Are you like most golfers, who want to get better but fall victim to generic thoughts of improvement, like:
Did you know that thoughts like these can often hold you back from improving and playing your best golf. So what should you be focused on?
There's absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to improve but without specificity, it's just a hope or a wish in many ways.
Establishing SMART goals for your golf game is an integral part of creating a roadmap for real improvement. They provide the structure and detail needed to maintain real progress for motivated golfers.
In this episode we'll break down the SMART goal - what it is, what it isn't and how you can begin using them to level up your golf.
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*Disclosure: I may recommend products that I have used and love; all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission.
Welcome to the Smart Golfer Podcast, where we help aspiring golfers improve their skills, strategy, and knowhow for better performance, fun, and and play. I'm your host, Dr. Greta Anderson, and I am beyond excited to help you move from just hitting balls to playing your best golf. So let's get to it. Welcome to the show. Thanks so much again for tuning in. I'm Dr. Greta. Today we are going to talk about this really important but simple vehicle that helps all of us, all humans, move through life better, more effectively, and more efficiently. Now, in the world of golf, for all of us who love swinging those clubs, getting better is just kind of one of those things. Like, there's no one who plays golf that doesn't want to get better. We want to hit the ball a little farther. We want to have better impact. We want to have fewer putts per round. You name it. We want to get better. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. The problem, or I should say the challenge for many of us is that we're just too vague about that. I want to get better. Well, what does that mean? And I guess if I ventured to ask many of us, what does that mean? You may not be able to answer that question. And if you did, it's pretty darn vague. And that really doesn't move the needle very much in terms of changing your game, right? So today we're going to talk about the simple but effective vehicle called the Smart Goal that you can use to really move the needle on your game. So we're going to get into this and let's go. So for starters, why do we typically set goals?:
We set goals because it helps us to trigger new behaviors. Maybe we're just getting started in golf, or maybe we want to get a little bit fitter or whatever the case may be. It helps to guide that focus. If I have a goal, it's kind of posted on the wall here. It kind of reminds me, hey, this is where my mind is. This is what we're striving towards, right? And then, of course, when I achieve that goal, as I move even in progress toward the achievement of that goal, it promotes a sense of selfmastery. Yes, I can do this. Yes, I can get better. Yes, I can get stronger. And these things are really important for us as humans. Now let's get to why goal setting doesn't always work for everyone. Because the key component in successful goal setting is encapsulated in this very famous but so apt statement by mastermind management consultant Peter Drucker. What gets measured gets approved. That doesn't matter. We're talking about weight loss, how far you hit the ball, greens, and regulation, whatever it is. What gets measured gets improved. And so when we talk about setting up and creating goals, that's what we have to understand. Okay, how do we go about setting these actionable goals. Okay? An actionable goal can't just be random. We have to kind of spend a little bit of time on the front end to make sure that it serves us well on the back end.Dr. Greta:
We have to invest some things, and once we get into the flow of it, you'll find out that it doesn't even make sense to do it any other way. An effective goal is what we call smart. And my great hope is that if you're working with a professional, as you're working toward improving your game, you're putting some parameters and some measurement around those things, whether it's you just starting out and you want to improve ball contact or you're an advanced golfer, higher level golfer, and we're talking about scoring or tournament production or whatever the case may be. There is a place for smart goal setting across the spectrum. So it does not have anything to do with your level or your experience as a golfer. Okay, but here's what a goal needs to be. The first thing S stands for specific, can't be random, has to be specific. The who, the what, the where, that type of thing. Second, measurable. And we're going to go through an example in just a bit. But a lot of times our goals are not measurable. They're just, hey, I want to do this. I want to be better. I want to hit further. I want to be more accurate. Those are not measurable. Unless we put some parameters around them. And we'll talk about that as a coach. I am all about Aspiration and shooting for the moon, right? But we have to be realistic as well. Unfortunately, most of us don't have all day every day to devote to the improvement of our golf game and our golf performance. And even those that do the goals have to be attainable, right? So let's talk about for the 99.9% of us who do not spend our days making a living playing golf, to make an attainable goal, we need to think about how we're going to do that. If I have a busy family life and lots of responsibilities at this season in life, it may not be attainable to say, hey, I'm shooting 95 right now, which is fine, but next year I'd like to qualify for the Tour. And with that said, I'm going to need to be able to practice about 35 to 40 hours a week at minimum. But I also have three kids, a career, so on and so forth. Is that attainable now? It may be, but realistically it's not. So let's just take some things I won't say baby steps, but we need to make them more attainable. Hey, I'm shooting 95 right now. Put some parameters around that. I have 5 hours a week to practice. We can set some goals that are attainable, right, relevant. Let's talk about relevancy. We want to focus on a goal that is worthwhile for you right now, relevancy to my position right now. And so that's going to make we talked about having that goal, keeping us focused so we can get that sense of self mastery. Relevance plays a big role in that. If it doesn't add value or inspire you, it won't stick. Right? And we needed to stick. We needed to be sticky so that we can move forward in achieving it. And then last but not least, we needed to be timely. I can say that I want to achieve or complete anything. And if it's not time bound, what's the value? Where is the goal? It's kind of this moving target. So we need the goal to have some structure. And these are the pillars of that structure. Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely or time bound, as some people would say. Now let's go through a little exercise here. We've all said it at some point or felt it, or maybe heard someone else say it. Here's a typical golf. Golf. I want to hit the ball further this year. I totally get it. We all love distance, right? However, if we look at this goal, I want to hit the ball farther this year. How am I supposed to move about that? What am I working on? It doesn't tell me anything. Let's take a look at that goal. If we refashion it and make it a smart goal, that's the same goal. I want to hit the golf ball farther, right? Okay, so here it is. Spruce up a bit. As a smart goal, within twelve months, I will increase the total distance of my drive by at least 10% on at least five out of ten shots. Okay, well, that's telling us quite a bit, right? Within twelve months, I will increase the total distance of my drive by at least 10% on at least five out of ten shots. Okay. So this is much more packaged and doable. That's the word I'm really looking for there. Why? So let's talk about it specific. This is being very specific. We're not talking about every club in the bag. And yes, we're going to want to improve things with every club in the bag, but we have to be specific. So here we're talking about the total distance on my drive, so we're talking about the driver. Okay? So that's the specificity measurable. Hey, we're talking about how much? At least 10%.Dr. Greta:
So if I'm driving the ball 120 yards right now, we're saying that on about half of my shot at least, that's my goal that I will pick up twelve yards. That is achievable, right? Because once we prove some of those fundamentals, that is a very achievable goal, right? And that takes us to the A attainable, which is a setting them for achievable, right? Attainable within twelve months. If this golfer is working hard and focused on her goal, this is absolutely attainable, right? Relevant.Dr. Greta:
Is driving the bar relevant? Yes. Can twelve yards, assuming that person's average drive at present is 120 yards, the number I picked there, is this relevant? Yes. And can it be adding value? Absolutely. And then, lastly, is it time for your time bound? Yes. This is a time bound goal from the beginning, within twelve months. Reasonable and achievable. So here we go. Smart measurable attainable relevant. Timely.Dr. Greta:
So you see, the specificity of the smart goal is so powerful, it can really serve as a huge foundational component as we really look to learn and become more systematic in our learning and our improvement in the golf game. If you're interested in learning more about setting those smart goals and getting coaching every step of the way, check us out firstname.lastname@example.org. In the meantime, I want you to remember that the game of golf is perfect for you, but more importantly, you're perfect for golf. See you soon. Thanks so much for joining us this week on the Smart Golfer Podcast. Make sure you visit our website, Dr. Greta Golf.com, where you can subscribe to the show using your preferred podcast platform so you'll never miss a show. And while you're at it, if you found value in this show, we'd appreciate a rating on that platform. Or if you simply like to tell a friend about the show, that could help us out too. And if you like this show, you might want to chat out more of our learning programs at academy. Dr. Greta Golf.com.