July 19, 2010 by Danielle
No, a BHAG has nothing to do with scary women. It’s an acronym for “Big Hairy Audacious Goal.” It was a concept developed for running successful companies, but anyone can use BHAG principles to achieve goals of their own.
I used to think of goal setting as a simple process. Back in 2008, my way of setting goals usually consisted of thinking some vague statement such as “I’m bored with my workout routine, I wish I could do something more challenging, like a triathlon”, and then training for it and hoping that things worked out alright. Sure, I had achieved plenty of the goals using this method, but this time I learned that there was a more efficient and effective way of doing it…the BHAG way. Here are some guidelines for setting up your own BHAG along with some examples of my own.
1. Use affirmative language. Turn “I wish” into “I will”
“I will do an olympic distance triathlon”
2. Write in the present tense
“I am changing up my workout routine and doing a triathlon which will challenge me physically and mentally”
3. Make it measurable
For me the easiest way to do this was to attach a deadline to my goal, which was October 30, 2008. This way I knew that there was an expiration date on my goal and that there was an end in sight. When you don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, it gets harder and harder to motivate toward your goal.
4. Be concise.
No need to ramble on. As a certain company says, “Just Do It”. I run, bike and swim 6 days a week
5. Be specific
To be specific, I researched and created a weekly training plan that covered training for each day. That way there was no room for excuses. Example: “I run for an hour on Tuesday. I do a spin class on Friday at 5:45 and then swim for 30 minutes.”
In the end, I finished 4th in my age group and I had a lot of fun doing it. It goes to show you that a little preparation can go a long way. What’s even better is that BHAGs are great for every area of your life. Want a promotion? To move to another country? Start your own business? The opportunities for BHAGs are endless. So set up a BHAG and get ‘er done.
For more information on BHAGs and a neat little tool for accomplishing your own goals, check out Lululemon’s “Goaltender” and get started!
Oh, by the way…my current BHAG is “Finish studying for my NASM certification by September 1 and take the exam by the end of that month.” Check in on me in September!