Golf season is coming into full swing. This season, like every other, is filled with optimism and commitment to get better. The real question is, what going to make this year different? In my profession, I’m surrounded by golfers that start their season with big plans to get better. They are going to play more, practice more, and with a doubt, lower their scores. WOW, doesn’t all that sound good? The problem is that doing the first two doesn’t necessarily mean that you will achieve those lower scores. To guarantee success and lower scores, you must have a plan. I started last season by writing a post titled Golf in 2012: Have you Developed your Plan? In that post, I talked about creating real and achievable goals. I want to use this post to elaborate on how to set those goals.
To help my students with this process, I have proudly teamed with eGolfplan.com. This service will allow me to create custom game plans for each of my students and allow us to monitor their progress over time. I evaluated several similar services, but what sold me on eGolfplan was their approach to goal-setting. It echoed much of what I believe and what I have wrote in my prior posts about developing a plan. They recommend setting goals using the S.M.A.R.T. Method:
SPECIFIC – What exactly am I going to do?
The program states a specific outcome, or a precise objective to be accomplished. The outcome is stated in numbers, percentages, frequency, reach, etc. The objective is clearly defined.
MEASURABLE – Is it measurable and can I measure it? This means that the objective can be measured and the measurement source is identified. All activities should be measurable at some level.
The objective or expectation of what will be accomplished must be realistic given the time period, resources allocated, etc.
RELEVANT – Will this objective lead to my desired result? This means that the outcome of the task directly supports the outcome of my overall long-range plan or goals.
TIME-FRAMED – When will I accomplish this objective? This means stating clearly when the objective will be achieved.
Anyone can use this method to set their goals. The best part about using this method is that you avoid those vague and generic goals like “being more consistent.” You are left with real and achievable goals that are most importantly TRACKABLE. I’ve said many times that golf improvement should not just be measured by the total score on your scorecard. Don’t get me wrong – that is the ultimate goal, but I think improvement is a process and should be broken down and have select areas pinpointed. Having goals that you achieve along the improvement process will only help to further motivate you and ensure your commitment to the process.
Start this season off by setting yourself up for success. Write down REAL and ACHIEVABLE goals that fit into the S.M.A.R.T. Method framework. You will be amazed with how you stay motivated throughout the season and exceed every expectation you had for the year. If you are struggling to come up with your own goals, I would be happy to help.
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