I don’t know about you, but I so much hate spam in my inbox. I dread it so much that I spend minutes every day either reporting it as “spam” or unsubscribing from all those lists that I probably did not sign up for in the first place!

As I was deleting unwanted emails a few days back, I was feeling kind of angry at the “invasion” of my inbox.  Email has become such a window into our lives that I am sure I am not the only one out there guarding our inbox zealously. However, an interesting thing happened: once I acknowledge my aggravation with this transgression of sorts, I began to think instead of looking at spam and the act of getting rid of it from a whole new perspective: Instead of focusing on how much it irritates me – especially because it robs me of precious time and attention to other important things, I decided to focus on the great pleasure it gives me when I hit the “unsubscribe” button.

This approach I think works because the focus is on the direct consequences actions have. As such, I began to feel immediately better (more relaxed, more in “control” even less aggravated) when I began to focus on what I was gaining from deleting these emails and from unsubscribing from unwanted offers.

The exercise above got me thinking about my client’s commitment to their dogs and the training that we do together. I know they have invested a lot of resources such as time, finances and even emotions to see the changes they are hoping for in their dog and I also know that as all humans do, they at times might dread the process, wishing  they could allocate their finances or energy into something else, etc. But what if instead of feeling this way they would proactively record all the progress made?  Even if it meant tiny increments in the right direction?

This is not a new “discovery” but if you think of it,  it’s the best way to continue moving forward with any endeavor that requires of our attention, resources or one that appears almost unattainable, either because the end result might be far ahead into the future, overwhelming or something else.

When we can vividly imagine or quantify the result of our efforts we do not need to look elsewhere for validation or the motivation to forge towards our ultimate goal! This approach is one of the main reasons that I work with dogs the way I do. Change in behavior is observable and as such quantifiable.

So here is my recommendations or call to action:

1. Imagine the possibility for change in your dog (or yourself)

2. Quantify the steps in the right direction as a strategy to press forward

3. Celebrate every single plateau and use these as stepping stones to achieve your goal(s) with your dog.

I will keep this one short, as I need to take a few minutes relishing as I delete the daily “spam” from my inbox.