Are you caught in the New Year’s Resolution cycle of good intentions but no follow through? Read on for tips on setting a resolution for your game this year and sticking to it...

New Year’s Resolutions: often ambitious and often falling apart by the second month of the year. Statistics show only 9-12% of people keep their resolutions through the year.

Reasons New Year’s Resolutions Fail

  1. They are unattainable or too ambitious
  2. Progress was not tracked
  3. Too many resolutions were made
  4. They are forgotten about or given up on

It does not have to be this way.

When it comes to golf, the off-season and New Year’s are great times to reflect on last year and make golf resolutions for the spring.

Grab a pen and paper and try these tips for crafting your golf game resolutions this year and keeping to them.

1. Determine Your “Why?”

Why do you want to make a golf resolution? 

What do you want to get out of the game?

Is it the social, physical, or psychological aspects of the game that most appeal to you?

Understanding why you want to pursue golf is crucial to increasing your motivation.

2. Make More Than One Resolution

But don’t go overboard!

Studies show that about 10% of people fail to keep their resolutions because they set too many. It gets to be too overwhelming.

Think about what is important for you to improve in the game. Listen to your gut and write these down.

Some of these may make you smile and others you may not want to work on at all.

Visualize what it will be like to achieve them at the end of the season. If you don’t really see yourself following through, try again.

Craft these notes into resolutions. Make sure at least one of your goals/resolutions is fun or enjoyable.

The number of resolutions you make is up to you. Though studies show that focusing your resolution on changing just one habit and using supportive goals around that one area of focus is more successful than having multiple resolutions at once.

We agree that less is more. What matters most is how important your resolutions are to you and your game.

3. Phrase Your Resolutions Properly

There is an effect in psychology known as the question-behaviour effect. It states that phrasing something as a question is more effective at influencing behaviour than a statement.

Try “Will I become better at putting? Yes or no?” rather than “I will become better at putting.”

Make sure your question has a yes or no (definitive) answer.

There are reasons this phenomenon works.

It speeds up the individual’s readiness for change and increases motivation.

Individuals are also likely to choose yes to avoid the discomfort associated with saying no.

Once you’ve determined your resolution(s) and phrased them as questions, consider how you will get there.

For each resolution, write out 1-2 SMART goals to support it.

SMART goals are goals that are Smart, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timebound.

4. Consider Using Different Time Frames 

This further focuses on the “T” in SMART goal setting. Look at your resolutions and consider them carefully in terms of time commitment.

Too many daily or weekly habits can be overwhelming.

What do you want to do daily? Choose only one. For others, set time constraints for activities you will do weekly, monthly, or by the end of the year to support your resolutions.

5. Pay Upfront

Paying upfront or registering for something can help to improve commitment.

Sign up for a class or a membership or a league. Buy a practice membership.

Make a bet with your friend that you will follow your resolution. This can help with accountability.

6. Tell Your Family and Friends 

Speaking of accountability, sharing your goals and resolutions with family and friends will greatly improve your odds of sticking to them.

You could also try to find someone with the same resolution as you to hold each other accountable.

Social support and accountability are two powerful allies for success.

7. Get Lots of Sleep

Lack of sleep can contribute to individuals falling behind on goals or resolutions.

Not getting enough sleep can reduce overall productivity and motivation.

Having adequate sleep can assist in improving strength, speed, endurance, and cognitive focus.

Depending on your resolutions, whether or not you get enough sleep may make or break them!

Ideas for Golf Resolutions 2023:

  • Golf more often
  • Sign up for a league
  • Improve my bunker skills
  • Improve my putting ability
  • Play a course I haven’t played before
  • Buy new clubs
  • Break 100
  • Go on a golf trip with friends
  • Play in a provincial event
  • Say nothing to myself when I make a poor shot, and cheer my good shots
  • Read 3 golf psychology books
  • Take a rules course
  • Volunteer at a tournament
  • Lower my handicap
  • Improve my chipping

Challenge! Post your New Year’s Golf Resolution on the WGP Social Media page: 

We would love to support and cheer you on!