Another season over!

Karl Morris believes planning to take stock and make changes several times a year avoids drifting through life without thought and reflection.

Karl MorrisIt only seems five minutes ago we were all planning for the season ahead. Yet as the light fades on another summer we enter a stretch of the year when the prospect of seeing our golf ball bobble in any given direction on a winter green, looms ever larger. Another golf season has come and gone and it is perhaps a good time to reflect on what has again flown by us.

One of the simplest but saddest lines written in a book, ‘A last English summer’ by Duncan Hamilton, arguably the greatest sportswriter of a generation, is ‘what begins also ends’. In four words it sums up in vivid simplicity the notion of how temporary things are. We sit in the winter looking forward to the season ahead planning what we are going to do and yet in the blink of an eye it is over.

How did your year turn out? Did you make the most of the summer months? Did you do what you said you were going to do? Did you make the most of the opportunity? Or did the year drift past much as any other?

We often wait until the New Year to reflect on our life, our business or our golf game and we then often resolve to make this year ahead different to the last one. Is this really the best way to go about getting the best out of one’s self?

Gaining momentum to change just about anything in January is much more of a challenge. We are in the depths of winter and the chances of the course being closed are high, we are seeing very few people and it is easy to sink into a hibernation state of mind. We are often locked in our thinking by existing rules and rituals. There is only one ‘New Year’. Just as we see golf as being 18 holes with a front and a back nine and never question it.

We get hemmed in by notions handed down to us by previous generations. How could you be different? How could you think in such a way as to step out of an existing mode of thought and do something more effective for yourself and your own business for the year ahead and indeed the years ahead of that?

In an ideal world how many ‘New Years’ would you have for your business? It is not for me to say but just imagine you decided to create your own calendar and you had four ‘New Years’ or even five? I know the business year is divided into quarters but do you actually pay any notice to that? Is it written clearly in your diary? Is there a definite start and finish to each of these segments of the year?

Just imagine if you took the time to now mark off four points in the next year clearly in your schedule and you put in a reminder that there was a beginning and an end to each of these sections. You made a real commitment to then sit down at the end of each section and review where you were at and then reboot the computer in your brain for the next section.

It is the breaking down of a year into smaller segments I have found to make a huge difference to players over the years. The great thing is you are never far away from a fresh start if things are not great and if events and results are going swimmingly you don’t fall into the trap of complacency. It is just a different way of looking at your year and avoiding the human brain and its tendency to just drift along repeating the same old patterns and habits.

Over the years many people have said by doing a version of this they got much more out of the year. They made the most of that most precious of commodities, time. Doing this process doesn’t guarantee you are going to have a great year but it does, in my opinion, increase your chances.

Karl Morris will be running his ONLY Mind Factor course this year for players and coaches in central Manchester between 20 and 22 November. Anyone serious about improving their coaching or their own game can find details at www.themindfactor.com