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Newsletter January 2011


GET READY FOR SUCCESS: SET GOOD GOLF GOALS

 

          The New Year of 2011 has begun. It is a time to look forward to the coming year. It’s a time to reflect on the changes we want to make in our lives. It’s a time to resolve to make those changes. Have you made your New Year’s resolutions and stuck to them?  Committing to making a change in the New Yeart is different from other resolutions in that it is done at the end of the year when we have good intentions to improve our lives.

 

Why do New Year’s resolutions fail?

Generally people resolve to change long standing habits such as exercise, weight loss, or smoking. Unfortunately, many of these resolutions are broken and life reverts back to old habits. The intention to improve one’s life is a very positive life step. However, a better way to be successful is by setting short and long term goals.

         Resolutions can be overwhelming as they stay the same; “I will exercise an hour every day.” On the other hand, goals can be broken down into small steps that can increase in difficulty bringing you closer to your overall goal. As you accomplish the initial steps you become accustomed to the change and develop new lasting positive habits.

            Once you have broken a resolution, it’s easier to feel like a failure and give up altogether. But as you achieve each small goal, you will feel that you are on the right track and are moving in the right direction to accomplish the success of your ultimate goal.    

If you find the resolution too difficult it is easy to discard it. When you set many small goals and you find it difficult to achieve one, you can choose a new one that will lead you to the same end result.

            In a research study by Locke, Shaw, Saari & Latham (1981) involving specific and challenging goals, they concluded that 90% led to higher performance than did easy or no goals.

         When I go to the pool for water aerobics, the instructor says for us to “do our personal best” with each new exercise. What does this mean?

            Locke and Latham state that people who are told to “do their best” will not do so. To accomplish a mental or physical skill a person has to have a clear view of what is expected from him/her. Therefore, setting a goal is important because it focuses your efforts in a specific direction.

 

Think in terms of what you’d like to improve in your golf game,

not what you think isn’t good enough.

 

            Good goal setting means setting realistic goals. Champions know where they are going, what their plan is along the way. Most golfers never reach their goals because they don’t define them or seriously consider they are achievable. In setting your goals, keep in mind the following criteria.

 

Be Specific

Goals should clearly define what we are choosing to do. Defining what you want to happen will help you to focus your efforts. Make your short term goals clear and easy to accomplish. In setting your goals, ask yourself the following What, Why and How questions.

·       WHAT do you want to accomplish with each goal? Be specific.

·       WHY is it important to do it at this time?

·       HOW are you going to do it? List short term and intermediate goals.

 

Be Realistic

 You must want to achieve the goal and not just wish it to happen. Once you have broken a resolution, it’s easier to feel like a failure and give up altogether. Set goals that you can attain with some effort. If it is too difficult you set yourself up for failure. If it is too easy there isn’t any motivation to improve.

 

Measureable

Your progress in golf is easily measured by your handicap, other stats such as number of putts, fairways and green hit in regulation, ups and downs, sand saves, etc. By measuring your progress you stay on track, know where you are in your progress and can enjoy the success of achievement that motivates you to move on to the next goal.

 

Be Specific

          Good goal setting means setting precise goals. Champions know where they are going, what their plan is along the way. Most golfers never reach their goals because they don’t define them or seriously consider they are achievable.

 

Attainable

You must believe that you can achieve the goal. Conversely, some people don’t set goals high enough because they don’t want to be disappointed.  It is important to set goals where you have a 50% chance of success or more. You don’t want to have unrealistic expectations just to make yourself feel good. Goals you set which are too far out of your reach, you probably won’t commit to doing. Although you may start with the best of intentions, the knowledge that it’s too much for you means your subconscious will keep reminding you of this fact and will stop you from even giving it your best.

 

Be Positive

             Don’t set goals like not wanting to make any double bogies or three putts. You will play defensively and will wind up not giving the first putt a real chance. If you have short term as well as long-term goals, they can help to cure anxiety and burnout or “the poor me” (pity pot) syndrome. You need a plan to decide what you need to develop in yourself and in your golf game. If you are experiencing the “yips” with your putter, it will not help to practice your full swing.

 

Timely

Time management is about being clear about your short and long-term goals, and choosing a plan that will help you achieve those goals. Once you have written down all of your goals, focus on your short-term goals by posting them on your computer or around the house. Change is an on-going process. Reward yourself when you stick with accomplishing your goals.

Set a timeframe for the accomplishment of each goal. This gives you a clear end point. If you don’t set a time, your commitment will be too vague and you may not even get started.

 

LONG TERM GOALS       

Lifetime:        

Five Year:

One Year:

Six Months:

           

SHORT TERM GOALS

One Month:

Next Tournament:

Next Round:

Next Practice:

 

MENTAL GOALS

Positive Attitude:

Mental Rehearsal:

Positive Self-Talk:

Visualization:

Concentration:

Pre-shot Routine:

 

Goal Setting Questions

Now is the time to program your golf game for next year and the next ten years.  Your current thoughts are going to create your future.  If this is the winter off-season for you, this is the best time to develop a solid mental game. Answering these questions will help you create well-defined, compelling and attainable goals, and provide a pathway to their natural realization.

  • What do I need to do to make this goal(s) happen? 
  • What physical or mental skills do I need to develop or improve on?          
  • What will I need to do on a daily or weekly basis to accomplish this goal?           
  • What will I need to change in my thinking to achieve this goal?
  • How will I know when I have achieved my goal?    
  • What will I see, hear and feel at that time?  
  • What effect will this goal have or create?
  • Imagine how you will feel when you have achieved this goal.
  • The first thing I will do is:    

 

Without goals, and plans to reach them,

you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination.
Fitzhugh Dodson

Entrain Your Heart & Brain for Peak Performances!

 

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            If this monthly mental instruction newsletter has been helpful to you, please share it with your friends so they can have more fun playing the game of golf while lowering their scores. Also, please share with us how this information has helped improve your game. If you have a question, or need help with your mental game, email Joan at info@pmi4.com

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