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By Advanced PGA Professional Tom Gibbs, Jan 2 2018 10:42PM

So now the dust has settled on the new year’s eve celebrations and the hangovers have slowly disappeared its that time of year when we start focusing our attention on New Years Resolutions and goals for the upcoming year. Infact as you read this I am starting my first goal, writing a regular blog for my webpage. I will share my other goals for the year in my next blog.

Now it is all very easy to come up with resolutions and goals like get into shape, lose weight, play better golf, win the club championship but these are very vague so I wanted to help you set better goals and resolution by thinking SMARTER and CHUNKING DOWN in 2018.


So let me start with the word SMARTER. SMARTER has been around for a long time in goal setting and is an acronym which stands which you will find with a number of different variations but here is the one I like to use:


S – Specific

M- Measured

A – Action plan

R – Realistic

T – Time phased

E- Enjoyable

R – Reward


So lets go through each one and help you on the way to setting SMARTER GOALS in 2018.

Now it may sound simple but your goals need to be SPECIFIC. Instead of just saying I want to get my handicap down this year. What do you want to get it down to? By how many shots do you want to get it down? By being more specific it gives you more focus.


It is also Important to set goals that can be MEASURED. This means you can chart your progress throughout the year and know exactly how you are doing. Also if you goal isn’t measurable how will you know you have hit it?


A goal without an ACTION PLAN is already destined to fail. Every goal needs an action plan! What are you going to do to move towards your goal? How are you going to do it? Who can help you? What can you do each month, week or day to move closer to your goal?


There is no point setting a goal that is unrealistic as this will soon demotivate you. So it is important to set REALISTIC goals. For example If you are a 28 handicapper with a wife and 2 children with a full time job and very little time to practice a goal of becoming a single figure golfer may not be attainable within the next year. Now this also doesn’t mean setting goals that are easily achieved either. It is about the fine line of being challenging yet attainable so take time to realistically set out how much time you can dedicate to attaining your goals and set the goals accordingly.


For goals to be effective they also need to be TIME PHASED and with an end date in mind. Time phasing works in a number of ways, first of all think about the seasons in terms of weather, now in January if you are in the UK is probably not a great time to be thinking about working on your chipping or putting outdoors however it is a great time to be on the range sorting out your long game. Secondly your goals can be broke down by date for example I want to reduce my handicap by half a shot by June 1st. Break goals down into short, medium and long term.


Now for a goal to be worked towards and obtained it needs to be ENJOYABLE. Enjoyment is what keeps us going back for more so think of ways you can make your journey towards a goal enjoyable. Consider practicing with a friend to add an element of fun or think outside the box in obtaining those goals. For example if you want to reduce your handicap and you have identified fitness as an issue you would like to address to help your concentration but you get bored going to the gym 3 times a week swap one of the gym sessions for a different sport such as badminton with a friend.

Finally REWARD yourself for hitting your goals. It will give you a little boost and keep you going to your ultimate goal. A reward doesn’t need to be big it can be as small as a chocolate bar or a pint but a small reward goes a long way! And be strong don’t have your reward if you don’t hit your goal! That way when you do hit your goal your reward will be far sweeter!


Now lets move on to CHUNKING DOWN your goals. The easiest way to explain this is to use a weight loss example. If I want to lose a stone I start off by chunking it down to 14 pounds, I could then chunk my goal down over 12 months which would be for example to lose 1.5 pounds per month which would have me smashing my goal by an extra half a stone! Now losing 1.5 pounds per month sounds much more achievable than a whole stone so it is easier to keep motivated and move towards your end goal. We can also take the chunking down process a step further and identify small steps we can take towards our chunked down goal. Staying with the weight loss goal an example would be in the first week to drink 2 litres of water per day then in the second week reduce the amount of chocolate I eat. Then each week add a new habit to these to continue to move towards your goal by achieving these smaller chunks.


I’m hoping that you have found my first blog useful and is given you food for thought about your goals for 2018. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to share them! If you would like any help with your own goal setting for 2018 please email me at tom@tomgibbsgolfacademy.com


Thankyou for reading and I hope you all have a successful 2018!



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