Goals. Goals are scary. Scratch that, goals are flat out frightening. I have been thinking recently about why goals are so scary and I realized it is because they make you vulnerable. When you put a goal out there and tell the world, the world is holding you accountable, and that is a lot of weight on your shoulders. But with vulnerability comes the possibility of achievement, and for anyone who has ever accomplished a goal, you know that the feeling of achieving a goal is worth the vulnerability.
Henry Ford once said, “Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into smaller parts.” And when looking at your BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal), if you simply try to achieve the goal without a plan, it becomes overwhelming and often feels impossible.
Recently I put a big goal out there. I wanted to shave 30 minutes off of my half marathon time. I wanted to go from 2 hours and 30 minutes to 2 hours. Imagine the shock in people’s eyes when I looked at them and said “I think I can do it.” “I think” became I will, and “I will” became scary. But 3 months ago I made a commitment, I wrote it down, I planned it, and I was determined. And in June, I achieved it. And the biggest reason I achieved it, is that I PATIENTLY followed a plan.
I have learned a lot of different goal setting tricks and systems over the years, and there are a lot of different philosophies, so with that, I have created tips on making your BHAG a reality this year.
1. Write it down! Write down the goal on a big old piece of paper, notecard, and make sure to use the words “I am.” So for example, “I am the CEO of my company by June 2022.” Be very specific; make it measurable (use times, or dates or numbers).
2. Don’t be afraid to announce your goal to the entire world. Anyone who thinks you are crazy when you put a huge goal out there is simply just jealous that they don’t have the courage to do the same. And guess what, when you achieve your goal, they will quickly stop drinking that hatorade!
3. Pick 1 big BHAG for the year. I am the queen of writing out way too many goals and then not knowing where to start. And then wondering why I don’t achieve them. My advice, pick 1 big goal and simply start there. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have other goals along the way, but you need to keep your eye on the prize.
** Side Note Here: Multitasking does not mean you are going to get more accomplished. In fact check this out: Clifford Nass, a researcher at Stanford assumed that those who multitask heavily would nonetheless develop some other outstanding skills. He thought that they would be amazing at 1. Filtering information 2. Being very fast at switching between the tasks and 3. Keeping a high working memory. He actually found the opposite and said after his research, “We were absolutely shocked. We all lost our bets. It turns out multitaskers are terrible at every aspect of multitasking.”
4. Once you write your goal out, you need a plan. First write out everything you need to do to achieve that one goal. It will be super overwhelming to do it, but simply dump it all out on a piece of paper. So, for example, below is my BHAG, Task Dump, and then how I break down my goal.
BHAG: I publish an ebook “Break-up, Get Up, & Walk Away,” by November 2013.
Tasks Dump (list them all out)
i.e.: Story board out my chapters to see what I am missing and if the chapters flow
i.e.: write 10,000 more words
Deadline (then move them into deadline order, and give yourself specific dates so that you make the ultimate deadline).
i.e.: July 15th: Chapters are all on the storyboard
i.e.: July 22nd: Complete 10,000 words.
Weekly Work Flow (Based on your deadlines, create weekly goals so you know what you need to do each week to achieve your ultimate goal).
i.e.: Week of July 8th: Begin to story board chapters (write out what each chapter is about, see if it flows), write down missing chapters, get facts to support the different chapters. Complete 5,000 words.
i.e.: Week of July 16th: Complete 5,000 more words.
5. When creating deadlines, be realistic. If your BHAG is something that is going to take you a few years, then set your goal for where you need to be at each your to achieve that ultimate goal. In that case, your deadlines should be by year, and then start with the current year’s goal when you are in your workflow.
6. Create your think tank workspace. Creating a creative space is super important! If your environment is fun, you will be way more excited to achieve your goals.
7. Once you write out your plan, it needs to be visible. This should be a big calendar that you stare at every day (whiteboards are going to be great for this so you can erase, and move goals from week to week). Take pictures of them each week so you can celebrate your accomplishments! Whiteboard walls are also another awesome way to write everything out (you simply need to get whiteboard paint).
8. Every week on Sunday evening, check in to see where you are at with your goal for the week. Ask yourself what you achieved, and what you need to move over to next week’s goals.
9. Lastly, celebrate your wins along the way! Everyday isn’t going to be a win, but when it is, celebrate it! And find the lesson in your losses along the way, celebrate failure as well! Set small milestones along the way, and when you achieve these, they will give you the excitement and energy to keep going!
10. Ok one more, have fun! Allow yourself to have a blast working towards your goal and make sure to surround yourself with supportive people!
If you have made it this far, I would love to hear what your BHAG is for this year!! Shoot me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Lindsey Richardson was born and raised in Arcadia, Ca. Being a California native, she decided to attend the University of Southern California in 2000 for her undergraduate degree.
Lindsey holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication from the Annenberg School for Communication. While at USC Lindsey, discovered her love and passion for marketing through internships at Interscope Records and House of Blues.
Her passion and purpose in life is to help people that are going through a difficult time. Whether that be business owners struggling in their marketing, or interns looking to define their career objectives, or people struggling with their personal relationships, Lindsey enjoys working with people every day to help teach through her life lessons and mistakes. She spends her free time hiking, blogging (doingitwrongsince1982.com) and working on completing her first book “break-up, get-up & walk away.” She hopes to release this in Fall 2013.