Golfing and Planning – The New Normal

The recent snow storm aside, if you’re a golfer this is a great time of year.  The snow has melted and the courses are opening.  It is time to dust off the clubs and head out to the range to fine tune your game.  I love golf; I have played since I was a boy.  Much like my grandfather, I hope to play for the rest of my life.  I hope to share it with my children and grandchildren.  I especially love this particular week when I can tune in to the Masters tournament and see the talented players and beautiful scenery from historic Augusta National in Augusta, Georgia.I am pretty much a self-taught golfer and while I do ok, my game is certainly nothing to brag about.  On second thought, I probably shouldn’t talk about it at all.  Many bad shots are interspersed with just enough good ones here and there that I keep playing.  Last year, for the first time since I was a kid, I took a few lessons.  To improve my game, the local pro taught me some changes I would need to become more consistent.  At first it seemed very awkward and difficult.  In fact, I was sure I was worse off and it was just too hard.  But, as the changes in my swing started to become the “new normal” I realized it really wasn’t any harder to swing correctly than it was to swing incorrectly – it just required the patience to move through the awkwardness of change.Often as I begin to work with a Client on their estate planning or business planning, one of the first things I hear is: “I want to keep things simple” or “This sounds like it will be too complicated.”  But, I like to explain that while there will be a transition period, soon it will become their “new normal” and will no longer seem complicated or difficult.  I am often reminded of a Far Side cartoon I saw years ago that showed a man up in heaven rolling out snakes and saying:  “These sure are easy.”  Often what seems easy or simple, like doing business as a sole proprietor, may very well be quite dangerous.  So as you begin the process of planning, remember that changing how you do things actually does require change.  Just like tinkering with your golf swing there will be a transition period, but ultimately doing things the right way is no harder than doing things the wrong way.  It just takes a little more commitment at the outset to learn and incorporate good habits.  Then, when your good mechanics allow you to consistently hit that long, straight drive or sink that putt with ease the effort will have been worth it.