What’s your BHAG?
The life we live is determined by goals. Sometime, when you don’t have a well defined ones, you are stuck with the stereotypes. In school? Graduating? Married? Kids? House? Car….and so on. Life needs to have a purpose, big or small. Finding this purpose is a discovery in itself. Some realise them earlier and for a few it may take ages. Nonetheless, there is definitely something you want to do in life. Envision your future-self and start becoming the new you.
Defining your BHAG makes it easier to think, execute and makes you more accountable. I got acquainted to this term in one of the sessions with Rajesh Bhat from Iron Lady. BHAG stands for Big Hairy Audacious Goal. The concept of BHAG was earlier used for companies to translate their visions into job roles. An idea conceptualised in the book, “Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies” by James Collins and Jerry Porras.
Long term and short term goals, as the name suggests are defined basis the term of accomplishment. BHAG flips that to think of it as a vision of your future-self. When you think of how you can be the best version of yourself and then start taking baby steps towards it. You are not thinking of a term, you are thinking of the next steps and what you want from it.
How is BHAG different?
Here are a few attributes of BHAG
- The driving element of a BHAG is willingness to completely change your mindset
- To commit to doing something differently from the way you have been doing it
- It requires you to stretch yourself out of your comfort zone
- It needs to be measurable and life changing
- Create momentum, excite and stimulate you
- It should be clear and compelling
In short, BHAGs are bigger, bolder and more powerful. They could probably be connected to your goals, but giving them a different perspective of accomplishment. They give it a lift up and make you think beyond the possibilities.
What are the major components for a BHAG?
- Choose an arrival or completion date.
- Develop a quantitative goal to achieve.
- Make it qualitative in a way that connects to the heart and inspires you to achieve it while connecting to your core values and purpose.
- Share with others around you to hold yourself accountable.
Life is about balance and that can be difficult for the ambitious career-driven ones. Developing a BHAG just might help you restore some of that needed balance in your life and create some perspective on other things that are important as you design and live the fullest life you are capable of.
Types of BHAG?
There are different ways that you think of achieving milestones. You set your milestones thinking of multiple factors. These are four ways how our brain think of these.
- Target oriented : “I want a job that pays me X amount”
- Competition driven: “I want more subscribers than channel X”
- Habit Formation: “I want to exercise everyday”
- The New You: “I want to start learning Flute”
How it works?
This is how I tamed BHAG to work for myself.
- The Vision Board. This helped me understand all the aspirations that I have in life. Gave me a visibility of all that I wish to pursue.
- Max 3 BHAGs at a time. I usually pick one for professional and personal development
- Fixed 3 month duration. I keep 3 months as a constant thing and keep pushing myself to attain a BHAG in that duration.
- Progressive breakups. Convert BHAGs into smaller chunks that is more manageable as an everyday task.
- Breaking the monotony. Keep adding variety to the type of BHAGs, making sure they are enjoyable. As soon as procrastination creeps in and kills the fun, switch or tweak them.
- Measuring your BHAG. Figure out a mechanism to measure. Use a habit tracker, a log or a journal.
This worked effectively for me in changing my career goals, managing my fitness routine, learning new skills. I am in process of becoming a better version of myself. Are you?