We have all set goals before, but how often have we held ourselves accountable to them? Maybe because the goal/s set were not your own, for many of our junior golfers the goal/s were set by a parent, however even as an adult sometimes you set a goal based on someone else. Perhaps it is time to start setting your own goals, this way you have ownership, this will help with intrinsic motivation, because each day you have to look in the mirror and know you are the only one that will make this happen. This is what I call inspired goals, you want to accomplish for yourself against yourself, no one else! Self-reference goal setting can really motivate because it is you vs you, how do you stack up against yourself from yesterday. It may help to share your goals with others to have a backup accountability partner but often this is not necessary, but it can help with sticking with your goals.
I was watching the Olympics the other night and heard a former golf medal athlete talking about how she and her coach tracked all her practices and competitions so she can measure her progress towards being the best skier in the world. She talked about how based on her goals, she wanted to have improvement daily; from how she slept, her nutritional habits, her physicality, her mental approach and what things she could do to make her equipment work more efficiently for her. She did not once mention any competitors, she did not once mention someone else’s record/s, she only spoke about how she cared about a run the day before that was tenths of a second slower than her run the next day. She expanded by saying how from the moment she first skied downhill (not sure in a race), that she felt like this was something she felt she could be the best in the world. From 10 years old she dreamt of being the best, she mapped out how she thought she could become the best, and she knew if she put all her effort into becoming the best version of herself it could happen, she would make it happen. She enjoyed the process, she loved being in the moment of skiing, the faster she went downhill the more focused she became, it was fun! Lindsey Vonn did become the best in the world, she did so because the goal was her own, she owned it! Lindsey’s self-referenced goal setting, her passion for being the best skier, her vision of holding trophies and the fun she was having kept her motivated to accomplish her goals.
What can you learn from Lindsey? A lot! As you refine your golfing goals for this year, first make sure your goals are yours. Secondly, comparing yourself against others is a sure way to get discouraged, you can’t control what others do, it is only about you. Next, map out what you need to do to be the best version of yourself. Lastly, do what inspires you, do it with your passion (it may require some pain and suffering), but you must make it fun!
Enjoy Your Journey!