Reversing the BHAG

I suffer from extreme BHAGitis.

Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals have infected my life.

If you are anything like me you have them oozing out of your pores too.

I picture BHAGs to look something like this if you could see them. Big, hairy, lumbering, and a tad unwieldy.

It could be worse.

Sometimes the BHAG gets the best of you and it becomes unattainable no matter how hard you work; at least that has been my experience more times than I would like to admit. Anyone remember the NaNoWriMo adventure of November that I got an EPIC FAIL on?

Oftentimes when my husband and I drive somewhere new he makes a valid suggestion that I scoff at.

DL – Oh man this is going to be fun. Woot! A new restaurant to eat at with fabulous friends that has Donloree friendly foods. I found the menu online and have something super tasty picked out. Let’s roll!

Hubs – Looking forward to it. So do you know where we are going?

DL – Uh…yeah…? The new restaurant?!

Hubs – Well of course, but do you know where it is and how to get there? Should we put it into Google Maps on your phone?

DL – Google Maps, Google Schmaps! I have the address, we don’t need anything else.  Let’s go already. We are going to be late with all this talking about going and not going. Its just across the river somewhere by the University. Seriously! I’m getting hangry!

Hubs – (after driving past the same corner 4 times and hearing me exclaim ‘it is supposed to be right HERE’ 4 times) So…how about the Google Maps…?

DL – FINE. Whatever. The stupid map is going to tell us to go to same the place because the address hasn’t moved from this corner unless we have entered a strange space and time continuum that shifted the world around when we crossed the river.

Hubs – How is the map coming?

DL – (in a very small voice) Uh…apparently I wrote the address down wrong. We are supposed to be on the northeast end of the city. SORRY! I love you.

That darn ‘you are here’ flashing blue dot can be freakishly annoying sometimes. Some days it should just audibly say, ‘Hey idiot, you’re going the WRONG way.” somehow it would be more tolerable than the unhurried, ambient blinking.

‘Tis the season for goals and resolutions.

Instead of finding yourself where you don’t want to be with only a blue light pointing out your failure, reverse engineer your BHAG.

Step 1 – What do you want?

Write down everything about your big, hairy, audacious goal.

  • What does arriving look like?
  • How will you know you are on the right path?
  • What will you get?
  • What will you have to give up?
  • Who will journey with you?

Step 2 – What resources do you need to accomplish the BHAG?

One of my BHAGs is to write a book. I am on page 1 right now and finishing is writing ‘the end‘ on page 314. Writing 314 pages takes a lot of time and discipline. One month is not enough time to write my 314 page book even if I didn’t sleep, chained myself to my computer, and was hooked up to an IV of espresso.

  • How much time is required?
  • What training or expertise do you need?
  • What are you afraid of?
  • What do you need to overcome?
  • What are you missing?
  • What do you already have?

Step 3 – Chart your course.

Map it out. Be realistic in how long it will take, don’t lie to yourself about the time that is required. Being ahead of the game is way better than playing catch up.

Panicked sprinting can only be maintained for so long before your lungs explode.

Some BHAGS are now BHAGS and others may be for 2013, 2015, or even 2020. There are no rules on how long it takes you to accomplish your dream, just that you keep going and never, ever quit.

Step 4 – Start trekking and bring the world along.

Growing up we had a huge 7 passenger Ford van with red stripes, swivel bucket seats, and a fancy cup holders. People always knew where we were at any given time. I distinctly remember being in the public library only to be hunted down by a family that had moved away several years prior. They saw the van, knew we were inside, and came to find us and talk in non-library voices.

It was this van but red and the creepy 1970's family didn't come with our van!

Its important that people know where you are so they can come along, help, drive the van when you get tired, or just pop in to say, ‘I knew you would be here! You’re awesome and we love you.’

Oh and make sure if your van has cool swivel bucket seats to turn them to the forward direction while driving so you can see where you are going so as to not get car sick and throw up all over the other passengers.

No one likes being barfed on.

What are your 2012 BHAGs?

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  1. Love the term, BHAG. I am haunted by them. If I never achieve a one, no biggie. They brink out the best in me no matter what.

    • Isn’t the process pretty much 98% of the BHAG? Who you become, what you learn, and how you change are some of the best parts of chasing down a BHAG. Wise words my friend.

  2. I will conquer my BHAG!! I will be competing (1st time ever) on October 6, 2012 at the NPC Natural Northern in Ohio. My prep starts next week. Yes…I will have a long prep but I have alot of work to do. I have lost around 75 pounds and have about 25 to go. My goal is to just step on stage….a trophy would be nice though too =)

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