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Welcome to 2024!

January 16, 20242 min read

Welcome to 2024!

How to build strong dog training habits

I don't do resolutions at the new year. January is also my birthday month so there's a lot of turnover happening for me around this time. I focus on habits and on splitting my larger goals into manageable chunks and working steadily chunk by chunk to reach those goals. If I'm not succeeding, I go back to see if I can break the goal down into smaller chunks that I can accomplish.

Sound familiar?

Yeah, I train myself just like I train our dogs. I do that because it works. Setting the learner up for success and rewarding them frequently enough that they stay in the game works for everyone!

For example, I had a gratitude practice last year where I tried to list 5 things I was grateful for at the end of each day. The things that worked for me were:

  • I have a notebook and could easily write my entries in that

  • The entries could be big, small, or anything in between

  • I find writing lists very rewarding so I was more likely to do it

I often recorded what I was grateful for but definitely not every night. I would say probably not even an average of 5 days per week. I went weeks where I recorded every day and other times when I didn't record for weeks. When I did write my list I felt good. It helped me go to sleep with pleasant, hopeful thoughts.

Was it rewarding enough to create a habit? Apparently not.

What could I change to make me more likely to keep up with the practice?

  • Accountability - I could find a partner to report to once a day/week/month

  • Lower criteria - Are 5 things too many per day? Could I do 3? What about 1?

  • Tangible rewards - I can set goals for tangible rewards for any recording streaks

I'll let you know how I do. Will you let me know what habits you're working on for 2024?

If you're ready to set yourself and your dog up for success here are your booking links:

I am looking forward to seeing you soon!

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-Written by Elizabeth H. "Kizz" Robinson, CDBC, CPDT-KA for IAABC Journal, Sept. 2021


-Written by Elizabeth H. "Kizz" Robinson, CDBC, CPDT-KA for IAABC Journal, May 2020

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