Well well well…here we are again!! Welcome back to Better Golf Academy Podcast, I am your Host Hanju Lee and thank you, thank you and thank you for your continuous support and love!! How are you doing today? I just got a ranking stats on my podcast and it’s ranked #25th in the Golf Genre in the United States. Whoa!! That’s good, right??  They don’t tell you how many podcasts are in that Genre though…I hope more than 25. I am having an awesome week and back in Episode 2, I mentioned briefly about how I was doing a 30-day plank challenge and I was going to develop this awesome 6 pack? Hahaha! Well, today, I’ve completed 60 straight days and will start my 3rd 30-day challenge tomorrow. So, do I have a six-pack yet you ask? No, not yet…not very defined but you can start to see that there’s something there underneath the surface. But, I want to start you off with this quote: “Success is the product of daily habits – not, once in a lifetime transformations.” Well, what does that mean? I guess, what really resonated with me about that quote is that all of us get highly motivated by what the end result looks like…and as we dream big…we see that end result…like a chiseled 6 pack, but the problem is that we don’t get there overnight, so we slowly start losing interest and slowly start losing our motivation. Do you know what I mean? So, that quote to me means, don’t expect success to happen suddenly by doing one big thing, one time…but one small thing every day for a long time.

Right? so, even though I have big goals, I have to know that in order to have success, I have to create small daily habits that over time, which will transform me…slowly but surely.  I read this quote that I really love that flows down the same idea and path of what we are just talking about. It’s quoted by Jacob Riis (Rees) who is like a social reformer, photographer, author back in the late 1800s…interesting guy. He quotes “…I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow, it will split in two, and I know it was not that last blow that did it—but all that had gone before.” Side note, this quote hangs in the locker room of the San Antonio Spurs, the 5-time NBA champions who holds the best winning percentage of any franchise over the previous 3 decades. It’s a great value and truth to live by…yeah?

But before we began, as promised, I want to give a shoutout to one of my listeners who left me a review. Her name is Joy, and she writes Perfect nuggets!! ☆☆☆☆☆ The quick lessons in each episode are so relatable to beginners and average golfers who wish to improve. I really love the approach and simplistic nature of tips on this complex game. Keep up the awesome work, Joy

Thank you so much Joy for taking the time to write me a review, and yes, quick simple, relatable lessons for this complex game…you nailed it. I will keep creating more awesome content for you Joy.

Skip to: 05:24 What Keeps us Motivated?

So, we are going to talk about motivation today. We all want to win in golf. We all want to get better at golf. We all have great intentions and a burst of inspiration from time-to-time to get us dreaming and going after it…especially after this weekend, right? Tiger Woods winning his 82nd PGA Tour win tying Sam Snead’s ultimate record. And this is after most people, including himself, almost gave up hope of winning ever again. Love him or hate him…it’s still a crazy story of incredible talent and will.  But, is this you? After a certain point, or when it gets too hard, or when we start losing steam, drive, and motivation…we slowly fade out and even quit. I think especially because of this game of golf…it just takes too long and too much effort and too many hours to see improvement. I think it’s so easy to give up.

So…what creates motivation, and what keeps us motivated to keep doing what we need to do to get where we need to go?

Skip to: 06:53 Three Fundamental principles of Motivation

They analyzed this interesting data about human behavior by charting 2 years of S&P 500 and on top of the same chart on the same timeline, they charted how many people logged into their account just to check their balance.  Here’s an interesting find. When the market is high, people logged in all the time. Because positive information is good…it makes you feel good. At the same time, when the market was low, people avoided logging in. People are motivated by the positive. Isn’t that interesting? Yeah, I wish my dad knew this when I was growing up. He thought to offer negative feedback on my grades, my lack of motivation, and the questionable choices I made in teen years would motivate me to shape up and focus.  Yeah. No.

Dr. Tali Sharot (Share-ot), a neuroscientist with her research focusing on how motivation influences our decisions. And She talks about these 3 foundational principles that help motivate us. 

  1. Progress Monitoring. The brain does a good job processing positive effects. And as you progress, it helps you to stay focused and going after your goal. As you know, I always talk about my Engineering days…and the famous quote “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it”. There’s definitely some truth in that.
  2. Social Incentive. We are social people. We really care what other people are doing. We want to do the same and we want to do it better. Example: 9 out of 10 people pay their taxes in time enhanced compliance in that group by 15% bringing in 5.6 billion pounds. Highlighting what other people are doing is a very strong incentive. I truly believe this, one of the most effective results-driven workout concepts out there is still CrossFit. Because of their philosophy of this Social Incentive. It’s brilliant creating a small community of people to encourage each other, compete with one another and keep each other accountable. Social Incentive. 
  3. Immediate Rewards. True that! We are impatient, some of us have ADD (me) and we need immediate feedback, immediate incentive and lots of immediate rewards…in whatever form that we can get it in.

Okay, I think I know what you are thinking. Hey, enough about this neuroscience stuff, I thought this was a golf podcast, tell me how I need to improve my game. Well, check this out, we are going to take these 3 principles and implement them into our golf game to keep us motivated, moving forward, working hard and eventually, reaching our destination. Are you ready?

So, here’s your roadmap on staying motivated to improve your game.

Skip to: 11:01 #1: Set Goals

Why? Well, there’s this Goal Setting Theory developed by Edwin Locke in 1968 that basically says setting specific goals leads to higher performance. So, what is your goal? When I ask that, I usually get a response like…yeah, good question, my goal is to someday shoot in the high 70’s. Well, according to the Goal Setting Theory, what’s wrong with this goal? It’s not specific enough. There are too many ways and too many areas to focus on for that to happen so it’s easy to lose interest or too easy to lose track if you are just focused on a score goal. So, can I suggest something? Have a specific goal. What does that look like? For golf, it’s super easy since the game is so data-driven and everything you ever want to know is already out there. So, let’s start with the basic stats.

  • The number of putts per round. The golfers in the US with a handicap between scratch and 25+ has an average of 35 putts per round. I also have a breakdown by handicap. So for instance, if your handicap is between 11-15, the average putts per round are 34.8, and if you are a scratch golfer, you should be at around 31.5 putts per round. These are very specific goals to have and will help you focus your practices on the putting green to help motivate you to reach it.
  • Greens hit in regulation per round. For 11-15 handicappers, you average around 28% per round, if you want to set a goal to the next handicap bracket of 6-10, the average is 37% per round. See where I am getting at?
  • Fairways hit per round for 11-15 handicappers is 48%, if you want to set a goal to the next handicap bracket of 6-10, the average is 51% per round.

As you are improving in these specific categories, guess what your overall score is doing? It’s improving as well.

I’ve created a report of overall golfers’ performance by handicap for you to see where you are at compared to the US average and what your goals should be set at. Go to bettergolfacademy.com/9 to download. It will be super helpful to help you set these specific goals.

Skip to: 14:23 #2: Don’t be a Loner

Did you know that you can’t post your score if you played by all by yourself? It’s not considered an official round. With no other people around, you violate the “peer review” clause and it’s considered unacceptable. Isn’t that interesting? Also, remember what I said before, we are social people with social needs. And social incentives are huge in motivating and helping us improve our game. Right? Competition plays a big part, or just not wanting to make a fool of yourself in front of others, or how about just wanting to show off and take all their money? Is that a good incentive and a motivator? Yup!! It is for me. LOL.

Make an effort to play regularly with a group. Don’t have friends? No worries, go join a club, there are so many out there…Saturday club tournament is a blast and it will definitely help you and motivate you to level up.

Skip to: 15:38 #3: Make Tiny Habits

Okay…I think this here is a game-changer. BJ Fogg, look him up. He has great resources out there on this specific subject. He says “When you know how to create tiny habits, you can change your behavior and your life forever”.  This is the stone cutter’s story at the beginning of the podcast. But beyond that, the concept here is not only about the stone cutter chiseling at the rock but a stone cutter celebrating after each blow. For me, this is about a small 3 minutes a day for 30 days planking challenge that has gotten me from barely a 1:30 plank with my entire body shaking like mad to 60 straight days later doing a 7:30 minute plank and feeling stronger in my core and slightly seeing definition in the area. It’s about starting small and doing it everyday, improving little by little, celebrating the progress each day and 

Oh, and you know what I forgot to tell you? I created a planking group on facebook and there are now over 150 friends in this group doing it with me. Isn’t that awesome!! #socialincentive

Skip to: 17:19 Summary

At a local hospital, they made a heavy emphasis on all staff to sanitize their hands before entering a patient room and sanitize their hands when they are leaving. In fact, they created a system to check and track each staff’s compliance. Well, guess what? Only 10% complied. One out of ten. Then they introduced an intervention. Electronic board to tell the staff how they were doing. It showed the rate of the current shift, rate of the weekly shift and where you fit in. And guess what happened? The compliance went from 10% to 90%. Awesome, right? But, I was still like, wait, there are still 10% not sanitizing their hands? LOL. 

But look at what happened in that research. All 3 principles were met. 

  • Progress Monitoring: The electronic board that kept track of each shift.
  • Social Incentive: Accountability and providing a way for people to know and care.
  • Immediate Rewards: A way for people to celebrate and compete against other shifts daily.

I think this is so fascinating. 

So, in summary. I think we can all agree that improving our golf game is a long, and ambitious goal. We need more inspiration than hey, you suck, you need to go practice and get better. We need to intentionally put steps in place to guide us day to day and keep us motivated to get there.  And, I think this is a great science that is backed up by research. 

Here are the 3 action steps for you again.

  • #1, set specific goals, remember to go to bettergolfacademy.com/9 to download the performance report to help you set your specific goals. 
  • #2, Don’t be a loner. Play together, bet, create competitive situations to push you, care about each other’s performances and improvements. This will create an incentive to work harder and improve. And…
  • #3, Make turn your goals into tiny habits. Reward yourself often and see your simple progress and celebrate.

I am still so still inspired by the quote by Jacob Riis “…I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow, it will split in two, and I know it was not that last blow that did it—but all that had gone before.” 

Let’s keep hammering away. Hundred, thousand, 10 thousand, 100 thousand balls hit, putts hit, chips hit, every club in your bag hit, pursuing excellence, setting goals, achieving them and celebrating the small victories!! I am here celebrating it with you. And hoping for a huge breakthrough in your game, the rock splitting in two moments in your golf journey.

In the meantime, thank you so much for listening to Better Golf Academy, let’s get better together. Yeah? Cool. Love you guys, bye for now. 

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