Using A Goal Board With Parrots

Blue throated macaw

The Womachs are coming back today. I am very excited to see them and the flock again. I can’t believe it’s been two years since I moved from Austin to Orlando, and they left for their Ringling tour. Where has the time gone?
Before I left Austin, I wrote a list of things I wanted to accomplish in these two years. I’m guessing I got through perhaps half of the things on that list. I can look to see…I found it this morning in an empty box while packing up my things. I have to shake my head in dusgust when I realize what DIDN’T get done.

As I continued packing, I tried to come up with excuses to make myself feel like less of a loser: I ran through all the obvious ones: too busy, too tired, too________(fill in the blank). But I know that in the end, there are no excuses, only results, and I don’t see nearly enough of those.

The failure in my system is obvious. I compiled a list of goals that were important enough for me to take the time to write them down. Then, instead of keeping the list available as a constant reminder, I set it aside thinking that the act of writing it would remain motivating enough for me that I would carry out it’s objective. Yeah…no.

Congo african grey

When we really want something, we shouldn’t rely only on our desire to reach that goal. Sometimes our momentum stalls and we need to re-inspire ourselves to keep on track and moving forward. Someone explained to me the influencial power she found in using a goal board.

A goal board is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: a board on which you write your goals. It is as simple as it sounds.The thing that makes a goal board work is that in investing your time in making it, you become psychologically committed to achieving that goal. It’s like making a promise to yourself.

To enhance the likelihood of success, your goal board is designed in such a way, and is put in such a place that it catches your eye every day reminding you of your intentions and keeps you focused on them. When you are faltering, and feeling without ambition, a look at your goal board should remind you of what is important and redirect your energies.

Some people use pictures, others only words. Some find the use of certain colors inspiring. It doesn’t have to be huge, but it should be moving to you and draw your attention everytime you walk past it.

Toco toucan Pretty excited to meet this little guy!

Think how valuable this could be with our birds. At one point or another we have all said something like: “I think I will harness train the birds this year.” or “The birds will have their outdoor aviary by next summer for sure!”. How often is it that you look back at that statement months later realizing you are no closer to reaching the goal than you were on the day you said it?

Let’s make a committment to commit! Let’s make a promise to ourselves to achieve just one goal for our birds in the next six months. Maybe it will be an improvement in diet, or maybe a new trained behavior. And let’s try using a goal board in achieving it. I have trusted friends who have used them successfully for years and who swear by their effectiveness. Let’s not let another year pass us by. Believe me, time can slip away from you. I just had two years whiz by in the blink of an eye!

Author Patty Jourgensen specializes in avian health, behavior and nutrition and has been working with and caring for rescue birds since 1987. 

1 comment

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