New Year, New You.

“That way, I can deduce what’s actually preventing me from achieving my goal.”

I’m not much of a resolutions kind of guy. At least not in the normal “New Year, new me” kind of way. I can’t imagine that most people can just wake up with the discipline to change something about their lives overnight.

However, I do believe that making small changes over time can create the kind of transformation that a person might be looking for around this time of year.

I guess you could say I’m into goals, but I’m not sure if that’s even the right way to explain it.

Humans are creatures of habit, there’s no doubt about that. For better or worse, we become addicted to the things we enjoy. Namely, golf and Red Bull in my case.

One good addiction, one bad. It’s called balance, okay?

Getting back on track, I don’t think resolutions work. You promise yourself you will go to the gym five days a week. You go, you sign up for a membership and then you never return. It’s a tale as old as time.

I want to tell you that it’s not your fault. But it is.

You never laid the groundwork. You never poured the foundation. You tried to jump to the finish line without running the race.

Happens to me on the golf course all the time.

I visualize myself walking off of 18 green with a score below 80, but by the time I get there, it feels unattainable. Why? Because I didn’t put in the groundwork I needed to.

Pretty much 100% of the time, I roll up to the first tee and rip a drive without a single stretch or practice swing. It’s no wonder I can’t break 80. I can’t even find the first fairway.

Let’s break it down.

To shoot a low score, you need to get the ball in the hole. To get the ball in the hole, you have to putt well. To putt well, you need to get the ball on the green. To get the ball on the green you need to hit a good approach shot, usually made easier by being in the fairway. To be in the fairway, you need to hit a solid drive. To hit a solid drive, you need to make an intentional stroke. And to accomplish any of these things at all, you need to practice.

Something I never do. Well, never did.

The thought recently occurred to me that I could reverse engineer the road to every destination that I want to arrive at and figure out each step I needed to take to get there. This way of thinking has allowed me to peel the layers of the onion, (the onion being the goal, metaphorically, of course,) one layer at a time and synthesize the steps to reach that goal.

If I want to break 80, I need to:

  1. Practice
  2. Stretch
  3. Hit the fairway
  4. Hit the green
  5. Putt well
  6. Be more intentional.

By looking at the goal through this lens, I can see, more clearly, the individual pieces that I need to improve upon instead of becoming frustrated and upset that I’m not getting the results that I want and can’t see any improvement.

That way when I look back at a round where I shot 83 with four 3-putts, I can deduce what’s actually preventing me from achieving my goal.

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