If You Change Nothing…Nothing Changes

By Donene Taylor

An important part of my morning routine is to read. I read information that will help me move forward towards my Bold Goals. As I opened my current edition of Success Magazine the statistics of how many people will quit on their goals/resolutions before the end of the year jumped off the page at me.

Research conducted by the University of Scranton found that only eight percent of those who set goals on January 1 achieve them by the end of the year.

“Only eight percent of those who set goals on January 1 achieve them by the end of the year. “

University of Scranton

Research conducted by Strava, the social network for athletes, has identified January 12, as the day millions of people throw in the towel on their goals/resolutions, which they set at the beginning of January.

I began reflecting on how I used to be part of those statistics. I don’t recall throwing my sucker in the dirt specifically on January 12th. However, I will admit that I have full out quit on myself, my dreams, and my goals numerous times. I have experienced many of those “January 12th Days” throughout my life. That is, until I developed the self-awareness, which helped, identify the triggers that caused me to quit on my Bold Goals.


I remember hitting the ground running the first of every year being hopeful, excited, full of focus and energy. I would be thinking, “This is the year I will do it!! This is the year I will win the World!!”

Then as the year progressed, I would experience a string of obstacles, struggles and challenges. I made numerous mistakes and experienced a stack of failures. All of a sudden instead of being full of the “can do spirit,” I would join the “poor pitiful me club” or the “ain’t it awful club.” This “feeling” would be so overwhelming that I would stop and take a break from my Bold Goals. Or heck, let’s just call it what I really did, I quit.

I had absolutely no curiosity or fascination of what may be on the other side of the adversity I was experiencing. All I knew was that I was uncomfortable, I didn’t like this “feeling” and I believed the pain I was experiencing would go away once I quit.

Then, time would pass, and I would think, “You know, it was not that bad.” The spark, the desire, in my heart would start to fire-up. I would start again, hitting the ground running on January 1st excited and full of inspiration and motivation. I would tell myself, “This is the year I will Do It! This is the year I will win the World!” Only to experience the same obstacles, struggles, challenges, mistakes, failures, and adversities. It was painful. I didn’t like it. So, I would stop, take a break….I quit, again.


I continued with this pattern of stop-starting, stop-starting, stop-starting for years. That is until I went to a Lyle Sankey Bull Riding School with my oldest son, Hunter.  I share this story in my book, Heart of a Champion. I knew this school would be transformational for my son and I was confident Mr. Sankey would be the coach he needed to become a champion in the arena. I did not know that this school would be a crucial turning point for me to change my life and begin my journey of becoming someone I had never been before.

The first day of the school, 8 am, Mr. Sankey has all the students sitting together on the bleachers. I am sitting on the far edge of the bleachers. I have my pen, notebook and clipboard in my lap. In my mind, my job for the next three days is to be an expert note taker and stay plugged-in. I wanted to give Hunter the best opportunity for success, so we could take all the valuable information home with us and apply it.

Mr. Sankey asked the students, “Does anyone know the definition of insanity? I write down, Definition of Insanity – and wait for the answer. None of the students raise their hand so Mr. Sankey explains, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over again expecting different results.” As I finish writing the definition, the light bulb in my head lights up. I realize this is exactly how I have been approaching my Bold Goal to win the World. I have been riding the “Insanity Loop.”

After we get home from this three-day school I am reviewing all my notes, diagrams and pictures. I begin brainstorming on how I will get off my “Insanity Loop.” While doing my morning chores it comes to me, I will write and sign a three-year contract with myself.


This contract was a rock-solid agreement with myself to stay committed to my roping for three years. My contract would have a No Matter What clause in it; “No Matter What the struggle, obstacle, challenge, adversity, results or how bad it gets or embarrassment I experience I will not stop for 3 years.”

Quitting was no longer an option. At the end of the three-year contract I could stop, if I wanted too. Or, I could renegotiate my contract.  But until then, my three-year contract was sacred.

I knew the contract would not guarantee I would win the World. (Though I still hoped it may be possible.) The contract was about much more than winning. It was about helping me focus on my process. It was about developing the skill sets I needed. And most of all, it was about committing to the journey – the journey of becoming someone I had never been before.

I wrote the contract and signed it. If you have read my book, Heart of a Champion, you know what happens next. It’s a good thing I had my contract in place, because I had no idea the obstacles – and heartbreak – that lay ahead.

If you are interested in what my three-year contract looked like you can go to my website; DoneneTaylor.com and enter your email address (scroll to the bottom). Once downloaded you can print it off and customize the three-year contract and use it to accomplish your own Bold Goals. I have included another free resource titled: 7 Proven Strategies That Keep You Committed to Your Bold Goals.

If you are interested in purchasing my book, “Heart of a Champion,” here is the link to purchase it on Amazon (click here).

After I signed my contract and I took quitting off the table as an option, something very unexpected happened. Instantly, my mind began looking for ways to “find a way” and “figure it out.” I no longer could resort back to my old ways of throwing my sucker in the dirt, throwing in the towel, stop-starting, and joining the popular “Ain’t It Awful and Poor Pitiful Me” clubs when life got difficult.

Eliminating those options listed above opened up my mind to gain some great self-awareness and create space for a lot of introspection, creativity, and outside of the box thinking. I began digging deeper and doing deep work on myself.


Here are some examples of what happened when I decided to Stay Committed to My Commitment

  1. I identified my “Big Why” for running down my Bold Goal.

My “Big Why” was much larger than I anticipated. It was much more than the saddle, gold buckle and my name in the record book. Identifying my “Big Why” helped me to “grow through” the adversity and got me to the other side of it. My “Big Why” was also an important part in helping me to find the “How” in attaining my Bold Goal.

2. I identified the Benefits I would receive as I was running down my Bold Goals.

I understood the benefits go much deeper than the prizes, title and accolades received from others. I gained awareness that I was receiving benefits from running down my Bold Goal already. I changed my perspective. I began seeing myself on a mission and a self-discovery      journey. I began embracing the personal growth I was experiencing, the skill sets I was acquiring, relationships I was nurturing and the adventures I was living.  These where the core benefits I needed to focus on every day.

  • I identified the Costs of running down my Bold Goals.

Bold Goals may cost more money and time than we originally anticipated. Bold Goals cost more than only money.

                  Here is a short-list of what my Bold Goals have cost me.

  1. Getting outside my comfort zone. I have learned to be really comfortable being uncomfortable.
  2. Take risks, “Be Scared” and do it anyway. I learned to look for opportunities to lean into and run towards my fear.
  3. Invest time in planning my 168 hours each week, my 86,400 seconds every day. I am striving to be better today than I was yesterday. Becoming a savage of my time is a great strategy in helping me do this.
  4. Say “No” to things I want right now so I can say “Yes” to what really matters later. I have learned the value of delayed gratification.

When running down Bold Goals it is important to finish this equation: Ask yourself, “Do My Benefits outweigh My Costs of running down My Bold Goal?

My benefits of being on the journey to becoming the best version of myself unequivocally outweighed my costs. Running down my Bold Goals have been difficult, challenging and hard. I assure you; it was worth it!

I want to encourage you to run down your Bold Goals. It doesn’t matter if it is January 1st, 12th or June 22nd, the only way you can do it is by taking one step at a time. The best way to start is to take the first step. Even if your step is small, it counts! Every step counts and every step matters when you are Bold Goal Getting! I assure you if I can do it; you can do it too! Follow me on Facebook and Instagram and tune in every Monday for a new “Mental Performance Strategy.”


A great way to accomplish your goals is to have a coach that can serve as your guide to success. As a Certified Mental Performance Coach, I have had the opportunity to help many well-known athletes close the gap between where they are and where they want to be. I would love to do the same for you! Sign up for one-on-one coaching session with me over video chat and let’s chase down your Bold Goals! Contact me at [email protected] .

About Donene:

Donene Taylor is a professional author and speaker who delivers energizing and fun, inspirational/motivational presentations to many different organizations and teams. As a Certified Mental Performance Coach she provides one-on-one coaching for clients that range from professional to junior athletes and working professionals who need an edge to succeed.

She joined the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association in 1998 and became a Women’s Professional Rodeo Association World Champion Tie-Down Calf Roper in 2016 at the age of 52. Donene is also a 4-time WPRA Mountain States Circuit Champion Tie-Down Calf Roper.