What the heck is a BHAG?

One of the best Christmas presents I received this year was a custom designed medal hanger.  In the card it said: “To give you some extra motivation for your BHAG!”

(L-R) 2010 Ottawa Marathon, 2011 Iceland Reykjavik Marathon, 2012 Rio de Janeiro Marathon

(L-R) 2010 Ottawa Marathon, 2011 Iceland Reykjavik Marathon, 2012 Rio de Janeiro Marathon

As some of you might know, one of my BHAGs is to run a marathon on all seven continents.

Now you might be scratching your heads wondering…What the heck is a BHAG?

BHAG pronounced “bee-hag”  stands for Big Hairy Audacious Goal.  An idea conceptualized in the book, “Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies” by James Collins and Jerry Porras.  I was introduced to the concept when I joined the lululemon family and haven’t looked back!

The BHAG principal is a gift of empowerment. It conditions our minds to push our boundaries, limitations, and eliminate any comfort zone boxes we live in. The beauty is that as we crush each BHAG they get “Bigger and bigger!”

My 1st BHAG was to push myself from a once non-runner to running 3 marathons in 12 months.  After that became a reality, I started my latest venture of running a marathon on all 7 continents on behalf of causes that are important to me! In 2013 I’m moving one step closer to realizing this dream by completing my fourth international marathon.  In July I will be travelling to Australia to run the Gold Coast Marathon on behalf of I2P (impossible2possible). The vision of i2P is to use adventure to cultivate a generation of leaders, whose direct experiences and education will prepare them to lead social and environmental action all across the world.

Like any BHAG, I have set the bar high and the final 3 marathons on the list frighten me!

Continent 5- The Great Wall of China Marathon– 5,164 steps make the Great Wall Marathon course a challenge even for experienced marathoners.

Continent 6- Marathon des Sables – A six-day 251 km race held in southern Morocco in the Sahara desert.  This ultra-marathon is the equivalent of six regular marathons combined and is considered the toughest foot race on Earth.

Continent 7 – The Antarctic Ice Marathon – Underfoot conditions comprising of snow and ice throughout, an average windchill temperature of –20C, an altitude of 700M, and the possibility of strong Katabatic winds to contend with (translation – defined as hurricane type winds… Perfect!)

Yes those are scary but knowing that I am already half way done this BHAG keeps me motivated!  Another thing I do to move this BHAG forward is to tie it in with some of my other personal goals. For example, I have combined this BHAG with my #RUN4AC concept by connecting everyone to running for a cause!

Do you have a BHAG that completely frightens you but is something you want to pursue? Plan it out now!  It’s time to make it happen and plant that seed. You will be surprised by how many helpful people are out there to help make your goals a reality. Throw it out to the world and the resources and the networks will find you! And remember, it’s ok to be scared.

doesn't scare you

Finally, who’s interested in joining me for Continents 5-7?

What is your BHAG? Love to hear about it!

4 thoughts on “What the heck is a BHAG?

  1. Your BHAG has inspired me to set my own but on somewhat of a smaller scale. I love my country so much and would like nothing more than to be able to explore it so my BHAG is to run a race (half or full marathon) in each capital of every province including NWT and Nunavut. I haven’t set a timeline but it is something that I would like to accomplish over the next 10 years or so. If I succeed sooner then great but I want this challenge to be fun and exciting not stressful trying to meet deadlines. Hopefully I will be able to share some of these events with you and the other great people from our little Team D family. Still wishing that I can run Australia with you…

  2. Thanks Stephanie for sharing. That’s an amazing BHAG and I can’t to hear all about your progression! Love your comment about deadlines, at the end of day it’s all about your intention and passion to accomplish. Knowing your drive and determination though, it will be quicker than you think!

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