Happy New Year! Do you know what your big, hairy, audacious goals (BHAGs) are going to be as we begin a brand new year?
Often we set goals that are boring, too small, not exciting or compelling. New Year's resolutions are like that: often negative, boring, short-term, kind of a drag. We need to aim bigger. It may be helpful not to think in terms of one-year goals, but instead about your goals for the next 10, 20, or even 30 years. Think bigger about what may be possible. The best goals are ones that you are only about 60% sure you can pull off. They should make you feel excited.
Big, hairy, audacious goals were first coined by business consultants James Collins and Jerry Porras in their 1994 book Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies. Collins and Porras believe good enough is often the enemy of greatness in companies. Some of my clients who are entrepreneurs set BHAGs for their companies, to help build a strong, spirited leadership team and a company that can outlast the present management team.
What if we set big, hairy, audacious goals for our personal lives as well? Perhaps good is the enemy of great relationships as well as companies. What if we could focus and build a team spirit in our closest relationships?
How do you know if you are setting BHAGs for your personal life?
Your goals should include some big relational goals that inspire and emotionally compel you. The goals get you excited about your life and what you REALLY want.
Your goals should include things that could take you 5, 10, 20 or 30 years to create.
You should articulate a clear finish line, so you know when you get there.
Clearly spell out what you would like to create, experience or build in your personal life. They should create a team spirit with your partner and family.
The right goals feel like a reason to get up in the morning, and a certain boldness and intensity that you can get excited about.
What are some BHAGs for your personal life?
It could be creating a fantastic marriage: close, interdependent, emotionally honest, open, mutually supportive, playful, communicative. You could decide not to be in a mediocre one. Instead, you could choose to lean in fully into your marriage and take full responsibility for making it as good as it can possibly be.
It might be creating more simplicity and freedom, perhaps by paying off your house and having no debt.
Your goal may have to do with selfless service, and applying your gifts to serve others.
You could choose to strengthen your family relationships with children and grandchildren.
You may want to develop yourself by learning a new skill, taking on a new instrument, athletic goal, or making travel dreams happen.
Your goal could be to overcome your past emotional limitations, childhood pain, and hurt.
You could get real about an addiction and deal with it.
You could stop being a victim, and heal.
You might want to seek counseling for the anxiety or depression you've been dragging behind you for years.
You could choose to become less angry and reactive.
You can choose to rewrite your story.
Be bold and brave as you face the new year. Take on a few big, hairy, audacious goals that excite and scare you a little in your personal life in 2016. You're the only one that can choose to do it for you. Don't think too small, live too small, or dream too small. Big, hairy, audacious goals are great for your business life, but they are also a way to enrich and excite your personal life with some challenge to grow. Don't be limited to good. Be great, and be a part of creating great relationships.