Goal: – (noun) the object of a person's ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.
As a PGA Coach, I have helped countless students create goals. We write them down and work toward obtaining them. In doing so for decades, I have learned a couple important lessons when it comes to selecting them. It’s an interesting process because we all HAVE goals.
Specific to golf, we all want to get better. There is some aspect of your game that can be improved; if not multiple! As the calendar changes over and a new year begins, before you go and select those goals for 2022, let’s first discuss why choosing an appropriate goal is the most important aspect of being able to obtain it.
At first glance it may seem like we just need to start with easier goals, but that’s not the case. Some of your goals should be quite lofty, but not all of them. A healthy balance will provide you an opportunity to build a little momentum. One thing is for sure, it’s not complicated, and it should be fun.
Let’s look closer at the process of selecting a specific set of goals to start the new year.
Step 1 – Be Creative
Writing down a goal list should be a creative exercise. It doesn’t have to happen in one quick sitting. In fact, it should probably take a couple of weeks. Which is okay since 2022 has just started, and we have plenty of time.
Don’t you hate it when you have a great idea and no place to write it down? Well, start using that smartphone you have for something smart. All types of phones have a notes or reminders app. If not, you can even download one. Keep that app on your home screen. Make sure it is easily accessible. Over the next couple of weeks think about some goals you might set for 2022.
Step 2 – Be Selective
Let’s create some criteria for these goals. As I mentioned earlier, our goals list should be balanced. It should be a combination of short and long-term targets. That’s the first part of the selection process. Cut your list down to one or two short term and one long term goal.
To help eliminate some make sure they are measurable. Many times, we write down a possible goal and later realize there’s really no way to determine how to can get there. Your goals must be measurable.
The goals must also be relatable. There are enough distractions in this world already. Don’t build a goal list where each objective will send you in a different direction. Keep those achievements closely associated with one another. For example, the long-term goal is to lower your handicap by five strokes. To achieve that accomplishment, you set two related short terms goals. First, to practice your short game twice per week and second to take a lesson after every six practice sessions. These are goals that can be measured, and they are related.
As part of the selection process, solicit feedback from your PGA Coach. There’s no better feeling than collective achievement. Include others in your journey and the reward will be greater.
Step 3 – Be Resolute
We all make resolutions, but we never act resolute and follow through. This year you will follow a process to design better goals. Once the goals are set, be disciplined. If you were thoughtful in developing them, you should have no issues working on them. Hold yourself accountable and again, let others know what you’re trying to do. We all need support. Once you get distracted others can step in and help reset your focus. Again, collective achievement is a wonderful motivator.
Goal setting shouldn’t be a one-day process. Since we are going to keep those goals connected/related, we should keep that notes app open all the time. Once you reach this finish line, you’ll already have a new list waiting for the next round. Before you know it, all aspects of life will become more goal oriented. When they do, success will most certainly follow.
Happy New Year!