Setting and Achieving Goals: Tips from Krista Williams

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A successful small business owner and fiercely competitive professional barrel racer, Sponsored Rider Krista Williams has achieved all of her goals through nothing other than hard work and determination. After years of grinding, she ended 2019 with the WPRA California Circuit Permit Year-End title. When COVID hit the following year, Krista kept her positive mindset and adjusted her goals to keep pushing forward. Read on to hear her tips on setting and working towards even the most ambitious goals!

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Why are goals important to you?

I need a game plan to hold myself accountable. Without a game plan, it’s easy to watch three, four, or even five months go by without making strides toward my end goal. At first, the hardest thing might be just saying the goal out loud or writing it down. It’s often easier to just accept that you “can’t” and just stay in your comfort zone, than making that first step.

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"It’s often easier to just accept that you 'can’t' and just stay in your comfort zone, than making that first step [toward your goal]."

How do you go about setting goals for yourself?

I start by reflecting on the prior year, then ask myself three questions: What went right, what went wrong, and how I can do better? I also take time to reflect on my current situation by asking myself whether I’ve maxed out my current horse, or my own health, and what new tools I might need for the next step. The last thing I want to do is become comfortable or stagnant.

"If I feel like my goals are
one step out of my reach,
I find myself digging deeper,
stepping out of my comfort zone,
and thinking outside the box."​

When writing out my goals, I start with a long-term goal that currently feels out of reach, such as qualifying for the National Finals Rodeo. Then, I work my way back. My yearly goal is something I haven’t achieved before, all the way back to monthly and even weekly goals. My short-term goals are reachable, and I focus on them daily. In reality, we only need to be 1% better than yesterday for it all to start adding up. I reflect on my goals weekly or monthly and readjust them if needed. Sometimes I may hit a crossroads and while it’s OK to take a different path, it’s never OK to go backward.

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"We only need to be 1% better than yesterday for it all to start adding up."

What do you do on a day-to-day basis to meet your goals?

It’s important for me to schedule out each day, including what I will eat, when I will work out, when I will work, and when I will ride. I’m self-employed so I have to hold myself accountable. I also love to read and try to fill my mind with something positive daily. This year I plan to write something positive about myself every morning. If I don’t believe in myself, I will never achieve my goals.

Do you have any tips for navigating obstacles that come between you and your goal?

This is something we all have to deal with. Sometimes what feels like a tragedy could be a new opportunity, whether that’s starting a new colt, investing in a new trainer, or meeting a gym goal. It’s all in the way you look at it. I think of these obstacles as tests to make sure my heart is in the right place. The key for me is to not be prideful, always ask for help, and be willing to change my course.

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"I think of these obstacles as tests to make sure my heart is in the right place."

How did you deal with the setbacks of 2020?

In 2019, I reached some of my biggest goals to date. I achieved what had started as out-of-reach goals five years ago and found myself in uncharted water. To be honest, I had kept my head to the ground for so long, that when I looked up at the end of 2019 was shocked at how far I had come. I had big goals for 2020, including Women’s Professional Rodeo Rookie of the Year, making my first CA PRCA circuit finals, and futuriting our stud horse.

When COVID hit, all of that was off the table. I decided to change 2020 into the year of opportunities by growing my business, working on my barrel horse prospects to lighten the load on my rodeo horse, and training with unbelievable NFR barrel racers that I wouldn't have had the time for if we would have been on the road. By the end of the season, I had not one but four horses starting to crack into the 1D. My prospects are now ready for some slacks or amateur rodeos this spring depending on COVID.

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"I decided to change 2020 into the year of opportunities..."

Do you want to share any of your goals for the coming year?

My #1 goal is WPRA CA Rookie of the Year and making my first PRCA circuit finals. That aside, I have added some new goals. We have decided to retire my rodeo horse and focus on the next generation. RDJ Modern Day Romeo won me the CA WPRA Permit Year-End title and has opened so many doors, but in my heart, I know he can't take me all the way.

With COVID and so much unknown, I have decided to take it as an opportunity to focus on my other three, which are all brothers to Romeo. One of my goals was to qualify for the Extreme Million in Salina, Utah on my green horse and we did it! I will have three new horses in the trailer this year and plan on going out of state to chase some big divisional races and qualify for the American.

If you could give someone starting out in your sport one tip, what would it be?

Declare your goals to YOURSELF and start with something small. Remember that you only need to focus on 1% improvement every day and before you know it, you will be reaching those goals!


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