Create your own ice bucket challenge!

    The start of a new year is when resolutions are made, but Karl Morris argues that setting yourself a challenge would be more productive and lead to positive change.

    The ice bucket challenge, the mannequin challenge, the body challenge, Movember, Stoptober. Do you remember them? Did you take part in any of them? Chances are that you probably did. We love a challenge, especially if it is for a good cause. We tend to sit up and listen to a challenge and then we respond by taking action. If other people are involved then it becomes even more likely that we will get on board.

    Anyone who trains regularly at the gym will know what happens when your training partner challenges you to get those extra couple of reps out when all we want to do is stop. Challenges engage us, excite us and mobilise us. However, what if it had been the ice bucket or the mannequin goal? Not quite so enticing is it? A goal doesn’t quite have the same power of focus and attention. It doesn’t stir the competitive juices. For many, a goal can easily become a little mundane and easy to ignore. Yet this is the trap many of us fall into every year.

    Setting goals are fine, better to have them than none at all, but goals tend to fade into the background and we lose engagement and drop off. Another goal becomes another broken promise to ourselves and confirmation we are ‘getting nowhere’. What if this year you set yourself challenges instead of goals? Instead of being given challenges by other people what about if this year became the year of My Golf Challenge? A series of challenges that you set yourself that mobilised you into action.

    It may seem just a slight semantic shift of wording from goal to challenge but in my experience the results can be quite profound. I remember one top class player I worked with set himself the ‘reaction challenge’. Over many years he had become a past master at blowing tournaments and losing thousands of pounds as a result of his childish reactions to poor shots and perceived golfing injustice. This was as a result of his highly competitive and perfectionistic nature. He had set himself the ‘goal’ of controlling his temper many times before, he had worked on staying calm, but nothing seemed to have much effect. Yet when the reaction challenge was set, things began to change dramatically. The reaction challenge was this: he was allowed to ‘sound off’ after a shot but if he was still moaning and berating himself ten paces after the shot had gone he had to donate £10 to his named charity. You can imagine early on that this charity had something of a windfall! Yet very quickly the challenge engaged him and he responded by changing his behaviour much to the benefit of his bank balance and his own sanity and wellbeing. The challenge shaped him to change a long lasting and destructive pattern of behaviour.

    We tend to think challenges have to be grand schemes like climbing mountain ranges or running marathons, yet the most seemingly mundane challenges can have a huge impact on your business, your game or your life in general. How about the customer challenge? For a single day could you and your staff ask every customer who comes in the shop a different question? The challenge is you are not allowed to ask the same question twice. Sounds a bit daft? Yet could it be possible that a single day of a challenge could help you to find some new questions that actually genuinely engage your customers? I remember hearing Tony Robbins say, ‘the quality of your life will be determined by the quality of your questions’. I am more convinced of this truism now than ever before and if questions are so important it would be a good challenge to find the best ones. You are only limited by your imagination in terms of the challenges you could set yourself or your staff.

    The moaning challenge is a good one: every time you moan about the state of the game of golf or the economy or anything else you can think of there has to be a consequence. See how you do with that challenge! Could you challenge yourself to fill the clubhouse with an event on a cold winter’s night? Clue, yes you can! Get in touch and I will show you how.

    Could it be that this year, instead of setting some boring old goals, you fire up your imagination and set yourself a series of imaginative and engaging challenges? Then as you look back on the year things have changed, you have made progress, patterns and habits have been altered. You have decided to rise to the challenge or perhaps you just didn’t bother and let things stay as they are – that’s the challenge and your own decision.

    The clubhouse challenge. Can you fill the clubhouse with members and guests for an evening of learning and enjoyment? Every player whatever the level can gain a benefit for their game.
    Why not host a Mind Factor evening at YOUR club? Contact Karl at Details

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    Miles is the Owner and Managing Director of Robel Media, and the award winning GOLF RETAILING Magazine. With over 25 years in the media business, Miles has a wealth of experience in magazine publishing, digital media and live events. HANDICAP - 7.2