Goal Setting

Firstly, please bear with me as I attempt to breakdown this massive area into a “short” blog and hopefully give you some food for thought for using such a powerful tool on a daily basis for your Golf/life improvement. The power of this skill is that it is transferable to everyday life and breaks our habits.

While studying, life coaching, Sports psychology, Personal training and reading multiple books on the mind-sets of the most successful people, one of the main things they all have in common is the use of Goal setting. I am amazed at the amount of people who do not have specific goals that they are working towards but rather they do what they think they should be doing each week without any pre-set desired outcome. One of the main drawbacks of this approach is that motivation reduces when the visible progress becomes stagnant.

Imagine getting into your car with no planned destination and you just start driving. When do you know when to stop or even if you are going in the right direction? How long will it be before you lose motivation and end up back where you started? Compare this to when you have a specific destination with a specific pre-planned route. How much does your driving efficiency and decisiveness improve? Does your motivation increase the closer you get to the destination knowing you are nearly there? How much more likely are you to achieve success? This is the affect that goals can have in everyday life. Goal setting is a way to bring the future into the present but you have to know what it is you want.

Amongst a host of factors, one of the main reasons for people not implementing this approach is FEAR. The introduction of failure to any goal adds a self-inflicted pressure which affects the ego, beliefs and self-image that are engrained in our sub-conscious about ourselves. In Golf, a way some people experience where their attention goes is to tee off in front of a large crowd in a competition and notice if your attention stays in the present and focused on the task or do you start to think of multiple different outcomes you don’t want to happen as it would make you look bad or do you wonder what everyone is thinking as you stand over the ball?

The perspective on failure needs to change in order for a person to grow as failure is a key tool which can provide the greatest feedback. It can act as an indicator for us to know if what we are doing is working or not, allowing us to review, adapt and change our approach. A quote from John C. Maxwell who is a reconginsed leadership expert whose organisations have trained over 2 million leaders worldwide suggest that to have success in a long term goal you must embrace failure.

“Fail EARLY, Fail OFTEN, but always Fail FORWARD” John C. Maxwell

So let me set you a Challenge, keeping it very simple.

For the next 2 days I want you to think of everything you have to do or what knowledge or skill you would like to learn over the next 30 days and why you want to achieve it. Be specific in the goal, making it challenging but achievable.

Make the decision that you are going to do this. The decision is a commitment to yourself that you will be consistent and avoid excuses. Adopt an “I CAN DO” attitude. If you have decided not to do it, ask yourself why? We have engrained responses in our subconscious, driven by our programmed paradigm which often pose as a barrier to change.

Get a note pad and pen, one that you like the look of and have it beside your bed. Every morning, write 5/6 things you want to achieve that day and be realistic. Number 1, making your bed and start every morning with making your bed as this will be 1 daily item ticked off your list and will start and finish your day with success.

A second task is to choose a topic/skill that you want to know more about or get better at and set aside a minimum of 10 minutes undistracted each day for this. It can be 5 minutes x2, whichever is easiest. Why would this skill/topic improve you? Always go to sleep knowing at least 1 thing more than you did when you woke up that morning in this area.

The other 3 or 4 daily tasks are specific to what you want to achieve during the day. They can be small things like I will post that letter today, I will pick up a card for the party, I will do the food shopping or I will have my clothes laid out for the next day. Don’t judge if you did not get something completed that was out of your control, like getting a flat tyre on your way to pick up a card in a shop that closes in 10 minutes. If it was something that was in your control just review why it didn’t get done and how would you have done it differently to complete it.

This process is the start of change. It breaks the habits that has us running on auto pilot most days and moves us closer to what it is we actually want and like to do. Procrastination and distractions are some of the the main barriers to achieving goals. You will be amazed at how much you can achieve during the day when you have a specific plan you are working to.

After the 30 days, review your knowledge or skill level chosen for task 2. Notice any change in yourself or any improvement in skills or knowledge. Then look to set the next goals you want to achieve over the next 30 days.

“In order to grow we must challenge ourselves by putting ourselves into uncomfortable positions/situations. We notice what we notice and create the foundation to build upon. It is not a competition to be compared against others but a chance to improve on the person you were today. Always strive to do/experience/know/challenge/change at least 1 thing each day and you will forever grow” Peter Redmond


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