We are a little over two weeks into the New Year and, no doubt, many people have already given up on the resolutions they made for 2013. Have you? Why not try a resolution that you can stick to and will benefit your four-legged best friend as well?
We all strive to improve ourselves or our situation, and January 1st is a favorite time to make such a change because the New Year represents a fresh start and a clean slate. But we often fall short of our new goals because they are extreme or large jumps from our current lifestyles. Anyone who has ever tried to kick a bad habit before can tell you that success will not come overnight. It can be a long and gradual process, especially if it is a dramatic life change.
Don’t give up on your resolutions just yet. Take a look at your overall goal and see how you can turn a large goal into smaller, more manageable goals that will lead you to your desired destination.
Say you want to start walking your dog every day but you currently walk your dog maybe once a month. You may have the drive to walk the dog every day for a week, but chances are you will have a rough day where you won’t feel like walking the dog. That day may turn into two days, then a week, and before you know it you are back to walking the dog maybe once a month. If you break that big goal into smaller goals you would start with walking the dog once a week. Once you have done that regularly for a month, you can celebrate your success and then add another walking day, so now you are walking the dog twice a week.
Every month of successful walking will lead to another walking day added the next month. Every step you reach will be a celebration of success because you are that much closer to your overall goal. And if you should stumble, don’t let it bring you down or deter you. If you create a habit of walking the dog three days a week but for some reason can’t seem to be consistent when you add a fourth day, then keep working on four walks per week before trying for five. You want to set a solid foundation before building on it, so be sure to master your current goal before trying to reach the next.
While you may not reach your original goal overnight, this technique of patience and persistence will get you there before you know it. Remember the race between the Tortoise and the Hare; slow and steady will win this race. And you have no one to beat but your old self.
If you already have a habit of walking your dog regularly, look to see if there is anything else that you could improve to enrich your dog’s life. One thing many homes do not have is a first aid kit. Many people don’t have a first aid kit for themselves, let alone the pets. If you don’t have a resolution of your own, I challenge you to put together a first aid kit for your family. It is always beneficial to be prepared for the unexpected, not to mention, being able to care for a superficial wound at home can save you a trip to the vet.