What we Can Learn From the Pirates About Setting Goals

What we Can Learn From the Pirates About Setting Goals

In 2000, the Pirates went 1-7 after reaching 19-21.

In 2002, the Pirates went 1-9 after reaching 31-33.

In 2003, the Pirates lost seven in a row after reaching 14-14.

In 2004, the Pirates went go 1-14 after reaching 23-22.

In 2005, the Pirates lost five in a row after reaching 30-30.

In 2008, the Pirates went go 1-5 after reaching 33-34.

In 2009, the Pirates lost three in a row after reaching 19-21.

In 2010, the Pirates lost four in a row after reaching 14-16.

One of the readers of the Post-Gazette put together the alarming statistics above.  They show how almost once a year since 2000, our beloved Pittsburgh Pirates have either hit or come close to hitting .500 and then sputtered away, never to come close again.  If we consider that it has been the Pirates goal the last 12 years to finish above .500, I think we can learn something interesting about goal setting (either for ourselves or for our businesses).

  1. The reality is that in none of these seasons were the Pirates good enough to expect to finish .500 (sorry, they just didn’t have good enough players).  The fact that they stayed so close to .500 so deep in the season shows us just how powerful setting a goal can be.  Go ahead and set a goal for yourself or your company that’s a bit of a reach, you just might find yourself hitting it.
  2. Don’t set your goals too far away though… the Pirates’ horrible records after brushing .500 show us just how demoralizing it can be to watch your goal float away.  For example, let’s say you set a goal to release a piece of software at the end of the month.  The goal may motivate everyone for the first few days or even weeks, but once it becomes clear that the goal was unrealistic, there will be little to no motivation.  Your progress will take a tumble like the Buccos have the last few seasons.