Resolutions vs Goals

As soon as Christmas is over and New Years Eve approaches, people start talking about the resolutions they are making. Rarely do these New Years resolutions continue much past the first few weeks of the new year, but people still find it necessary to create them.

I can’t think of a time when I actually sat down to plan New Years resolutions. Maybe I realized the futility from a young age. Or maybe I just had no interest in planning out the changes I wanted to do in the new year.

This year, I still won’t make New Years resolutions, but would like to set out some goals for me and the rest of the ruled by paws gang for 2012.

Our 2012 Goals:
I, the primary human of ruled by paws, would like to work towards leading a more healthy life. Last year, during Lent, I completely eliminated pop/soda from my diet. This year, I would like to work towards eliminating processed foods. This does not mean I will no longer eat junk food and things that are considered unhealthy, but it means that if I am not willing to take the time to prepare something like macaroni and cheese from scratch, then I will not grab a box of Kraft Dinner from the pantry.

Since the canine members of ruled by paws cannot really set out goals for themselves, I will plan a 2012 goal for each of them.

Aspen really hasn’t been expected to learn and behave like the other three canines of the family. She is not a poorly behaved dog at all, but her and I do not really see eye to eye when it comes to her obedience and training. Therefore, my goal for Aspen this year is to start working through Sue Ailsby’s Levels with her from the beginning and by the end of the year, I would like us to be approaching the point of passing either the Old Levels three or if I get an opportunity to purchase the New Levels books, then I want us to be done or ready to pass the New Level two.

Cessna will be 9 this coming October and close to retirement, so I would like to continue teaching her new tasks that she can do around the house. This past year, I taught her to close cupboard doors and have been working on teaching her to close drawers. I would like to continue expanding the use of this task, so that she will be reliably doing it for me at other people’s houses as well. By the end of 2012, I would like to have taught Cessna to also open cupboards and drawers, as well as, being able to turn on and off light switches she can reach. In our current home this means we will need to create switches at more of her head level. I do not require her help in any of these areas, but Cessna really shows pride in her work and loves feeling helpful, so I think these new tasks will give her some satisfaction during retirement.

As everyone knows, Huib and Canyon entered their first conformation dog show this past week. My goal for Canyon is to enter more shows and work on achieving his Canadian Championship title. I would love to say my goal is to have him obtain his title by the end of 2012, but the show ring is political so who knows how we’ll do each time we walk in front of a judge. In addition to working on Canyon’s title, I would like to have him earn his Canine Good Neighbour certification. Other than these two achievements, I would like to continue working through Sue Ailsby’s Levels with him and hopefully be well on our way to having him doing a proper formal retrieve by the end of 2012.

Finally, we come to Rogue. Rogue will be a year old in April, so we will have her eyes tested to make sure her sight is good enough for guide work. I would love to say my goal for her is to be ready to take over, at least part-time, for Cessna by the end of 2012, but we all know how things can change in an instant. Therefore, my goals for Rogue this year, are to first obtain her Canine Good Neighbour certification. Then, I would like to continue working through Sue Ailsby’s Old Levels (unless I end up purchasing the new books) and have her at least doing some of the non-tension related guiding tasks. This means that I am not expecting her to be guiding in harness, but that she is well on her way to being able to confidently leash guide me in familiar areas that do not require intelligent disobedience, busy road crossing or complex obstacle work. I would like to be able to say whether or not Rogue will be able to fulfill my needs by the end of 2012, so that I have some time to decide on another plan of action, if she cannot take over for Cessna.

As you can see, the goals I have set for 2012 are broad, but achievable. I have tried to stay realistic so that I will hopefully look back and feel a sense of accomplishment instead of failure.

2012 is going to be our year, I can feel it!


  1. I like the idea of “goals” versus “resolutions.” I’ve never set out new year’s resolutions either, but goals have always been there. That said, I’ve never set out goals for my working dogs, but perhaps I should think about it. Thanks for making me think. 🙂

Speak Your Mind