Big Hairy Audacious Goal – B-HAG

I write several goals every year that I don’t show anybody, not even my wife, especially not my wife. The reason is that they are too crazy, too audacious, too big. I don’t plan on accomplishing these goals, just pretend and dream that I do. I especially dream about the process, the strategy, and the steps that I take to achieve the goal. I do more than simply write the goal, I write a story about the process of accomplishing the goal, with the struggles, the victories, the innovation and creativity that it took to do it. The cool thing is that I can do anything I want in my dreams, imagination, and fantasies. I can’t fail, I can’t get hurt, and it doesn’t cost any real money.

The obvious question then is, “why set a goal that you aren’t going to accomplish?” The first answer is easy, because it is fun! The second answer is because it trains my mind not to be so practical in my goal setting in general. The third answer is to train my mind not to be afraid of hard or risky goals that scare the bejeebers out of me. And the fourth answer is to stir up the creative part of my brain to imagine accomplishments that I haven’t thought of before.

Occasionally I will set a goal that is a downsized version of one of my crazy goals. Several years ago I wrote a goal to build a sailboat and sail to Hawaii by myself. Some of you may remember that goal. I bought the plans and actually started building the boat. I watched 20 to 30 hours of YouTube videos of people sailing the size boat I was building to Hawaii and even around the world. The more I watched the videos the more confidant I became that I could do this. I signed up for sail boating lessons in Portland, and I started checking into going on a month-long sailboat trip as a deckhand.

One day I was watching a video of a guy telling about building his boat that was the exact boat I was building. In the story he mentioned that it took him five years to build it working on it pretty much full time. I thought to myself, the only way I am going to be able to pull this off before I die is to give up fishing, my summer bicycle trips, hunting, and working on old cars. I decided that the price to accomplish this goal was to high so I changed it to building a 26-foot dory instead.

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