Start Playing Life From the Flag

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Start Playing Life From the Flag

I was reading a book recently about how Tiger Woods played golf differently than others. It wasn’t how he swung the club or that he wore red on Sundays. It was that he planned his shots from the flag and worked backward.

He had the end goal in mind and planned his shots to make sure he set himself up for success.

Identify Your “Flag”

Most of us get up to our metaphorical tee box in life and start planning out our shots one at a time. We determine where our next shot needs to be based on where we currently are.

Instead, we should be thinking a few moves ahead.

It’s important to stay in the present moment, but you should also play the game of life like chess. You need goals to ensure the moves you’re making are moving you toward where you want to be in the future.

For example, if you have a goal you want to accomplish in a year, start thinking about what you need to do in the next 6 months to get there. And then identify something you can do in the next month to help you achieve that goal.

Plan Your Shots

I bought a poster that shows my life in weeks and it’s a reminder that time is ticking. It’s a reminder that I’m getting close to halfway through my life.

Over the last few months, I’ve reevaluated what I want my days, relationships, health, finances, and career to look like.

I wrote this down and started to focus on planning my life backward and setting up goals to get there.

For example, I wrote down how many books I wanted to write in five years. Then I drew an arrow to the side and wrote down one thing I need to do over the next year to get closer to that number.

After that I wrote down one thing I need to do this month to really get after it. Then one thing I could do this week to help me get to my goal for the month.

In other words, I worked backwards from the flag. I identified where the “hole” was, then figured out what my shot right before that needed to be. Then my shot before that until I got to where I am currently.

This renewed my focus, not just for my goals, but also for the lifestyle I wanted to create.

Tony Robbins says that most of us overestimate how much we can get done in a year and underestimate how much we can get done in a decade.

When I think about my life, I know that if I can chip away at a goal one day at a time or one month at a time, then in five years, it’s going to take care of itself.

Play The Long Game

Sometimes we get too consumed in the moment that we forget where we’re trying to go. That means one day we’re going to wake up and not like where we are because we weren’t paying attention to the direction we were moving.

Take a few minutes today to plan where you want to be in the next 5 to 10 years. Then start making a plan to get there by working backward.

Ask yourself, “What am I going to do this week to put myself in a position to hit my goals for this month so I’m on pace to hit my goal for this year and then for my five-year goal?”

Most people in life are shortsighted, looking for the quick hack, and just playing one shot after another.

Champions, look at the game of life differently. They have the end in mind and work backward to build the reality they want, one day at a time.

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