For years I wanted to start playing golf, but always thought that it would take up too much time to become any good at it. (If I do something I want to do it well!) Anyway, with squash and football/soccer getting a bit much for me at my age I’ve decided to take the plunge and start having lessons – which I’m finding very challenging. In the meantime I’ve been commissioned to illustrate some ‘golf confidence’ articles.(Is this a coincidence or what!?)

Here’s the first one I’ve illustrated for Gail Smirthwaite at that appeared in Lady Golfer as a series of articles….

This month we are going to take a look at how goals create the ‘motivation’ in your life and how setting a goal BEFORE you go out and play golf will greatly impact on the results you will achieve.
In ‘The 7 Secrets of a Highly Successful Golfer’ every ‘secret’ helps to create awareness on how very important the role ‘good self-esteem’ plays in becoming a consistently confident person on and off the golf course. Motivation is very important to this process …how many times has your little voice said, ‘I always get to the fifteenth hole and feel really tired’, or ‘I just can’t seem to get motivated about anything especially my golf!’ – I am sure you can add to these?
In order for you to create the game of golf you would like to play, or indeed the life you would like to lead, you need to set goals; then fulfill your commitments to these goals and change the habits you have created that are stopping you from achieving what you really want to.
NB: Goals are dreams with a date attached!
I often ask the following question when I do a talk on this subject – ‘How many of you have set yourself the goal of lowering your handicap this year?’ Guess how many people in the audience put their hands up – yes nearly everyone?

Setting yourself goals in golf!
Then I ask the next two questions; whether they had a similar goal the year before and how many actually achieved it. Again, many hands go up for the first part of the question but for the second part pretty much EVERY hand stays down.
Making goals is a peculiar emotional process that we humans engage in on a regular basis, however, what we tend to do is make the goal in our heads and then expect them to happen – we do nothing to change the habits that are preventing us from achieving them or create an achievable plan to get us there.
Einstein stated that the definition of insanity is ‘to keep doing what you have always done and expect a different result!’ How many of us are guilty of that one?
More importantly as the months go by and you have not achieved what you thought you would it serves as another nail in your coffin to lower your self-esteem. It allows that negative self-talk to kick in and tell you what a failure you are again!
Before you set your goals and work towards achieving them it is important to understand how your values and beliefs play such an important role in this process. No goal you make will truly give you proper fulfillment if it is not in line with what you value (Secret 2).
We are back to this word ‘desire’; you must really, truly desire the changes that you are looking for when you set yourself a goal. Let’s take the value of ‘success’, for instance, if this value means to you playing consistently well and taking your handicap down by two this season, then by thinking and believing it and by living it in every moment, you are more likely to succeed. REMEMBER you become what you think about most of the time!
NB: Also remember when setting goals they need to be yours, not other peoples or what you think you should be doing because those around you say so.
Often amateur golfers will come to me because they are not enjoying their game of golf anymore and cannot understand why. It sometimes turns out to be because they are putting unnecessary pressure on themselves because they have created a belief (Secret 3) that they should be playing golf to a certain standard. What they have often bought into is someone else’s values; someone else’s beliefs. This is why it is so IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND YOURSELF – to help create a real sense of self worth and inner confidence so that you can ENJOY the hobby the way you want to – not the way someone else believes you should!
So before you set about defining your GOALS make sure that they are in-line with YOUR VALUES otherwise you will set yourself up to fail again. To work further on your values and your goals download the relevant Work Books from the website and work through the exercises to establish your eight core values and their order of importance to you before setting your goals.

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