Tanja Mitton Australia’s No. 1 Equestrian Success and Mindset Coach
Tanja Mitton grew up in Germany with a passion for horses and show jumping. She worked and trained with a number of elite German and Austrian show jumping riders before meeting her husband Richard and moving to Australia in 1995.
While building her riding coaching business, Tanja was fascinated that many riders displayed a lack of confi dence and belief in their own ability. Tanja discovered a solution to this problem in her study of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP).
Now a NLP Master Coach and Practitioner, Tanja combines her unique riding instruction and NLP techniques to coach riders from Pony Club and Adult Riding to the elite level, helping the individual to identify and achieve goals by building a belief system that can support them.
If you are more interested in the science behind thoughts and feelings, I recommend the book Evolve your brain by Dr. Joe Dispenza D.C.(Doctor of Chiropractic).
Take a moment and look back to the past 12 months. How successful have you been in the past in achieving your goals and most importantly, has the journey been fun?
It’s easy to set goals that are hard work and seemingly impossible to reach and that is often the reason why many riders give up on themselves. Not because they are not good enough but because they set themselves up for a battle from the start. A goal has to have a purpose, a purpose that keeps you enthusiastic and energised.
I did a clinic last year and when we spoke about goals it happened that most of the riders felt that in order to improve their physical riding skills it would be benefi cial for them to lose some weight. At fi rst they weren’t very keen to include the weight loss in their goals sheet because they failed many times before and they felt it would discourage them in setting other goals. So we decided to take a slightly different approach this time round.
First I got them to look for a purpose WHY they wanted to lose the weight. • Someone said they wanted to buy a specifi c riding jacket and it would look better in a smaller size. • Someone else had qualifi ed for Sydney Royal and she was really looking forward to get great photographs from the event and wanted to make sure she looked good in them. • Another lady felt that in order to bring on her young horse she needed to be more fl exible in the saddle and therefore had to lose weight.
Now that everyone had found their purpose it was time to create a visual image of what achieving the goal would look like.
The biggest mistake people make is that they set a goal without changing the way they see themselves.
If you are overweight and your goal is to lose weight but every time you picture yourself on the horse you see an overweight rider, you won’t be successful in achieving your goal because your subconscious actions will always refl ect your belief.
We did some visualisation exercises and everyone was eventually able to create a picture of themselves and how they would look having already achieved their goal.
• How she would look in her new riding jacket that was two sizes smaller than her current one.
• The picture on the wall in her dining room from Sydney Royal after losing 10kg.
• The feeling of riding her young horse and being more fl exible and balanced after losing 20kg.
Now that they could get a glimpse of the outcome they all got really excited. The next part was putting together action steps.
It is important to put a plan together that is easy to follow and fun to do. If you make it too hard you won’t follow through, it has to be something you enjoy doing instead of being a chore.
• One lady enjoys walking, so she decided to meet up with her friend on a daily basis and they would walk the dog together.
• Another lady decided that she would join her local gym. She had always wanted to do that but previously thought the gym was only for thin people.
• Someone else made the decision that instead of eating chocolate every day she would only buy very expensive chocolate and therefore only eat some once per week.
We then fi nished the goal session by writing out affi rmations like…
• I am a thin person
• I am thin and fi t
• I look great in photos Now this was just a regular goal setting session, but what blew me away was the emails I got a few weeks later.
One lady wrote: “I was making my husband bacon and eggs for breakfast and usually I keep picking at his bacon as I cook it. When I caught myself eating, a voice popped into my head saying: ‘thin people don’t pick at bacon while they cook it’. That was it! From then on she only ate what was on her plate.”
Another email said: “I went shopping at the supermarket and walked down the chocolate aisle, when all of a sudden I saw that everyone in the aisle was overweight. I asked myself, if this is where the overweight people shop, where do the thin people go? I looked around and saw that all the thin people were in the fruit and veggie section, so I went there instead.” How cool is that!
Make sure when you set your goals that you create a picture in your mind and reaffi rm that picture on a regular basis so it becomes part of you.
I am in regular contact with this group of riders and the amount of weight they have lost is incredible. It is not only their riding that has improved, but more importantly they have changed their entire lifestyle and are feeling so much more energised and happy.
Achieving your goals is easy when you know how to go about it.