Some advice I hear often is to not train your dog when you are in a bad mood or tired, or…..fill in the reason that most applies to you…..
I call bullshit
Let’s face it, when do you ever really feel like training the dog?
Even a self-confessed behaviour geek like me doesn’t actually feel like doing the training every day.
Just like I don’t feel like exercising every day either.
You know what I’ve finally learned?
You don’t get results through half-assing it.
I’ve been reflecting a lot on different aspects of behaviour change and motivation as I’ve been researching and writing my book. One of the things that has struck me most about motivation – here I’m talking about ourselves not about the motivation of our learner in a training scenario – is that anyone who has had success at anything says it’s got nothing to do with motivation and everything to do with discipline.
Athletes, business people, motivational speakers, whoever, all say the same thing. It’s about doing the work even when you don’t feel like it.
That’s the attitude I took when Flint and I were doing the work for our training assessment for the KPA professional course. I made sure we had at least one session every. single. day.
It’s the attitude I took when I was seeing a personal trainer several years ago and was at the fittest I’ve been in a long time.
I fell off the wagon for a while. But I’ve found myself back on it recently.
I’ve also got back on the wagon as far as training my dogs go too.
I’m not setting myself unachievable goals. For the dogs, one session a day and if I’m feeling slow or finding it hard to focus – which has been happening a lot recently; another story for another time – I just pick something to train that will be easier on both of us.
And you know what I’ve found? It’s always the thought of doing it that is worse than the actual doing. If I can just get started then the rest will follow.
Plus – have a plan.
For the exercise thing, it’s helped enormously to have joined a program where the thinking is done for me and all I have to do is follow the plan.
Where I have to do my planning and thinking for myself – I do it upfront so that when I have to train, we can just train. No thinking about what behaviour, where, what criteria. I’ve done all that already.
I just have to pick up my clicker and do it.
As my main man Michael Olajide Jr says:
Success has a pattern, and it’s called repetitionMichael Olajide Jr.