In my 20’s my Dad and fiancé were determined to teach my sister and I how to play golf. The guys would take us to a par 3 course weekly, to teach us how to play. I didn’t think it would take much effort to excel, because I was a confident and successful athlete in my youth.
Golf was different. I struggled.
Ed and I played a handful of times the summer before we were married I was discouraged, and I didn’t pick up a club for several years after that.
Fast forward to the stage where I could leave my kids with a sitter without guilt, and I gave golf another chance. Well, it has been another 20 years or so, and my handicap is only about 10 strokes better.
I talk fitness all the time, and women ask often ask me why they struggle with getting results. After thinking about this, and my golf game, I was amazed to realize that my reasons for not improving at golf are the same reasons many women struggle with improving their physique.
The truth is we know what to do, buuuuuuuuut we don’t do it consistently.
This became clear to me when discusing “purpose’ and “goal setting” strategies with my coaching clients.
Why do women fall short of their fitness goals?
Why am I not better at golf?
These 5 limitations are 99% of the reasons why we struggle to get the results we aim for.
1. Not having a clear Mission: My golf mission is at best, recreational. I often just go out and play don’t think about becoming a great golfer.
Dozens upon dozens of women have told me they want to be fitter, but they don’t have a valid reason, a WHY. They have not identified their “fitness mission” aka their purpose.
Is it for vanity? If so results will be fleeting, because there will always be someone who is more fit, or more attractive, or has less wrinkles. If it is for living an active life (for example being able to walk and carry golf bag for 18 holes) the chances of success are more purposeful, and absolutely more likely to stick.
2. Strategy jumping: An important part of playing golf well, is having a ‘pre swing thought’. I rarely practice a pre swing thoughts long enough to really see results. For one round I may thinks ‘go slower’, another week it might be ‘keep your head down’ and when that fails I switch to ‘grip it and whip it’.
That sounds remarkably like a woman who tries a new diet strategy every time she reads about one on social media.
3. Not fueling up enough to train/play well: I would often not eat during most of my golf round, and both my attention span and my swing accuracy suffered.
Women tell me all the time the they are on a low calorie diet all week, because they splurged uncontrollably the weekend before. The fact is, if they have a workout planned, they need adequate calories before and after the workout, to actually lift effectively. Not taking in enough quality energy, before/after a training session, causes performance and recovery to suffer. (Some people are slow digesters, and need to eat several hours before training. There are strategies that can help with that)
4. Expecting too much too soon & then giving up when results don’t happen quickly: Golf is game of patience, and when I don’t see results, I can easily be discouraged. But them I remember, that I didn’t deadlift 250 pounds until many years after practicing deadlifts consistently.
Improvements in the gym, and consequently in one’s physique, are a product of consistent practice and patience.
5. Lack of confidence in your own ability to succeed: In the past, I have had skeptical thoughts on my ability to putt. I am confident, that when I am ready to practice consistently, I will become a good putter.
Believing in yourself is the most important step. We must wake up every day and examine our purpose. Here are two suggestions that can help coax us into a self confident mindset:
- Re-affirm your purpose out daily
- Write your weekly goals out at the beginning of each week
When I golf, I am acutely aware of negative comments that women, myself included, make. Now I make a conscious effort, not to speak negatively.