Setting goals in golf is difficult.
A lot of people will default to external goals like trying to win a club championship or achieving a certain handicap level.
I'm not against those, but they must be balanced with internal goals.
These are more driven by your habits and values. Also, you have far more control over them.
For example, my internal goals look like:
- Taking time to be grateful to play golf during every round
- Staying mentally committed as best I can no matter how well or poorly I am playing
- Being intentional during practice sessions
- Staying fit - lifting weights, walking, etc
- Analyzing my rounds and looking for clues on how I can improve my mental process, routines, and commitment to shots
- Prioritizing fun. If I find myself getting burned out by playing too much competitively, I might take a step back and play more recreational rounds or seek out travel experiences
Yes, I enjoy the external validation of playing well in tournaments, winning, and achieving handicap reductions.
But those moments can be fleeting, and it's easy to start thinking, "Well, I got there. What's next?"
When I am more internally satisfied with how I approach the game and my enjoyment of my process, the external stuff takes care of itself.
If you get too focused on the external stuff, it can impede progress and lead to disappointment.
Also, in golf, many external goals are out of your control, especially when competing. For example, you have no idea what version of your game will show up (or your opponent) in a crucial match.
For many, internal goals are what keep you organized and motivated in the short term. Feeling good about maintaining habits you have complete control over is one of the best ways to succeed in just about any endeavor.
But at the same time, there needs to be something bigger and more tangible that you are working towards. This is where blending external goals can be helpful.
Everyone's balance looks different as well.
Something to think about in golf (and life)