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The Problem With Setting Goals


saevel25
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I found this Podcast interesting. I like Adam Grant's Podcast a lot. He does a really good interview. 

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‎Show ReThinking, Ep The problem with setting goals, with NFL linebacker Emmanuel Acho - Nov 15, 2022

This topic might be more towards setting big life goals. It is trying to rethink the idea of goals, or should we even focus on goals. The premise is around the following. 

1. Goals can actually be limiting if you set a goal that is to easily achieved. Even if the goal seems so far out of reach to begin with. 
2. Not achieving a really important goal can be harmful from a psychological standpoint.

Example, I do think this hits hard on kids in school. They are told they need to get into X college, or get this scholarship, or get this GPA. It is tough when you put so much energy and focus into a goal you want to hit, and are looking on with massive anticipation for that result you want. If they do not get the result they anticipate, they are devastated. 

I was thinking, OK how do I apply this way of thinking to my golf game. I thought it would be better to focus on creating habits that will improve my game. I will not care about how much my game improves. In the end, it would be nice to say, "I want to be a scratch golfer by the end of the year!" But, what about the years after? Did I build the habits to maintain that level? Will my sole focus on that one number cause me to just stop wanting to improve once I hit that goal? 

It might be a bit of semantics. I can understand people could argue, "well you are just setting smaller goals". Maybe. I think there is a difference in saying I want to lose 10-lbs in 6 months, versus saying I will create a habit of going to the gym 3 days a week to weight lift,  learn to cook so I can eat healthier, and not buy sugary drinks or snacks to have at home. My objective is to live a healthier lifestyle versus saying I want to lose x-amount of weight. In the end, I do not think I want to be tied down to achieving the goal of one number. 

I think you can still measure as you go along. Reassessing habits, or the systems, is a good idea. 

Maybe it totally is a non-issue. I found the reframing of this idea of goal setting interesting to ponder. It was on my mind when thinking about golf goals and how I want to go about improving my golf game. Maybe it is because I suck at trying to start good habits, that this sort of idea peaked my interest. 

 

"A good conversation is not designed to win the argument. It is designed to enjoy the exchange."

Matt "Dough", P.E.
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23 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

I found this Podcast interesting. I like Adam Grant's Podcast a lot. He does a really good interview. 

1200x600wp.png

‎Show ReThinking, Ep The problem with setting goals, with NFL linebacker Emmanuel Acho - Nov 15, 2022

This topic might be more towards setting big life goals. It is trying to rethink the idea of goals, or should we even focus on goals. The premise is around the following. 

1. Goals can actually be limiting if you set a goal that is to easily achieved. Even if the goal seems so far out of reach to begin with. 
2. Not achieving a really important goal can be harmful from a psychological standpoint.

Example, I do think this hits hard on kids in school. They are told they need to get into X college, or get this scholarship, or get this GPA. It is tough when you put so much energy and focus into a goal you want to hit, and are looking on with massive anticipation for that result you want. If they do not get the result they anticipate, they are devastated. 

I was thinking, OK how do I apply this way of thinking to my golf game. I thought it would be better to focus on creating habits that will improve my game. I will not care about how much my game improves. In the end, it would be nice to say, "I want to be a scratch golfer by the end of the year!" But, what about the years after? Did I build the habits to maintain that level? Will my sole focus on that one number cause me to just stop wanting to improve once I hit that goal? 

It might be a bit of semantics. I can understand people could argue, "well you are just setting smaller goals". Maybe. I think there is a difference in saying I want to lose 10-lbs in 6 months, versus saying I will create a habit of going to the gym 3 days a week to weight lift,  learn to cook so I can eat healthier, and not buy sugary drinks or snacks to have at home. My objective is to live a healthier lifestyle versus saying I want to lose x-amount of weight. In the end, I do not think I want to be tied down to achieving the goal of one number. 

I think you can still measure as you go along. Reassessing habits, or the systems, is a good idea. 

Maybe it totally is a non-issue. I found the reframing of this idea of goal setting interesting to ponder. It was on my mind when thinking about golf goals and how I want to go about improving my golf game. Maybe it is because I suck at trying to start good habits, that this sort of idea peaked my interest. 

 

Give yourself some credit, Matt.

You are thinking about this at a deeper level. 

You are probably on to something. I suspect you may be able to blend both ideas together. Here's what you made me think about. I'll use this example. Let's say I set the goal to win the tournament I am playing this April. I may shoot the best score of my life each day. I may shoot a score low enough to win the tournament most years. But, somebody else may stand on his head and shoot an even lower score. 

I could look at that outcome two ways. I could say "Dang, I didn't achieve my goal." or, "Because I made that goal I played the best tournament of my life." 

To your point, if my goals had been: I'm going to practice the weak points in my game for 90 minutes per week. Work on practice habits that will translate to the course. And Do a better job preparing myself for every tournament I play. Then let's say I have the same outcome as above. One might argue that I would have achieved my goals and because of because of achieving my goals I played the best tournament of my life. 

So, yes, I guess it could be semantics. I think however, it's something slightly different. For me, it sounds more like making sure the goals I set are actually within my control. For you, it sounds like the goals you are interested in are more life-style goals rather than mile-stone goals. 

I think either can work. 

Thanks for at least making me think. 👍😁👍

My bag is an ever-changing combination of clubs. 

A mix I am forever tinkering with. 

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I too think either can work.

If you set a goal of a 3.8 GPA, and you get to a 3.72 GPA, you can choose to be devastated, or you can just look at the reasons why and re-assess. Or, like @ChetlovesMer said, you can say "well, good thing I set that goal, or I might have gotten only a 3.2."

If goals are too easy and you achieve them, set another. A tougher one.

If goals are too difficult or things prevent you from achieving them, then learn and adjust.

So, I get what he's saying, but at the same time… I don't think there's as much to it as you might. Goals are good. How you deal with them could be good or bad, but the goals themselves I don't think are bad.

Combine them.

If you want to lose ten pounds and keep it off, say:

  • My goal is to lose 10-15 pounds, and to stay below 195 for the rest of my life.
  • I will achieve this goal within 3 months by doing this and this and this and this.

Then you get your goal AND your process.

And be open to changing either as things warrant.

Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instructor Development, 5 Simple Keys®/Golf Evolution • Owner, The Sand Trap .com • AuthorLowest Score Wins • Golf Digest "Best Young Teachers in America" 2016-17 • "Best in State" 2017-20 • WNY Section PGA Teacher of the Year 2019 • Penn-State Behrend Head Coach • • • • • • • • • • :aimpoint: :edel: :true_linkswear:

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