As you’re probably aware, the KonMari Method developed by Marie Kondo is a system for tidying, as well as decluttering your home of anything that doesn’t “spark joy.” As I was watching one of her episodes on Netflix it occurred to me that the KonMari Method could be applied to improve your golf performance. In this post, I teach you how to “Marie-Kondo” your golf mindset.
Spark Joy in Golf
Let’s start with an understanding of what Marie Kondo means when she uses the Japanese word, Tokimeku, which has been translated to mean “spark joy.”
From Kenkyusha’s Japanese-English Dictionary, Tokimeku has two definitions ~
- to enjoy [be in] great prosperity; be prosperous; prosper; flourish; thrive; have one’s day; be powerful; be influential; be in power
- to throb; palpitate; pulsate; pulse; beat fast.
Based on these definitions, golf experiences that “spark joy” could be any moments that create uplifting feelings, a thrill of excitement, a sense of success, or feeling of power. Consider how your memories of such moments contribute to your overall enjoyment of the game and become highly sought after in every round.
But when you reflect on your collection of golf memories, do you limit your archive to just those moments that spark joy, or do you intermix them with moments that definitely do not? If you’re like most golfers I speak to you retain a collection of memories that include both, and that bank tends to be more heavily stacked with your disappointments. There is no value in retaining memories of disappointments that can negatively impact your performance.Marie-Kondo Your Golf Mindset - Just as items in your home create unnecessary clutter, the golf memories of shots you have no desire to repeat create clutter in your mind. Click To Tweet
Just as items in your home that you don’t need create unnecessary clutter, the golf memories you’ve collected that you have no desire to repeat have no value and are simply creating clutter in your mind. Therefore, my challenge to you is to take action to tidy things up so you can play with a much better mindset that actually improves your performance.
Ridding Yourself of Mental Clutter
According to the site dictionary.com, “The KonMari Method is, in many ways, a gratitude practice…Marie Kondo is asking people to be mindful about their belongings and what those belongings add to their lives.”
If you were to begin practicing more gratitude and taking the time to celebrate your success in the game, and less time beating yourself up and replaying failure you could develop a mindset full of “belongings” that add to your game. Below I’ve shared some strategies you can start using both on and off the course to tidy up your mind and purposefully store memories that spark joy.
Off the Course
Set aside 10 uninterrupted minutes this week to make a list of all the golf memories that spark joy you can recall from any round you’ve played. And don’t allow yourself to throw out the excuse that you haven’t had much to be grateful about in your recent rounds. No one invests large amounts of time, energy and money in something that doesn’t bring joy. And no poor round is devoid of some good shots here and there. So dig deep and use the following questions to get your thoughts moving in the right direction:
- What are your favorite parts of the game?
- What courses that you’ve played are your favorites?
- Who are the friends or family members with whom you love to play, and why?
- What was your best shot of all time off the tee? On approach? To get up and down? On the green?
- What was your most surprisingly good shot of all time?
- What are your top three recovery shots?
- Where and when did you play your best round ever?
- What’s your lowest score for 9 holes?
- Which is your favorite club in the bag?
- What’s your favorite kind of shot to hit from a hazard?
I think you get the idea. Within your allotted 10 minutes download onto a pad of paper as many good to great memories as you can remember that have sparked joy in your rounds.
On the Course
Going forward, when you’re on the range and on the course there are two things you can do to create more moments that spark joy.
- First, find something exciting about every shot you’re about to start planning. When you take a moment to drive positivity and reach for that thrill of adventure in your shots, you’ll be driving the right emotions that enhance your focus and engagement with your desired target.
- Secondly, after your good to really great shots take the time to feel a sense of satisfaction and pride in a job well done. In my experience, golfers don’t think to allow themselves a moment to appreciate shots that don’t fall into the “pure” and spectacular categories. When your shot arrives in the general vicinity of your chosen target or hits the bulls eye take the time to give yourself a hearty pat on the back so that moment’s memory sparks some joy.
Make a point to consciously hold on to the memories of shots that bring you joy and have a little party on the inside to make a bit of a big deal about them. Any shot worth repeating is a shot worth celebrating. In addition, consciously choose to let go of those shot memories that have the opposite affect on you. Keeping a “tidy” mindset that is free of negative clutter will improve your ability to play great.
Let me know which memory stands head and shoulders above the rest as a moment that sparked joy for you by leaving me a comment below.