The importance of going big with your goals


I talk a lot about the value of small steps and how incremental changes can add up to a big impact, but I also think it’s important to have a big goal – something massive, something that initially scares you.

Jim Collins, business author, calls these goals Big Hairy Audacious Goals, or BHAGs for short. He believes these are powerful ways to move you self forward, and whilst he intended these to be used in a business context, they are equally applicable for you and me. I’ve talked before about the importance of challenging yourself by going into your discomfort zone, and setting yourself a BHAG is a great way of doing this. You’ll achieve it by setting smaller goals along the way.

My Big Hairy Audacious Goal

In March 2019, I will be taking part in the Arctic Circle Race (ACR), a 160km cross-country skiing race where participants are self-sufficient and have three days to complete the course. It’s going to be my biggest challenge yet – by some distance. It’s full of ‘firsts’ – I’ve never cross-country skied before; I’ve never done a 3-day event before; I’ve never waxed my own skis before and I’ve never been in -30 degrees temperatures before either.

What we’re doing

My challenge starts now. This April we will be running the London Marathon again. It’s going to be my fourth Marathon, so to up the stakes, I’ll be running it dressed head to toe as Dame Edna Everage. After the marathon we’ll take a week or two off, and then our preparations for the big event will commence. We’ve been training in the local park using roller skis, working on sport-specific strength exercises and using a wobble board for balance. It’s been interesting learning something completely new as an adult – it would be easy to give up but we’re laser-focused on our goal.

My strong motivating factor

At the start of January I blogged about the importance of having a strong motivating factor to be successful. Mine is this: I’m doing the ACR with my partner Antonia in a bid to raise £10k for the charity Alzheimer’s Research. Some of you will know that Antonia’s dad, Klaus Bannasch, is in a home with severe Alzheimer’s. We’ve spent the last two years fundraising to help the charity Alzheimer’s Research find a cure for this horrendous disease. We aren’t going to stop until they have.

What’s your goal?

Having a big, ambitious goal can help focus your mind, provide you with direction and will undoubtedly increase your confidence, resilience and self-esteem. But it needs to be big. It doesn’t matter about the timeframe, and you can break down the BHAG into smaller goals. Consider what your goal is; align it to something you love or something you’ve always wanted to do. We call these intersections and powerful things happen when you create an intersection. For me, it was a passion for health and fitness intersected with love of business – and hence Bodyshot Performance was born. We have a BHAG for business to; to be the number one choice for personalised health, fitness and wellbeing in the UK. Will we do it? Time will tell, but it keeps us laser-focused, every day.

What’s your Health IQ?

If you’re reading this, you’re are probably in a reasonably senior position, running your own business or have a busy life running the home and juggling other responsibilities. Either way, you’re busy. The convergent pressures of work and family life have probably meant that the time you did have to spend on health and fitness has disappeared. Why not talk to us and see how we can help.

Click here to take our test.

Leanne Spencer is an entrepreneur, coach, TEDx Speaker, author of Remove the Guesswork, and founder of Bodyshot Performance Limited. Bodyshot is a health and fitness consultancy that helps busy professionals get more energy by removing the guesswork around their health, fitness and nutrition. Visit or email to register your interest in our services and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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