BHAG, Big Hairy Audacious Goal – a term coined by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras in their book, Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies. Their application of a BHAG is for companies to implement visionary goals that are more strategic and emotionally compelling than a typical goal and they tend to have an outlook of 10 – 30 years.
I’m not proposing that you set all your goals that far into the future, but I do think that if you want to accomplish big goals, the secret is planning right now. We plan for our retirement from a fiscal perspective, so why not develop a plan for our most cherished dreams, too? Picture the life you want 5, 10 or even 20 years from now and implement small goals each year to move you toward things that matter most in your life. Sounds simple, but with our busy lives, it isn’t that easy. The key is to set aside a few minutes of quiet time to explore the possibilities in your mind. Do it TODAY!
If you need help getting ideas flowing, I found the book, The 4-Hour Workweek, by Timothy Ferriss, to be very helpful. Of particular interest is the section on “Dreamlining”, which is determining what you dream about having (house, car, clothes or non-material things, like relationships), being (a good cook, an athlete), and doing (going to Hawaii, surfing, rock climbing). There is a printable worksheet on Timothy’s blog at http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/lifestyle-costing/ that can help you get on track. Take just 15-30 minutes today and get started! One thing will lead to another and before you know it, you’ll be on your way toward accomplishment of a BHAG!
Now all this talk is rooted in the HUGE goal concept, but I think we often slip into a bad pattern with the New Year. Most people give up on their New Year’s resolutions before the month of January is over! Sometimes that’s because they try to change too much in too short of a time frame. Our environments and are minds are not set up for change, much less BIG change all at once. If this is your downfall, take the time to break down your goal into bite size pieces. I mean really small bites, almost so incredibly easy that it’s ridiculous. If want to lose weight, but you’ve never exercised or watched what you are eating, trying to run a few miles or starving yourself is not a good start! March in place for one minute a few times a day or research how many calories are in that Big Mac – those are small goals that will generate momentum toward big goals! Figure out your next SMALL steps and tackle one per day.
Another reason people give up on resolutions is because they have a “bad day” and think they just can’t do it. Adopt the mantra from Penelope Cruz’s character in Vanilla Sky, “Every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around”. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you have a set-back, just try again. Don’t wait for the next year, next month, next week or next Monday…just forgive yourself, learn from your mistakes and hit the reset button for the next minute!
Hopefully you’ll be able to use these thoughts to get you on your path toward a BHAG! Put a stake in the ground that 2012 is your year to achieve what matters most.