Now is a great time to work on your 2019 goals

I’m often in high demand at the start of a new year, when ambition and inspiration is high. But I’ve learned over the years working with top performers of all stripes that New Years is not the optimal time to start setting big annual goals. You have too much enthusiasm which can cloud your judgment, set your sights too high, and inevitably when the first obstacle arrives the plan can get derailed. You need a more measured and realistic (but still ambitious) approach.

Rather than waiting until January 2nd, 2019, why not start thinking about what you want to achieve next year, now? Now is a great time to start making, and adjusting, those big 2019 goals with a cool head and plenty of time to really decide what you want to get out of next year. You’ll have breathing room to really plan out what you want to do, rather than rush it all out in January.

It might even help you close out whatever goals you currently have for the rest of this year. Having something to look forward to, as well as a way of taking stock on how this year has gone, might be that spark of inspiration you need to steady the ship for the next few months.

If you’ve had a productive/successful year it’s easy to start sliding by saying to yourself that you’ll start working hard again next year. But what you do now, can actually help make next year a level better. Or perhaps your 2018 goals are not going to happen. Start thinking about how you can set yourself up for a better 2019 now, and still make the rest of this year more productive.

I have some big things in the pipeline and have struggled managing all of it, when my client work has never been busier. It’s a juggling act that I’m going to work harder on the rest of this year, see what I can learn and find a way to make 2019 an even better year.

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How Team Liquid Qualified for World Championships

Some of you may not know, but for the past 5 years I have been the mental game coach of Team Liquid – the biggest esports organization in the world – and I was recently featured in one of their videos about the work I did to help the League of Legends team quality for the World Champions in Korea next month. It’s a cool look into my work with them and you’ll notice similar themes to things I talk about in poker, trading and golf. 

Golfer Has More Gamble Than You Think

Golf club and ball with a Ten Dollar Bill betFor those of you that don’t know, I started as a mental game coach for golfers after using counselling psychology to fix my own mental game issues as a professional golfer. I then moved over to poker where I found a lot of success helping world-class professional poker players overcome their own mental weaknesses. One of the biggest issues poker players (and traders) have to deal with is variance. No matter how skilfully they execute a decision, they can still lose money because of bad luck. However, over the long term, if they are able to continue making good decisions, they will be rewarded.

Many people might think this volatility is just pertinent in fields where uncertainty is rife like poker and trading, but that is not the case. The fact is that there is a great deal of variance in golf, and I have no doubt almost every other sport. However, few people understand or even acknowledge this variance, which leads to mental game issues that hold their progress back.

I’m not talking about misfortune either. While it is certainly true that conditions like weather can play a crucial role in the outcome of a match, that is something we have little control over. What I am talking about is the variation that exists within your own skill set. The fact of the matter is that even when all the conditions remain the same, you will hit a shot differently every time.  Continue reading

Golf is 90% Mental?

dalai_lamaThere is a popular adage in golf, and in many other sports, that the game is “90% mental.” That what separates elite performers from the also-rans is having a strong determination, grit, confidence and other mental game qualities. When you witness elite performers under extreme pressure it can be easy to believe this assertion, and as a mental game coach, I should probably let you believe it. But answer me this:

If the mind was that important to the game, wouldn’t the Dalai Lama be an incredible golfer?

He’s actually quite bad. There’s no doubt the mental game is important, but it isn’t 90% of the game.

Besides if golf is 90% mental and 10% physical, how can we explain the following? Continue reading