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Set Specific Golf Goals to Set Yourself Up for Success.
Have you thought about how you want to improve your golf game this year? Goal setting is a great way to achieve this.
The most important tool that I used to lower my handicap was that I always set measurable and achievable goals for myself each year. It is a very effective way of motivating myself to continually improve.
“Goal setting is associated with achieving the optimal conditions for flow state.
Setting clear goals that are both challenging yet within your skill level is a powerful contributor to finding yourself in ‘the zone’.”– Psychology Today
Psychology Today also has a great article on goal setting for athletes using the SMART method. This method was first used by George T. Doran in the November 1981 issue of Management Review and has become a standard in successful goal setting in everything from business, life changes and sports. They even go one step further with their SMARTER method as shown below.
The more specific your goal is, the better. For example, I could say, “I want to improve my golf game”. Well, the golf game is made up of so many different aspects and variables. It is almost too overwhelming when you think of it as a whole.
A more specific goal would be “I want to improve my drives”. Pick one area that you want to improve upon.
Make sure your goal is quantifiable.
The goal above would be “I want to fix my slice and hit at least 12 fairways during a round.” When you put measurable goals in place it can be much easier to track where you are.
Acceptance means that you are “all in” on this goal. You have bought into it and mean business. I like to make sure that I act on the goal right away so I can put my plan into action.
Are these goals achievable?
I would love to increase my driving distance by 50 yards on my drives. But with the skills and time that I have, would that be realistic for me? Probably not.
Setting goals that are actually attainable is really important or it can be deflating and counterproductive in motivation.
Giving yourself a deadline or an exact time that the goal needs to be achieved is very important in goal setting. Basically, it is about accountability.
This allows you to track the progress and have an end goal or time limit in mind. Otherwise, there is no urgency or motivation for you to complete the goal.
This is an add on to the original but so true.
I like it because unless you are somewhat excited and motivated about this goal, it probably won’t happen. There has to be an internal flame or desire to achieve this goal.
When you are setting your goal, think deeply about how you’ll feel once the goal has been achieved. This will help you in finding that motivation and spark.
Recording Your Goal
It is extremely helpful to track your progress in a journal, notebook or even an app on your phone. Whatever is easiest and most accessible.
Recording your progress can help keep the momentum going as you can observe your progress. And if it helps you to head to the driving range or putting green or play more golf, then this will propel you to keep moving forward.
A Good Start in Goal Setting
There are many other methods and tips, but these are a good start. If you haven’t done anything like this, it can be helpful to just think about your golf game and where you might need help or where your issues are.
I have another post where I talk about tracking your basic stats and numbers during your rounds. This helps in determining where your problem areas might be and where you can improve. Ways to Improve your Game post.
Every little bit helps, and each little step towards your goal can be invigorating and can keep you excited. Especially in such a challenging game as golf where even one shot can get you down.
If you have an overall goal, well then it can help keep you focused and motivated and you’ll want to keep playing.
Do you have any other ideas for setting goals?
What are your goals for the year? I’d love to hear them!