“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.” ― Earl Nightingale
For many high achieving individuals goals are the fuel that keeps them focused and motivated to give them more than they currently have, and to be more than they currently are.
We can’t control time per se’ and we can’t control our performance outcomes - except to the extent that we can design, construct and execute an effective goal setting process that leads to the desired performance. And that's the key to achieving success in virtually anything.
You need to build a bridge in your mind that we call a vision, and then we need to create some action steps to get there if we think the vision is worthwhile enough.
By putting in place a simple step-by-step goal setting process like the one I’ll share with you over the next few weeks, you can build a performance platform that will help you to drive your golf performance trajectory upwards.
Setting or establishing goals serve three main purposes for ambitious golfers who want to become successful at playing golf.
- Goals are used as your reference point to help you to understand where you are in relation to your short, mid and long term performance objectives (see image below).
- Goals can help you to plan your practice loads and activity on a daily, weekly, monthly and annual basis.
- Goals provide you with the fuel for your passion. They keep you focused on your target.
In the image below I’m using an example of three performance goals (competitive score average) to be achieved at certain times over an 18 month period. This is one of the ways we plan performance improvement for our students at Pro Tour Golf College. This is just one type of goal process.
Now I’m sure that you would agree that being able to see your performance targets like this would be more helpful as opposed to having nothing at all to look at?
You would be surprised how many elite amateur golfers (even tour professionals) are just going through the motions everyday hoping that somehow and in some way they will improve their game. No goals, just wishes, which without an action plan won’t give you much of anything.
Dreams without a deadline are just wishes after all.
So the challenge facing you is to work out a specific process that will help you to achieve your performance objectives over a short term through to a long time. Now this is easier said than done, but certainly not impossible with our simple goal setting process.
Step one in our goal establishment process is for you to define your Career Goals, what we call your "Career's Purpose Goals." These are the "why you really do what you do goals."
There are lots of different types of goals from short-term goals to mid-term goals and through to longer-term goals.
Your Career's Purpose Goals are your hall of fame goals - the serious (end of career) long term goals that will define your life and ultimately the success you have achieved in the sport of golf.
And these are the goals we'll start with in this article.
These are the goals that are the very reason you play the sport – they are highest results you believe you can achieve in your sport by the end of your career.
How far do you want to go in the sport of golf? Have you ever thought about it? We hope that you have.
Look at the example above (on the chalk board) of five career goals and think about what your top 5 would be. Can you look that far into your future? Believe me, the great golfers do.
Tiger Woods was able to define exactly what he wanted from playing golf competitively when he was just a teenager, and look what he’s been able to achieve so far through the power of goal setting.
GOALS DRIVE YOUR GOLF PERFORMANCE BY KEEPING YOU FOCUSED ON YOUR TARGETS
“Play on the PGA Tour for 20 Consecutive Years?”
I have stated where I want to play, (United States PGA Golf Tour) and also the level of performance I want to achieve.
Because to play or compete on the USPGA Tour for 20 consecutive years I am affirming that I will play well enough each season to make enough income to continue to retain my playing privileges.
Ok so now you understand what a Career Goal is, I want you to take the opportunity to write down your five most important goals for your career in a goals notebook that you keep aside just for your goals.
If you don't have notebook go and get one. The real power of goal setting is in writing it down.
And make sure you write your goals in pencil (don't type them) as we go through the goal setting process over the next few weeks because you are bound to want to change some of them as you go along.
Keep in mind that this is not easy for advanced and elite golfers to do because their goal focus is usually very short term, and mostly centered on events surrounding them rather than far off into the future.
You need to use a bit of “blue sky dreaming” here, where you imagine what your life will be like when you have finished competing.
What would it feel like to stand in front of your peers, friends and relatives as you are inducted into the Hall of Fame?
Part of the reason this is challenging for many golfers is that you might have a voice in your head rationalizing your thoughts, and possibly putting up road blocks and reasons why your career goals can’t be achieved.
Just do it as if you could. Imagine that it was possible to achieve your Career’s Purpose Goals, what would that be like for you?
Who says that you’re not capable of achieving these milestones in your career anyway? How would the naysayers who knock you know what you are capable of, and what you can achieve in your future? No one knows-only you.
Forget all the reasons why not, and start focusing on why not now!
Yes they are a long way from where you are now; but remember the quote from Earl Nightingale at the top of this article: “Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.”
So get on with it and write down your five Career’s Purpose Goals right now in your goal notebook.
Next, I want you to look at the goals you have chosen and pick the three that you would most like to have right now from the list of five. What is your first choice?
Now I want you to re-rank your Career’ Purpose Goals from one to five in order of importance and rewrite them just like the image below. Rank fro the most important career goal to the least important.
Well the reason is that the key to achieving these goals fundamentally will get down to golf course performance and what I mean specifically is your competitive score average.
When you think about it, you couldn't achieve any of these goals if you can’t produce a low enough score average to start with.
So my first goal has to be a long term performance goal like having a consistently low score average of 70.00 or better because that will set up the opportunities to have the other goals.
This is an important part of any goal setting process and the goals that you choose will be stated positively and be possible to achieve with a big stretch in your ability. And there’s really no other way of thinking about it. They should never be easy to get.
Goals should stretch your ability beyond comfortable, and in turn stretch your performance to places you’ve never been before. This is the very reason that great golfers never stop trying to improve their game. They have big goals that require constant and never-ending change.
Now the next step in this process is for you to rewrite each of your chosen Career’s Purpose Goals in your notebook in a very positive way. State your chosen goal like you really mean to have it and then write your reason or justification behind your choice of this goal.
Write out your five chosen goals in your goal notebook just like I’ve done in the example above and your reason or justification for achieving them. Lay out your goal structure in your notebook as I've done below. Keep it simple, and you don't have to write a lot, just be positive and specific.
We hope you enjoyed our goal setting article and please share your thoughts in our comments section and on facebook and twitter.
Lawrie Montague and David Milne - Pro Tour Golf College
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