Setting big life goals and how to achieve them

One way you can give your life planning a boost is to work up some big life goals and targets. I like to call these: Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAGs). I read that Jim Collins and Jerry Porras first coined the phrase in their 1994 book “Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies”. They were drawing attention to the fact that really successful companies always define visionary goals, giving themselves stretch targets. They think much more strategically than is normal, in longer timeframes with really compelling pictures of the future they are trying to create.


big hairy audacious goals


Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAGs)


You can do the same.  Collins and Porras were noticing the behaviour in businesses – but what they observed, works equally well for individuals. You can:


  • Be more successful by making the effort to define visionary goals for yourself
  • Understand how stretched targets can help you make progress
  • Start thinking much more strategically than is normal
  • Start thinking in longer timeframes
  • Build yourself a really compelling pictures of the kind of future you are trying to create for yourself.


Setting compelling goals for yourself can be a great way to motivate yourself to take action and deliver on your life plan and achieve your life goals.


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BHAGs are bolder and more exciting than normal objectives


To create them, you need to think BIG rather than thinking small and consider the long-term rather than being trapped in the short term. On a personal level, BHAGs might be about the holiday of a lifetime, mountains to climb, marathons to run or pounds to lose.


Shoot for the moon…


If you are setting yourself personal targets it might be worth remembering this quote from Norman Vincent Peale (the guy who wrote the “Power of Positive Thinking”). He is credited with encouraging people to shoot for the moon:


Shoot for the moon


There is no doubt that stretch targets can be good for your life plan and LifeDesign™. A while back I read that native American Indians gave their warriors similar advice:


Aim at the moon


You get the idea – for example if you set yourself a target of 50 you might excel and deliver 60 – but faced with the same challenge if you set yourself a target of 100 you might motivate yourself to deliver 70. You almost certainly would not have got there with a target of 50.


It might be worth a try with one of your life plan objectives. Don’t overdo it. It can be tough to deliver on more than one BHAG at a time.


Set targets and achieve your goals with a LifeDesign™


If you want to change your life but don’t know where to start, why not download 0ur free 33 page PDF ebook? It will work on all devices and contains tools and techniques to get you started on your  life planning journey. Click the button below to get it now!


design for life compatibility

all our downloads are in PDF format and will work on any device


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