setting goals for yourself

Big Hairy Audacious Goals

Do you have a BHAG? BHAGs are Big Hairy Audacious Goals. They are something that will stretch you, challenge you, and make you get out of your comfort zone. I think they are essential for leading an amazing life!

I was in Chicago the first time I heard the term BHAG. I was listening to Bill Hybels speak at a Christian leadership conference. I’m not sure if he made up the word or if someone else did, but the word and the idea resonated with me some twenty years ago.

I try to set BHAGs for the four main areas of my life: spiritual, family, physical, and work. I think the best time to set them is usually at the first of the year or if you are going through a transition in life. I do like to review my goals every so often to see how I am progressing. I may not always reach my goals, but I usually fall forward trying!

I think having BHAGs are critical for living an amazing life. Having BIG HAIRY ADACIOUS GOALS will keep you focused and energized. I see so many people that are depressed or stressed out to the max; almost all of them do not have any direction or goals in their lives.

Having BHAGs will keep you focused outwardly (providing you set healthy goals) instead of inwardly all the time. They usually will give you a framework for making decisions. It helps you learn to say no to some opportunities that might be good but maybe not best for you. They usually make you learn a new skill or experience something in a different way.

One of my favorite memories of a BHAG was running my first marathon. I was never much of a runner and the thought of running 26.2 miles was overwhelming. With the help of some friends and encouragement from my family, I survived. I can still recall the feeling of crossing the finish line for the first time. I felt as if I could do anything that I set my mind to accomplish. I made new friends, learned a lot about myself in the process, and I am still running today.

Some BHAGs are easy to think of, while others are not so simple. I usually struggle with my spiritual ones. I think these are the hardest for me because I like to be in control. In all honesty, I don’t have a spiritual BHAG at the moment. I think spiritual BHAGs should be something big, something challenging, and something that I cannot do on my own. They should be so big, that the only way they can be accomplished is if God shows up!

So the next time you are feeling overwhelmed or anxious, consider your BHAGs. (Oh, by the way, you are never too old to have BHAGs!) Do you have something in your life that is challenging you? Are you out of your comfort zone (a little anxiety can be a good thing)? Do you have something in your life that is pushing you to become better? What are your BHAGs?