I Hate The Term BHAG

I hate the term BHAG (B-hag). I’m a visual person so when I hear Big Hairy Audacious Goal for some reason I see a nasty monster with big, yellow, fangs – slime oozing like spit from the ends of them. Instead of motivating me, images of the slimy yellow ooze make my gag reflex tingle in an, “I might lose my breakfast” kind of way.

So, yes, I hate the term BHAG but I love the idea behind it. If you’re going to set mediocre goals, why bother? Chances are, you’d achieve them without even trying so if that’s your mindset just keep living your life the way you already are. But if you want more, if you want to make changes, if you’re serious about making your life better, then dream big… dream really freaking big.

…but don’t dream too big.


The key to dreaming big is to create goals that are attainable and that you have control over.

Just the other day someone told me his goal in life is to be on The Amazing Race. He wanted to come up with steps for accomplishing that dream but I didn’t help him do it. Setting a goal that revolves around getting others to do what you want (aka: producers picking you from millions to be on a show) doesn’t make sense. It takes the ownership of your goal and puts it in someone elses’ hands.

Instead, we talked about what it was about The Amazing Race that was appealing to him, what that experience would mean, and what was holding him back from creating his own opportunity to accomplish those things. When he thought of The Amazing Race he pictured having the chance to travel around the world to see different places and experience vast cultures. The reason he felt like he needed the show was to finance those trips. We talked about time-lines, setting up financial plans, and resources for planning a huge trip. By the end of our conversation he was falling off the edge of his chair with excitement over having a goal that would allow him to experience what he wanted to and would put ownership over the achievement back into his hands.

Achieving what we want in life is about taking ownership of the things that mean the most to us, setting big freaking goals, and figuring out the steps needed to make them happen.

Let me give you a tip:

The first step to making any goal happen is to let others know what it is so they can support us, nudge us, and help keep us on track.

My Big Hair Audacious Goal is to bike across the United States. What’s yours?