pet photography

How Your Dog Adventures Can Make Every 2024 Resolution a Walk in the Park

Ah, the New Year—a fresh start, a blank canvas and a chance to set some brand new goals. But let’s face it, statistics show that the majority of our January resolutions don’t make it past the first few weeks. The second Friday of January has been dubbed Quitter’s Day after all. But hey we’ve all been there, right?

This year, we’ve got a paw-some solution to keep you on track: Help increase your resolution success by involving your furry best friends! Let’s dive into some stats, common resolutions, and why your fur baby could be the secret ingredient to success this year!

New Year’s resolutions in numbers

Before we pull our pets into this, let’s take a quick look at some intriguing stats:

  1. You’re not alone if some of your own resolutions have faded away in the past.  Approximately 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February. Yikes – that’s a big number!
  2. Forbes.com tells us that for 2024 the top resolutions include improving fitness, improving finances, improving mental health, losing weight, improving diet, and making time for loved ones. Were any of these on your list, last January?
  3. People over the age of 55 are 3x less likely to make a New Year’s resolution than younger adults. I wonder why that is? Perhaps jaded or already hit their personal ambitions?

But wait! It’s not all doom & gloom! You and I are together on this. I didn’t check off all of my 2023 resolutions either but I still find goal-setting – or at least thinking about new goals – an inspiring way to start the year.

One of my 2023 goals was to train more with my pups. And although I sorta did (Baylee earned her CGC!) we still haven’t mastered that elusive recall with any of our crew. Sounding like a 2024 goal…

Why New Year’s resolutions sometimes fall flat

We all know the cycle: We’ve got lots of enthusiasm in January as we make our New Year’s Eve toast, hit a bit of a slump in February, and by March, that resolution is a distant memory, or we’ve mentally put it off until we aren’t so “busy”.

Who’s the culprit?! Here are some common reasons we lose enthusiasm for our New Year’s resolutions:

  • Vague goals. If your resolution isn’t specific enough, it’s super-hard to see and celebrate when you’ve been successful. ‘Losing weight’ is a LOT more achievable if you plan instead to lose 5 pounds by June instead. ‘Get fit” will move right along if you instead resolve to take five walks every week
  • Unrealistic expectations. “Train my dog to be perfect” is a biggie and what is perfect to you may not be perfect to me. How about starting with a list of things you want your pup to be able to do, then sign up for a 6-week training class.
  • Insufficient planning. If you’ve chosen a big goal, you’ve gotta also think about the steps involved. Traveling to another country realistically starts with getting your passport. Wait too long to do that and all your lovely travel plans are derailed. Some resolutions are actually a handful of goals, not just one!
  • Mindset challenges. Yeah, we’ve all got our baggage. For a while I let my fear of not being “good enough” as a pet photographer stop me from pursuing my dream. After some mental work with a coach and realizing I was my duty to help people memorialize their sweet fur babies things took off.

Paw-sibilities Are Endless: Pet-Friendly Resolutions for 2024

Ok ok so, where do our pets fit into all of this? My favorite strategy to make a new habit stick is to include my pups in my planning. Baylee is rearin’ & ready to go at the crack of dawn, reminding me to start off my day with a positive and spunky outlook. And–bonus! By including them you’ll tick off that ‘spending more time with those I love’ goal off your list, too!

Let’s add a furry twist to the most common New Year’s resolutions!

  • Exercise more!
    Pet Spin: Did you know that Pensacola, FL has over 90 public parks? Why not make a challenge to get out a few times a week to get those steps in with Fido. You might find a new favorite place and, if you time it right, catch one of the stunning sunsets the Panhandle has to offer. A perfect photo backdrop for your handsome pooch.

  • Learn a new skill or hobby:
    Pet spin: I’ve always wanted to learn to paddleboard & think it would be so freaking cool to traverse the waters with my pup at the helm. Ok so maybe a Great Dane would need their own paddleboard… But just get out there and try something new with your pup.
  • Save money/spend less:
    Pet spin: Ok so you might think having a pet only costs money but if your goal is to save some extra dough think about free activities you can do with your pup. Did you know several of the afore mentioned Pensacola Parks have Agility setups? Get out there and start training those tricks!
  • Home Improvement:
    Pet spin: Every year I get an itch to redo one of my spaces. Even if it is just a coat of paint and some décor. Get your fur baby involved by creating a custom wall art portrait piece with me at Hoff House Pet Photography! We can find a location in Pensacola that matches your new décor style and get your pup a beautiful portrait to display loud & proud. I mean they are the center of your world; shouldn’t they be the center of your living room too?

Living room with dog wallart

  • Enjoy life!
    Pet spin: Pick one day a month (or quarter) to spend with just your fur baby. Doing all the activities you know they love. Car ride for a pup cup. A run down the beach. Swing into a local brewery for a drink. Heck, hire a pet photographer (ahmh, me) to document your day together! Days like this are often the ones we remember most.

Pets are the perfect daily reminder

When you add a daily dose of fur to your yearly goals, they become a fun (not choresome) addition to your weekly task list. Since your pet is right there beside you every day, help them become positive reminders of the goals you’d like to accomplish!

  • Maybe purchase your pet a brand new bright collar with your word of the year embroidered instead of their name. It would be a great conversation starter as you stroll downtown together.
  • Is budget-building your goal? Build a budget for your pet, first! It will be a shorter, but similar list, with food, medical care, fun, etc. Yes, it can be a little eye-opening: THAT much for food? THAT much for a yearly veterinarian visit? But once your pet’s budget is complete, you’ll have part of your own done, too, and you’ll be on your way to completing that resolution!
  • If you’re a paper-planner kind of person (me, me, me!!), splurge on some pet-themed stickers to brighten up your planner and remind yourself to get out with your pet.
  • Practice your new, more positive mindset by taking just a few seconds to enjoy the end of each walk, play session, or car ride with your pet. There’s nothing but good vibes in their eyes, then!

Nothing provides a more immediate glow of enjoyment than ending a reading session with your cat all snuggled with you so take just a few minutes now to think about how you can wrap your pet into the resolutions you’re planning for 2024!

Resolution success is all about joy and sustainability

I’m thinking that adding our pets to our resolution-making is the secret sauce for not just crushing our goals but also cooking up some unforgettable memories. Memories that should be photographed to capture this stage of life for you and your fur baby. So are you ready to make this year the most pawsome one yet!? I’ll be checking in in about 11 months to see how it went!

Jess

Sources:

Man and great dane walking down path