Reflecting on my 2019 goals

While New Year’s Resolutions aren’t for everyone I personally love using the start of a new year as a chance to set some goals, while being mindful of being realistic and considering how achievable the goals are.

Now that we’ve nearly reached the end of 2019 I thought I’d look back at the goals I set in December 2018.


Continue to increase his confidence in class – ½

We’ve had an interesting year with classes, his behaviour and focus around other dogs has really improved however I chose to drop out of agility class as Zebby just wasn’t coping in the high arousing environment.

Agility – continue working on agility skills –

This sort of leads on from the above goal. Agility classes didn’t work out for me and Zebby, however I’ve had some really productive agility sessions with Zebby when we’ve hired an arena on our own and using jumps in the back garden.

I had an interesting chat with another trainer and we spoke about working on Zebby’s focus around other dogs and agility separately. Activities such as scentwork in an environment he can cope with will help keep his arousal down around other dogs and we can then work on agility alone separately in an environment he can cope with.

Gundog scurry specifics –

We’ve not just been working on scurry specifics but gundog training as a whole, including cold game retrieves and stop whistles. I love training Zebby in a discipline that comes so naturally to him and I intend to continue to build on these skills.

Recall – ½

There’s still a long way to go but I am much more confident about letting Zebby off lead in new places, although I am hyper-aware of everything around me. We’ve also had some great moments where he has flushed pheasants and then come back to me, however we’ve also had frustrating days where he’s simply disappeared for several minutes.



Fitness – ½

Guinness has continued to come running with me and seems to enjoy it. We’ve also been for plenty of long walks and while he pootles along at a more sedate speed he is more than capable of doing the miles.

I do however need to work on more specific fitness and conditioning work as he does click and creek in places, plus he needs to loose some weight, but he’s certainly doing well for a 10 year old.

Spend some quality time together – X

We’ve not had as many solo adventures as I’d hoped for but we have had some great experiences and I always make time for Guinness cuddles.



Half marathon –

I did it! First with the Potters Arf Marathon in June and then a trail half marathon around Cannock Chase in October, plus I’ve done a handful of long runs over half marathon distance.

13.1 miles is certainly no easy distance, but it isn’t scary any more and something I can manage quite happily with a run/walk schedule.

Get off rod more –

It’s something I’ve focused on towards the end of this year especially as I’ve started to look forward to more trail races, and I’ve barely done any road running since August.

Sub 30 5k –

This goal caused me a fair bit of disappointment along the way as I watched several friends reach sub-30 while my times seemed to be getting slower. I set the goal aside for a while and put it out of my mind and then one day, when the time was right, it happened. It was my 50th parkrun, my last parkrun but I was setting off for the 3 Peaks Challenge and everything just fell right.

My 5k personal best stands at 29:40 and I’m quite happy for it to stay that for a while.

Review progress and re-evaluate –

I feel that I’ve been really sensible with my running and that it’s paid off for me. Some people can go and smash out long / fast runs without any training for months but I’m just not that kind of runner and I want to ensure I can keep running for the long haul.

I’ve found a really good physio and have been for a few sport massages, picking his brains while I’m there and absorbing all the knowledge and information I can.

I’ve got big goals for 2020 and I think now is the time to push for them, but I’ve also got to continue to be sensible.



Go on more adventures –

I did the 3 Peaks Challenge! I’d say that’s a big enough adventure for the whole year.

But I also did the Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge (for the 2nd time in my life), went walking in the Brecon Beacons and along the coastal paths of Ireland and Anglesey, as well as walking the first 7 miles of the Limestone Way.

Despite all of this we only went camping twice this year and I definitely want to get away for more weekends of walking in 2020.

Get more organised! – X

This was never going to be my strong point and it just hasn’t happened. I can’t be good at everything!



All in all I don’t think I’ve done too badly this year.

Looking forward to setting some goals for 2020!

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