BAGS, THE NEW YORK GIANTS & FISH: a simple strategy for success

THE NEXT STEP: where focusing on feelings = action
THE LOCKDOWN LEADER: focus on ‘in group’ development

Sometimes it is the tried and tested reliable formula that guarantees goal achievement. Planning ahead and taking habitual action so that you exceed your weekly and monthly targets exemplifies this brilliantly.

You may believe, like me, that your level of competence at advance preparation, is entirely task dependent, or that you also revel in thinking impulsively – and executing – fast, due to an approaching deadline. Woo hoo! Excitement! Adrenaline! However, my In the Bag strategy is more motivating and is better for brain and body health.

The earliest use of the idiom in the bag originally meant that the race was lost. Its current meaning derives from a superstition from the New York Giants baseball team during an impressive run of twenty-six wins in 1916. When still in the lead at the start of the last inning, the ballbag was carried off the field, therefore capturing the game in the bag, and the players’ belief that they would not lose.

I have adapted this towards accomplishing my goal of walking 1000 boots-on daily doses of green miles this year. Each month I have walked a few more miles than the calculator informs me is required, so that I get ahead and as a result, now have an extra thirty miles walking completed in the bag. Yay!

Whilst it might not sound much more, it is motivating, as I am further along than I need to be, and this reduces stress. Brain-friendly, as it increases certainty that the goal will be achieved, there is a buffer of miles should things not go to plan, or if the weather in England is less than appealing for walking, which is likely if the current early Autumn gales and wind are anything to go by!

That saying, I am committed to the goal and walk in the rain. Elite athletes train even if they do not feel like it and during inclement weather, and this knowledge inspires me to tie my laces. When you really want to achieve a goal, the excuses and immediate discomfort pale into insignificance.

This month, what could you get in the bag which will then make the remaining months of 2020 much easier for you? #winning

If you are not yet convinced, let me tell you about some fish:

Once upon a time, three fish lived in a pond. They were close friends. One was named Plan Ahead, another was Think Fast, and the third was called Wait and See. One day they heard a fisherman say that he was going to cast his net in their pond the next day.

Plan Ahead said, “I’m swimming down the river tonight!

Think Fast said, “I’m sure that I’ll come up with a plan.

Wait and See lazily said, “I just can’t think about it now!”

When the fisherman cast his nets, Plan Ahead was long gone. But Think Fast and Wait and See were caught!

Think Fast quickly rolled his belly up and pretended to be dead. “Oh, this fish is no good!” said the fisherman and threw him safely back into the water. But, Wait and See ended up in the fish market.

Therefore, they say, “In times of danger, when the net is cast, plan ahead or plan to think fast!”*


* This story is from The Panchatantra, an ancient Indian collection of 84 interrelated animal fables in Sanskrit verse and prose.
Photo credits: Maria Dryfhout; Arturo Holmes /; Mike Pellini.