Goal setting is a powerful exercise and its effects are tremendous. When setting goals, how high do you aim? When you set goals that are easy to achieve, not only are you not giving it your all, but you’re ultimately cheating yourself.
I was recently reading an article about how folks in the online dating world tend to aim higher than they should when looking for a mate. Once you’re able to move past the superficiality of that statement and think on it, perhaps you might say to yourself: “Well, duh, why wouldn’t I aim higher than I should?” In the context of goal setting…we should be striving higher!
The term BHAG stands for Big Hairy Audacious Goal. This acronym was first introduced in Jim Collins and Jerry Porras book “Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies”. BHAG stands for the kind of goal that can be daunting but doable with the right strategy and effort. While every company owner I know sets goals, very few set BHAG’s.I can tell you from experience almost everyone I know that has set a BHAG has achieved it.
The point of creating a BHAG is to set something so big that it feels impossible to achieve. It should be hairy. A goal that
has a 100% possibility of being achieved isn’t hairy, it’s guaranteed. So why set a goal that you may fail at? The purpose of a hairy goal is to stop thinking small and think outside the box. It should stimulate progress and show urgency.
Some famous BHAG’s that were set are:
Citi Bank – Preeminent financial institution in the world (that was in 1915)
JFK – Land a man on the moon
GE – Be #1 or #2 in every market they serve
Facebook – Connect the world
Google – Organize the world’s information
Space X – Enable human exploration and settlement of Mars
These goals are crazy, but many were achieved, and others are on their way. A BHAG is not something that is a short-term goal, it is a goal that is 10+ years out. It is big, hairy, clear and concise.
“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in 10 years” — Bill Gates
Set lofty goals and aim higher than you think you should this weekend.