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“Is it a BHAG?

April 19, 2016 by Zhane Orr-O'Farell

“Is it a BHAG?  A Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal.”

Such was the scope of the goals we were encouraged to set in Saturday’s Lululemon Goal Setting Workshop with Katie Bailey.

I walked into a surprisingly unheated Upstate studio to find a very different class than what I was used to- no mats, no weights, no active wear, nothing but small clusters of “mismatched” Upstate members: fathers, mothers and daughters, mothers without their daughters, young women and one very inspiring woman taking position at the front of the room, ready to lead us on our goal setting journey.

The first exercise asked us to discuss whether we considered ourselves goal setters and what goals we have set, accomplished and/or failed to date. Interestingly, we all considered ourselves goal setters, only in different ways: some stricter, others were starters-but-never-quite-finish-it-ers. Interestingly, and even more surprisingly, we were soon to find out that we really weren’t goal setters, at least not by Lululemon or Katie’s BHAG criteria.

“I was setting goals from a place of probability not possibility”

I’m sure you’ve heard that the simple act of writing down a goal actually makes you more likely to achieve it. In fact, a study conducted by Harvard actually proved it; your likelihood of achieving these goals is increased by 30%.

But as Katie reminded us, there’s no use jotting down a goal in your diary only to turn the page and expect that the universe will miraculously manifest Ryan Gosling into tonight’s bed sheets.

Goals require consideration, planning, and constant effort and presence of mind; no matter what they may be. Whether your goals hone in on your career, relationships or health, these must be so passionately held that you are willing to work towards them everyday.

So, first things first: come to know what it is that you are passionate about.

Ask yourself the right questions to determine this.

It’s important to recognize what’s important to you and distinguish your passions from the trends influencing your peers.

So make sure you ask yourself the right questions: What lights me up? What is something that I would do, or have, if I knew I could not fail?

If money was no object?  I can hear your sceptism already: ”But I have children”, “But I don’t have the money”, “But I don’t have the time…”

“but, but, but, but – nothing”

This exercise is about your dream life, it is free of constraints, free of your perceived limitations and fear of failure.

Step number 2;

Make your vision so clear and simple that it can be summed up in one sentence, using the right language.

Never will you use the term “I will have…”, from now on your mantra will be “I have…Ryan Gosling waiting for me with red roses and raw chocolate…”

Step number 3;

Time stamp it!

When will you achieve this goal? When is the nearest possible time that you can achieve this goal, bar excuses and procrastination? Be a little bit optimistic here; push yourself to work with this deadline in mind.

“I have Ryan Gosling standing outside my door with red roses and raw chocolate on Valentine’s Day 2017.”

Step number 4;

What are the deliverables? In other words, what steps to do I need to take to get there?

This may mean meeting with a business couch, sitting down with your partner, signing up to a gym, or stalking Ryan’s recent travel habits in the hope of intersecting with him on his August trip to Barcelona.

Step number 5;

Identify the costs.  Yes, unfortunately there will be costs; they may be your time, or that $1500 non-refundable ticket.

Step number 6;

Ask yourself; what do I need to stop doing?

You may need to re-evaluate some of your current habits or commitments that present obstacles in achieving your new goal.

Step 7;

Share the vision! Shout it from the rooftops!

Well, not literally because you can’t have the tabloids uncovering a legal suit from your neighbors for noise disturbance. But you also want to be careful about who you share your goals with because, as I’m sure we all know, some people are party poopers. They may feel threatened by your Big, Hairy Audacious Goal and how your shining so bright may affect or ‘overshadow’ them.

So share your goal with likeminded people, a team of cheerleaders who will keep you accountable, begging the question “how’s the stalking going?”

These steps that Katie so passionately walked the group through, proved to be applicable to any goal whatsoever, and effective in creating the momentum to keep you driving towards your goal.

So do yourself a favor and stop setting goals from a place of probability and start looking at your life with possibility.

Possibility breeds opportunity and with strategic steps in place, opportunity becomes acheivement.

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