Somewhere sometime during school, many students are introduced to the concept of goal setting. I was never told about Goal Setting but somehow when I was 12 I decided 4 things. I would become a Physical Education Teacher: I could play games all day with kids and wear shorts, a sleeveless blouse and tennis shoes to work instead of a dress, girdle, stockings and high heels. I also would be able to drive to work in a convertible sports car (Miss Griffinhagen my fun and sassy PE Teacher was my model for all of the above).
I would get my teaching degree at UCLA and play on the ladies golf team: I had never been to Los Angeles but I saw a video of UCLA on TV.
I would play golf at St Andrews golf course in Scotland: I played golf with my Father and one day we watched the British Open on TV (black and white TV in those days) and it captured my imagination. I wanted the experience of playing that golf course in the same windy conditions.
I would marry someone who loved to play golf, we would have two boys and we would all play golf as a family.
At 12, I didn’t know these were called goals, but somehow I knew I had to DO something with these ideas or nothing would happen. It is the DOING that matters. Believing is a good step, but you can believe all you want to, but until you begin DOING there is no difference in your life. My life began to change because I began to do specific things.
In order to go to a University I had to have good grades. To have good grades I had to pay attention in class, take notes, do homework, turn it in on time. The homework was preparation for the test. Good test grades lead to good grades on the report card. I became a good student.
Skills Developed: Focused attention, self discipline, time management, productivity, converse intelligently with adults
In order to play on a University golf team I had to practice golf, develop shot making skills, play in junior tournaments and learn how to play well under pressure.
Skills Developed: Focused attention, self discipline, patience, thinking ahead
In order to marry someone who loved to play golf, I had to become the person, the person I was looking for, was looking for.
Skills Developed: High standards, being interesting enough to capture his imagination
In order to play golf at St Andrews golf course, I had to have a good job that payed well enough to support me, play golf and afford a trip like this.
Skills Developed: productivity, helping others be productive, being an asset to an organization
This was teenage thinking; looking back teenage thinking is sssoooo naive. I didn’t realize that the choices/ dreams/ goals I had, prioritized my commitments every day. Without realizing it, I became committed to the things that would lead me to my dreams. Everyone has 24 hours a day. It was in the prioritizing of that time, I developed skills and attitudes that lead me step by step to my goals. Little things like showing up on time, being productive, helping the people in my team, being respectful of other people and their time opened the doors for me to new opportunities.
I did receive a degree in Kinesiology and my teaching certificate at UCLA. While I was there the woman’s golf team became the NCAA winner in 1971 and I was a two time All American in golf. As a Senior, I was given an opportunity to work at Bel Air Country Club and where I was able to play golf with people you see on TV and in the movies. I learned one very important life skill in that association, successful people are humble, very appreciative of their success, and very kind and encouraging to young people who work hard in trying to accomplish their dreams. It is the DOING that impresses successful people. They know how hard they worked for their success and they remember the people who helped them along the way.
I became a PE teacher; while I taught at Keheley Elementary, our school was honored with the recognition of having the best Elementary PE Program in the state of Georgia. One or our student teachers took our program to another district and won the award as well.
I play golf at St Andrews golf course in 1975 during the Ladies British Open. It was a glorious week in Scotland.
I married a man who loved to play golf, we had two daughters who loved to play tennis. (There was a lot I didn’t know when I was 12.)
What I have learned is this, it is not enough to assign students the task of writing down their goals. That is an abstract idea which is theory or an idea that can float away. Challenge the students to write down what they will do every single day to develop the skills that will lead them to their goals. It’s the lifetime of doing that develops the character traits that enable someone to accomplish their 12 year old dreams.