Thursday, April 26, 2012
Having the Courage to Set Big Hairy Audacious Goals
I ran my first half and full marathons last year but my initial commitment was to start a dedicated training program because I thought it was highly unlikely that my body would handle the strain of all of the running. I didn't commit to that BHAG until I had done enough training to believe that it was a true possibility to finish and finish within the time constraints of the race.
The lesson here is that something important needs to happen to make the transition from dream to goal. We need to believe that our dream is possible regardless of what everyone else thinks.
How can we come to believe that our dream is possible?
In her Martha Stewart Living article Andrea Bartz writes, "No matter how big or small your goals, fear can hold you back in ways you don't even realize." Fear is the biggest hurdle to overcome when beginning to believe in the possibility of our dreams. I was afraid that my knees wouldn't hold out through marathon training. I was afraid of what people would think if I couldn't follow through on finishing. I was afraid of running so slowly that I wouldn't finish before the race closed. How did I get from sitting at my kitchen table talking to a friend about training to actually lacing up and beginning the training? That friend believed I could do it so I had the courage to start. Successfully completing a portion of the training gave me the courage to register for the race and to go on and finish well before the races closed.
The keys to my success were encouragement from just one person, finding a plan, and sticking to it. Bartz writes, " Your brain won't allow your feet to move until it knows where you're going." Finding a training plan allowed me to move forward to the point where I could set a crazy goal and ultimately reach that goal which I initially regarded as impossible.
The trick to finding the courage to set those Big Hairy Audacious Goals is to gather enough information to make ourselves feel comfortable enough to overcome our fear and move forward.
I have some dreams I'd like to turn into goals so my next step is to gather some information. I'd like to write a book, have my own yoga studio/cafe, and I would like to travel teaching yoga and encouraging people to create a rich life. The way to completing a marathon was written down for me in a training plan. All I had to do was complete the runs and have faith that my training would see me through. These dreams are a little more challenging because I do not yet see the path. That's what the research is for.
What are your dreams that you'd like to turn into Big Hairy Audacious Goals?