Geoff Miller

More Goal Setting: Mental Skills Manual, Part V

In Tips for Improving Performance on December 2, 2009 at 8:07 pm

Letting Go

A big obstacle that gets in the way of people getting what they want is the tremendous need to be in control of our destinies.  It is difficult for an intelligent, ambitious person (the kind of person who sets lofty goals and expects them to be attained) to be okay not knowing how every step along the way toward that goal will be taken.  This is an unrealistic burden and it is compounded by another obstacle:

we have a hard time saying “I Don’t Know”!

It’s not good enough to tell yourself that you’re going to get to the big leagues…you want to map out every promotion, know how you’re going to adjust your swing, develop your change up, learn to anticipate hitters’ tendencies, etc. and you want to know when these things will happen consistently.  Traditional goal-setting encourages the micro-managing of the how and when of accomplishing a task.  My approach for setting goals follows a formula that does not ask you to know how or when you will get what you want.  And this should relieve a tremendous burden that keeps many people from realizing their full potential.

Set the Bar as High as You Can

Follow this formula to achieve your goal:

  1. Make a Declaration (Formally State What You Want.)
  2. Acknowledge that you don’t know HOW and WHEN you are going to get what you want.
  3. Decide on the FIRST simple thing you need to do to get you closer to achieving this goal.
  4. Start working hard on this ONE THING until you feel like you’ve mastered it.
  5. Decide on the NEXT simple thing you need to do.
  6. As you continue this process, the next step will make itself clear.

This formula has elements used in The Secret and in a concept created by Jim Collins (author of Good to Great), called a BHAG.

BHAG:          Big Hairy Audacious Goal

Sample BHAG:  John F. Kennedy declares to the people of the United States that we will put a man on the moon by the end of the decade.

You might not have any idea how you are going to achieve your goal at step one.  You may not even know what step three will be when you’re at step one, but by the time you finish step two, your next step will emerge.  Allowing yourself the freedom to work on mastering the simple goal that you find yourself on in the present is the letting go you need to find the answers along the way.

Sample Goal Script

Goal:  Make it to the big leagues

  1. I have no idea HOW or WHEN I will make it to the big leagues. But I KNOW that I will.
  2. I know that the first thing I need to do is to develop better fastball command.
  3. I am going to work on throwing my fastball to both sides of the plate in my bullpens.

Click Here for Part I of the Manual, which offers an Introduction.

Click Here for Part II of the Manual, which begins the unit on self-knowledge.

Click Here for Part III of the Manual, which discusses Comfort Zones, Confidence, and Keeping it Simple.

Click Here for Part IV, introduction to goal setting.

If you would like to receive new posts from The Winning Mind in Baseball by email, please CLICK HERE.

Geoff Miller’s book, Intangibles: Big-League Stories and Strategies for Winning the Mental Game — in Baseball and in Life, was released in August, 2012. For more information and free sample chapters, please visit:

For more information, please contact Geoff Miller at miller@thewinningmind.com.

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