Goal Setting - Why It’s Important and How to Do it
We hear a lot about goals. What are your goals when it comes to golf? Do you want to play college golf? Do you want to play professionally? Is there a certain score you are trying to break? No matter what your goal – short-term or long-term – understanding your why and then setting a good action plan will help you along your journey.
Why Have Goals?
Setting goals allows us to have purpose. Goals don’t have to be some overarching long-term thing, it can be as simple as setting your intention for the week or day. Your goal of “getting better at golf” just isn’t going to be specific enough for you to make any real progress.
When it comes to golf, what about your game do you want to improve? Sure, some of us would love to play golf professionally, but there’s a lot of steps you need to take beforehand to help you achieve that overarching long-term goal. Say you do want to play golf professionally or in college, but right now you can’t get off the great without at least three putting. Improving your putting skills will help improve your overall score, which may help you perform better in tournaments. So, it’s time to set a goal when it comes to your putting.
Having some specific criteria of what you want to achieve will help you map out how to get there. When it comes to setting realistic goals, it’s important to be SMART. This acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based. Using this formula when setting your goals will ensure you are setting yourself up for success.
How to Set a Goal
So, you’ve determined what you want your goal to be. Now comes the work of setting up a plan and then doing the work. Let’s go back to the putting example. Great, that is something specific about your game. Next, go through reasons why you tend to three putt. Are you not reading your distances well so you are setting yourself up for a long putt? Are you having difficulty reading greens? Is there a tweak you can make to your putter or stroke? This will help you create an action list of what you are going to do to help reach your goal.
Tackling a goal may seem overwhelming, but breaking it down into smaller chunks helps to make it more manageable. For this putting example , maybe you take a few golf lessons to talk things through with a professional. They can evaluate your stroke or give you some pointers on how to read a green. Or, you reserve a few holes during a practice round to try out some new strategies. You also may try to incorporate some visualization practice into your routine; visualizing the steps you need to take to make the putt.
Accountability is important in goal setting, especially when things get tough. Leaning on a friend or family member can help be a sounding board when you are experiencing difficulties and successes. This person can help check in on your progress too. Knowing that you have someone else who is invested in your goals will help you stay motivated.
Working towards a goal is hard work, it won’t happen overnight. If it was easy, we wouldn’t have to set goals to achieve things. Write down your goal so you can see it everyday. Whether it’s sticking a note on your bathroom mirror or changing the wallpaper of your phone with an affirming quote can help your goal top of mind.