susanna Halonen about Riding for the Love of the Sport


The main competition season is approaching and you are training hard to prepare for your first show. You start to feel those very familiar nerves from last weekend. What if I make a mistake in my riding? What if my horse spooks? What if we forget the test? These are only a few of the million questions that are probably floating around in your head. And I’m here to encourage you to forget about them all. You can choose to stop worrying, and instead ride for the love of the sport.

And why should you focus on doing that? You have goals, you have ambitions, and you want to improve. Of course these all play a role in helping you enjoy the upcoming competition season and perform at your best, but these are only possible if you remember why you ride: for the love of the sport.

Research has shown that the biggest predictor of burnout or loss of an athlete’s performance is due to the interest in their sport decreasing. Of course there will be times you love the sport more than others, but constantly reminding yourself of the positives will help your focus, performance, and enjoyment. It will also help you to bounce back from defeat quicker and adapt to new challenges better. So what are some of the positives of riding? I’ve outlined some of my favourite points below.

  • It allows me to build a special relationship with a horse.
  • It makes it possible for me to experience those special moments of harmony when I’m one with the horse.
  • It enables me to keep forever learning & growing as a person and rider.
  • It keeps me healthy and fit.
  • It allows me to exercise in fresh air.
  • It helps me connect with nature.
  • I find a sense of belonging by socialising with the other riders at the yard.

These are only a few of the many things which remind me why I love the sport so much. Now I want you to come up with your own list!

Think of at least 5 things which remind you why you ride. Have this list somewhere handy and have a look through it when you’re feeling unmotivated or getting too stressed out about competing. Keep going back to it, and adding to it. It’s a great tool that will remind you to ride for the love of the sport and enjoy your riding more!

Good luck in your riding adventures & until next time!

Susanna Halonen is a Finnish rider based in Southeast England. She offers positive psychology coaching to help you to get the most of your riding, be it enjoyment or performance wise. You can follow her blog here: http://shdressage.co.uk/ 

Video Day Thursday Christmas Countdown Day 5: The Funny Side of Fun…

Aaannd today’s video is all about the importance of fun…I tend to think back to this particular experiment whenever I have a rider who just “can’t get something” or a horse that finds something difficult…It makes me think more creatively and less in terms of “this must be done like so”… Hope you enjoy this short little video 🙂

Continue reading Video Day Thursday Christmas Countdown Day 5: The Funny Side of Fun…

Winter is coming…If you create the right habits they will take you beyond your wildest dreams…

meme colin powell
I took this photo a week ago in Poland – beautiful golden autumn in one part of Europe, deluge in the other!

The decision to achieve something we don’t yet have or to become someone we are not yet is only a mere start, a static point at which we plant our feet and prepare to give it a go. Anything can still happen at this stage, we might not move off at all, we might step back, we might step sideways.

The tricky bit here is that to get somewhere we have never been we must attempt things we have never attempted or explore ways we have never explored…and that involves change. The latter is probably the most difficult element of success in any area. Let’s have a little ponder on ways of getting things done…

Goals vs Habits

As some of you will know I write training plans for riders who ride with me. Part of these plans are monthly goals and these can be anything from achieving more suppleness in the rider’s hip, learning how to ask for correct inside poll flexion or approaching a jump in a rhythm and tempo suitable to the type of the jump. The goals are always clear and often simple, broken down into progressive tasks.

Recently, however, I started exploring the training plan in which instead of concentrating on the goal I focus the rider on habits…For example, I write down a goal as usual on the plan overview but don’t really mention this again, or call upon it, as we go. Instead, I ask the rider to follow 2-3 “action habits”…

Continue reading Winter is coming…If you create the right habits they will take you beyond your wildest dreams…

IF YOU CAN DREAM IT, you Can do It. Or Can You??

What you might have been told by “mature, realistic and well wishing” friends or family is that the above Walt Disney quote only really works in Walt Disney movies and really, how many times have you seen a Walt Disney ending in a mature, real life?

Anabel and Kingsley

It’s one thing to have big dreams and the other to have the money to pay your rent, food, debts, bills, isn’t it? Well, here’s my little take on this often sniggered at quote.

Can you?

I think Disney was not such a silly dreamer after all because the most important part of this quote to me, is the beginning…”If you can…”. To really, truly imagine yourself doing something that might take a lifetime to achieve or might take a change of a lifetime is the hardest part! To remain confident and ignore possibility of ultimate failure, to live on the edge of poverty, to endure people using you, putting you down, to doubt yourself countless times and still continue on your journey is the “can” part…

Continue reading IF YOU CAN DREAM IT, you Can do It. Or Can You??