Tired of failing to realize your resolutions? Create your mission first 

I’ll bet your goals for a new golf season have been similar to mine throughout the years.

Typically, I went into each new season seeking to practice more, which would—I hope—lower my handicap, cut down on three-putts, and increase my fairways-hit stat.

How have you done with those goals? Hmm, generally not so great, eh? Me neither.

But for the last few years, I’ve done something a little differently … and I invite you to give it a shot:

Determine your mission as a golfer for 2019.

Writing out goals—or resolutions, that New Years thing—is fine and good. But resolutions and goals are generally focused on determining the ‘how’ and ‘what’—the actions of improvement that you’re going to take to get the results you want.

I believe it makes more sense to first ask: ‘Why?’

“A resolution is a well-intended action plan, but because a person hasn’t really connected to the ‘why’ behind it, the old way of life, the chaos, comes back into play and they can’t really sustain it,” says Dr. Jack Groppel of the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute, a coaching firm in Orlando.

Without having a firm sense of purpose, it’s far too easy to get thrown off course by the inevitable bad rounds, slumps and confusion that every golfer suffers during a season. When we’re under stress, we revert back to old habits and abandon our new way of being.

My suggestion is to start by asking yourself two key questions: ‘Why do I play golf?’ and ‘What do I want from my golf in 2019?’

Want to jump-start your 2019 golf season? Now is a great time to have a complimentary coaching session that will help you put strategies in place and learn tools so you play with confidence down south this winter or this spring. I am offering 10 people a private 45-minute coaching session on the phone. Pro bono. Call or email me today. Space is limited.

Thinking about it is OK, but writing allows you to go deeper and get beyond your conscious mind, which tends to be controlling and not very adventurous.

I suggest you take at least two pieces of paper, ideally three, and start writing… and keep writing. Don’t stop to fix spelling, cross out lines, review your scribbling, or look out the window for inspiration. Keep that pen moving.

If you prefer to type on a computer, that’s fine. Just keep typing. Set yourself a word count and keep typing until you’ve reached the limit. Or you could record yourself talking.

When you’re done, don’t look immediately at what you wrote. Wait until later that day or even the next day.

You might be surprised by what comes up. The keep-writing-typing method allows you to go into your subconscious mind where your deepest dreams and ideals reside—the things that are most important to you. If that seems too ‘woo’ for you, consider that most of your best ideas likely come when you’re not trying to think, such as in the shower or driving the car.

The writing exercise will help you determine what’s most important to you in your golf. Using your writing as a foundation, pick out what’s most important to you and write your mission.

To help you get a sense of how to create your mission, I offer mine. With my own coach and in the personal development work that I’ve done, I’ve determined that feeling free is important to me in all aspects of my life. (I’m a recovering perfectionist.)

My golf mission in 2019 is: I create a world of freedom by focusing on having fun, being a good partner and enjoying the golf course.  (This is similar to my overall intent for all parts of my life.)

The key to a mission is a vision (e.g. I create a world of freedom) that is manifested by action (focusing on having fun, being a good partner and enjoying the golf course).

When you know your mission, you will have a sense of purpose that will lead you to determining and commiting to the actions that will lead to realizing your goals.

Knowing my mission, a few of my action items include:

  • When I play casual golf, my intent is to focus on executing each shot as best I can, and then focus on my playing partners and the environment
  • Making practice fun by—ironically enough—making it difficult (swinging with my left hand only or right hand only, standing on one foot, and so on), and playing practice games (such as Par 18 and Worst Ball)

Writing your mission may seem pretty deep, but it is powerful and affirming—your stake in the ground. It’s your word. It’s aspirational and empowering.

And it will keep on you on track to take the actions (the what and how) you’ve committed to.

If you’re serious about your game, why not take a shot at creating a mission for your golf this year?

All the best in 2019.

If you’re interested in stepping more into the golf and life that you really want to lead, I would love to empower you. I encourage you to contact me about a complimentary 45-minute private coaching session.