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Tips for goal setting

What you need to know before you fix your goals

Have you thought about what goals to focus on during the coming golf season? Let us take a moment to consider how to create objectives that are worthwhile pursuing:

As you look at this coming season, what dreams and objectives do you envision?

Collecting information

How do you choose your goal? Do you focus on a result or on the process that gets you there? How do you feel as you consider different goals? Which goals cause an inner tension and which provide a sense of inner confidence and calm? Simply observe.

Consider your strengths and weaknesses. Are you a person that thrives under pressure or do your nerves betray you whenever it really matters? Does a miserable round of golf shake up your confidence or are you in pursuit of your perfect swing? How much time do you devote to practicing the physical and mental aspects of your game? Where are you strongest and what would you like to improve? Be honest with yourself.

Gaining clarity

What aspects of golf can you influence and what is out of your control? Here a short overview:

  • You can control: your physical and mental condition, your equipment and gear, your endurance and strength, what you eat & drink, how you feel about the game and yourself, the reaction to your shots.
  • You cannot control: the weather, the course condition, your playing partners, the lie of the ball, the ball flight and roll, the score, your handicap.

Achieving real progress requires clarity about what you can control and what not. And if you want to enjoy the process, your objectives need to reflect elements that are within your control. This applies not just to the game of golf.

Defining your objective for the year

Rather than fixing yourself a certain handicap to achieve – something you cannot control – consider measurable elements that enable you to perform at your best every shot you play. Which area represents the biggest opportunity for improvement this year? It is your swing, your short-game, putting, a smart course strategy, great attitude, discipline to stop negative thoughts, ability to focus, perfect preparation, confidence and trust in your capabilities, patience and calm nerves, lasting enthusiasm, etc.? Remember, the score and the handicap are the results of actions only and can be influenced only indirectly by focusing on what it takes to perform at your very best.

Focus on no more than three items and select these that you will enjoy most working on and have the biggest potential to make a significant difference. Consider what you can do about these. And what are you going to do about them, in what timeframe and how? Be generous and respectful with yourself. Remember golf is supposed to be fun. You don’t need extra stress and pressure in your life as a result of setting overly ambitious golf goals. Actually, by setting goals you can impact and control, rather than desiring those you can’t, you have already eliminated a major stress factor.

Write down your thoughts and let these sit for a while. Verify how you feel about them in a couple of weeks. If you don’t feel excited and inspired when looking at them, keep changing and improving them until you do. Ensure that you chose objectives you can influence and control and look forward to a seeing where you’ll see the results, incl. the score and handicap, speak for themselves as they reflect your efforts and progress towards achieving the goals you chose.

Feel free to share your thoughts and ideas confidentially by contacting me. Enjoy setting goals that inspire you and let the results speak for themselves!

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Tips for mental programming

Mental programming to realize clearly defined goals

Utilize your mental power to reach your goals easier and effortless

Have you ever wondered why certain people seems to be able to realize their dreams with unbelievable ease?! Scientific research has revealed why this is. Here thus an approach that promises the realization of a specific goal within three weeks.

Choose and formulate a specific goal

  • Relax and take a few deep breaths thru the mouth to well oxygenize your body and thus balance your mind with other aspects of yours.
  • Rather than thinking, try to feel or imagine what kind of goal attracts you.
  • Play with what comes up. Look at the goal from all sides. Do you like it? Does it bring you a sense of joy and happiness? Do you feel that you can reach it (no matter how optimistic it may seem, the only thing that matters if how you feel with it).
  • Once you feel comfortable and inspired, write your goal on a piece of paper. Make sure to respect the following rules: phrase the goal in present time, as if you have achieved it already, own it in the here & now!
  • Example: neither “I will find the perfect equilibrium to succeed every t-shot”, nor “I hope to find the perfect…”, but perhaps: “I easily find the perfect equilibrium to succeed each t-shot”.
  • Small words like “easily”, “effortless”, “abundance” etc. are very much recommended as they will render the subsequent task of realization all that much easier. Make your goal as magnificent as you can – the less effort is implied, the better.
  • Programming of the goal

  • During a period of three weeks, take 2 x a day a moment for this programming (morning and evening are recommended).
  • Place yourself in a comfortable position (preferably lying down) et relax as fully as you can (by using a relaxation methods of your choice) and verify that your entire body is fully relaxed.
  • With the naivety of a child and absolute confidence (here the difficult part of the exercise!), repeat your goal phrase at least 7 times.
  • It may take you several times or days to be able to say your phrase while staying entirely relaxed and in a state of absolute faith, this is very normal. It is even possible that you forget your sentence, that you don’t seem to be able to do the programming regularly, that you fall asleep, or that you find all kinds of other excuses. Simply know that until you arrive at being totally relaxed and in a state of complete confidence and trust, the programming has not started yet. It takes three solid weeks of programming to guaranty the result.
  • Look forward to this change in your life that is preparing to happen and just lke in a restaurant, once you’ve ordered your meal of choice, trust that the kitchen is taking care of your order, needless to go check on them every 5 minutes.

  • I look forward to hearing from you on this subject and wish you much success and great imagination!

    Source: Joseph Murphy « The power of your subconscious mind », originally published in 1963

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    Tips to center yourself

    A few possibilities to "center" yourself (particularly useful prior to hitting the ball):

    Through conscious breathing: Breathe in everything that you desire and feels good to you, and breathe out whatever you don’t need anymore, is annoying or distracting you. Repeat a few times and feel the difference.

    Anchor yourself: Imagine that there are roots growing from the bottom of your feet deep down into the earth. Feel how this provides you with a sense of stability and changes your equilibrium and balance in your body.

    Feel your strength: The famous “hara” point, situated a couple of fingerwidths below the naval, represents the center of your vital force. You can connect with it by placing one hand on this point and by abruptly “pushing” this point against your hand, thus activating this energy within you.

    Through projection:Recall a moment of particular happiness in your life, a magic and exceptional moment that puts a smile on your face. Close your eyes for a few seconds and place yourself right in the middle of this memory; smell the odors, hear the sounds and see all colors as intensely as you can. Breathe a few times in and out. And fee how this little exercise change your overall mood.

    With the help of appreciation: Look around you and find something that you can particularly and fully appreciate… a tree, a special atmosphere, a beautiful swing or shot of a fellow player, a nice piece of clothing or a haircut, there is always something to find. Consciously take a moment to whole-heartedly appreciate what you have found, truly. Don’t forget to breathe and your body relaxes all by itself.

    Your own way: How do you manage to be fully present in key moments of your life? Every one of us has his own tricks and tools to use and apply, why not use these on the golf course?

    The purpose of all of these exercises is to draw your attention to the present moment and to (re-) connect you to your body. The best way to hit a ball is when you are totally in the “here and now” and you are not distracted by your last shot, worried about your total score or bothered by anything else, except where exactly you want your ball to land, how the flight path looks and how the body feel executing such a shot. Remember, it’s your body and not your mind that hits the ball – give it the chance to do its best.

    Wishing you much fun and success.

    Until next time

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    We will be expanding our Helpful Tips section steadily over time.

    Tips to center yourself

    Tips for mental programming

    Tips for goal setting

    Watch this space for more Tips!

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