We often don’t notice that our environment is constantly changing. We don’t see our progress as we learn new things. As we gradually evolve into new habits, routines, and behaviours we don’t acknowledge they have happened. We simply accept the latest status quo. Often we don’t even realise a new habit has developed.
How Habits Form?
Creating Training Objectives
So now we know how a habit is acquired, we can begin to measure our training progress using objectives. Setting measurable goals allows us to track our training progress. It allows us to see whether we need to raise or lower our training criteria, making it harder or easier for our dogs to complete it and form habits. By setting goals we can work out what we want to accomplish and what limitations we may encounter.
We can identify how many times we need to repeat a training activity to consider it successful and when we can move on to teaching something else. It helps us set realistic goals. There is no point trying to swim the Channel if you haven’t learned to swim yet. When we set ourselves goals that can be measured we recognise whether our investment of time and effort is worth the outcome. It helps us commit to the purpose of training. Finally, we can acknowledge the length of time it will take to complete an activity. We can remember to set measurable goals by using the acronym:
· Specific (simple, sensible, significant)
· Measurable (meaningful, motivating)
· Achievable (agreed, attainable)
· Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based)
· Time-bound (time-based, time-limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive)
We create habits by training. We are training our dog’s brains to create habits. Every behaviour is focused on the desire to obtain a reward. When we measure our training progress we can identify what is blocking habits being formed.
Do You Need Help?
If you need help setting training objectives please give me a call.
I offer individually tailored 1-2-1 Canine Coaching Sessions which may also be helpful.
Each session is 1-2 hours long and includes a follow-up email report and telephone support. Sessions start at £45, packages are available for multiple sessions.