By Coach Flint Wallace
I read a quote this week from Brian Tracy. Brian is the chairman and CEO of Brain Tracy International. The company specializes in training and development of individuals and organizations. I have read a few of his blogs and I have found them very informative and helpful. But the quote that really caught my attention was, “Goals allow you to control the direction of change in your favor.” We all know that the one thing in life that is always constant is change. But this quote really got me thinking about Goals in a new light. I think a lot times we look at goals with more of a pessimistic attitude than an optimistic one. I believe this is the case because, goals require us to change. Change is uncomfortable, and there is some part of us that tries to avoid being uncomfortable. I have always thought of goals as just something to strive for, to push ourselves with, but this quote made me realize that goals, or the lack there of, are what changes and shapes us.
I started to think about what steps I would need to do exactly to make my Goals turn out in my favor. The first thing I did was to try and figure out what would keep me from reaching a goal. Then I would be able to come up with ways to combat the negative factors, so I could turn them in to factors that would be in my favor. Because we all know that to just set a goal, definitely doesn’t mean it is going to come true. Hence the millions of New Year resolutions that go unaccomplished each and every year. So I came up with a few things that I thought would have adverse effects on achieving a goal.
I thought the first thing that would keep someone from reaching a goal would be a vague or very broad goal, like lose weight, or throw harder, or read more. This vision is not clear enough. Without a very clear and precise vision or picture of what I want to achieve with my goal, there are to many possible directions to go, and most of those are the wrong way.
The next thing I thought that would adversely effect a goal would be an unclear or inadequate plan or direction on how to reach a goal. Most of us have heard the old saying, “one does not plan to fail, they simply fail to plan.” Research shows that for every 1 minute you spend in planning, you will gain 10 in execution. 1 minute = 10 minutes. 10 minutes = 1 hour and 40 minutes! So, if you don’t plan, there is not a clear direction and you are wasting valuable time.
Then the next thing that came to mind that would sabotage a goal is what I refer to as the average mentality. This is the mentality of just wanting to do what everyone else is doing, or the fear of standing out. This is the mentality that being average is good, but good is the enemy of great. The most destructive type of mentality is an average mindset, because it is fully accepted by our culture, and few, if anyone, will truly challenge you to broaden that perspective.
The next item I came up with that would send a goal spiraling down is lack of action. Waiting to you feel like doing something before you do it. You can have the greatest plan ever devised, but if you do not follow the actions of that plan, then it is worthless. For a lot of people, just getting the activity for that day started is the biggest obstacle. Once they get started, that initial desire returns.
Lastly, a sure fire ingredient for the downfall of a goal is not seeking out the knowledge, resources, or help of others who have the experience or expertise in the area of your endeavor. We all know that knowledge and resources are what makes progress possible. With out one, or the other, or both; progress is destined for failure.
So, now that I came up with certain things that would have a negative effect on reaching a goal, I wanted to come up with a positive alternative for each. So the first thing is to come up with a very clear and precise vision of what I want the end results to be. I believe the best way to keep that vision is to write it down in great detail and read over it on a regular bases, daily or at least weekly, so that your will constantly have the image of that picture in your mind.
Then come up with a detailed plan on how to achieve that goal. That would include an overall plan, then a yearly plan, then a monthly plan, then a weekly plan, then a daily plan, then a plan for each segment of the day. Also, within the plan, include times to reevaluate the plan to see if adjustments need to be made. This can be done weekly, but at least monthly. The road to success is never straight, expect curves, twist, and turns. By having set times to reevaluate your plan, you will be able to adjust the steering before you completely run off the road.
Then I believe to combat the mentality of average, or just wanting to what everybody else is doing, one must find ways to change there mindset. To stay motivated. This has to be done daily. That reminds me of a quote by Zig Ziglar, “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing, that’s why we recommend it daily.” So come up with motivational videos or articles that you can spend a few minutes watching or reading everyday. Our mindset can be are greatest ally or our worst enemy. It just depends on what messages we put in it.
The best way I could think of to to make sure I follow my plan, or to take action, is to come up with a way to measure my progress. Measuring something regularly, makes you accountable, and accountability makes you take action. Also, if you want to improve something, measure it, this will absolutely help you stay focused and make sure you are moving in the right direction.
Finally, find people who have the knowledge and resources to guide you. As Coach Wolforth likes to say, create your own dream team. Come up with people that will work with you and for you. Not a “Yes” man, not someone that will just agree with you on everything, or tell you what you want to hear. But, someone that will be honest with you, and helps you to create solutions. Like one of my favorite saying states, “Surround yourself with those who are on the same mission as you.” Remember, change is the only constant, and, “Goals allow you to control the direction of change in your favor.”
If your mission or goal is to improve, or change, any part of your pitching or throwing, and you want to take control and make that direction of change be in your favor, then I believe that coming to an Elite Pitchers Bootcamp, or attending our Summer Program here at the Texas Baseball Ranch, or subscribing to our online Durathro Program can absolutely help you with that goal. Let us become part of your dream team. Until next time, keep getting after it.
P.S. For more information about these events and programs, log onto www.texasbaseballranch.com.