What’s Your BHAG?

In yesterday’s post, Marcia from Marcia’s Healthy Slice posed the question:  “Can your BHAG (Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal) be too big?” It didn’t take long for me to answer. For me, the bigger, the hairier, the more audacious a goal is, the more likely I am to set it! I am definitely a go big or go home kind of gal. Leap before you look. All in. Fearless. So yeah, I’d say my BHAG is big, but I’d never say it’s TOO big.

I think most people have big goals, but many are afraid to put them out there. Guilty as charged. I generally keep my goals to myself. That way if I do fail at them, no one is the wiser. Case in point:  My first race ever was the Chicago Marathon in 2013. I literally crossed the finish line and called my BFF and said, “Guess what I just did”! Seriously, I told almost NO ONE (only my kids knew in advance so they could plan to come home from school for the weekend; I didn’t even tell my husband until two weeks before the race).

Part of the reason I started this blog was to write my goals down on (virtual) paper and invite others along for the ride. Putting myself out there was a big step for me. I’m not one who likes to be seen as a failure (who does?), and by putting my goals out there for others to see, I’m more likely to continue to work toward them. In fact, if you click on the “Races & Goals” tab on the upper right corner of this page, you will see my Goals Map. On this page I list my completed races with linked recaps and continue to add races to my upcoming calendar. I was methodical in my approach; start small, and keep building through achieving my biggest, hairiest, most audacious goal of all. After this past weekend I can check off Goal #6 on the map:  Complete a Sprint Triathlon. While that may not seem big to some people, the fact that I can barely swim made it a big deal for me. And now it’s done!

Just a sampling of my big, hairy, audacious goals

Next up on the agenda for me is running all of the Destination Races Wine Country Half Marathons. This is very achievable, limited only by the monetary expenses involved and my having the time to travel to these different race venues. Thus far I have run two of the five half marathons in the series (Napa to Sonoma three times and Santa Barbara once). I am hoping to do the Healdsburg race next.

By far the loftiest goal I have set is to run all of the World Marathon Majors. I will be running my sixth consecutive Chicago Marathon in October, and next month I am running the Berlin Marathon, which will get me one third of the way to achieving my BHAG. I will find out some time next month if I will be offered a lottery spot in the Tokyo Marathon next year. That will leave New York City, London, and the Holy Grail of them all, Boston. It is highly unlikely (in other words, completely impossible) I will ever qualify for Boston, but by hook or by crook I will run that race. That’s the thing about a big, hairy, audacious goal; if you can believe it, you can achieve it!

Someday I will have one of these to call my own

How about you? Are you a goal-setter? Do you have any BHAGs to share?

I’m linking up with Marcia, Patty, and Erika for Tuesdays on the Run (you know, because today is Wednesday), Annemarie and Nicole for Wild Workout Wednesday, and Debbie, Rachel, and Lora for Running Coaches Corner! Be sure to check them all out, along with the other great posts from this week’s linkups!



  1. Good for you for having such great goals! Fingers crossed about Tokyo!!

  2. Love the image that you made for your goals and look how many you’ve crossed off so far!

    I really hope that you are able to achieve all of your goals, including running all the WMM races! Good luck next month in Berlin and I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for you for Tokyo!

  3. Oh wow! This Tokyo marathon sounds amazing!! I would love to do the London marathon one day, but need to throw my name into the lottery at some point 🙂 I just finished a BHAG…IM Lake Placid. So now, I am taking a breather and trying to figure out what is next!!!

    Angela Cardamone @marathonsandmotivation.com
    1. Author

      Your IM recaps were so awesome! I have to say, the swim part had me terrified after reading your post, but of course this was a night- and day-difference!!!

  4. So cool! What if we both got into London at the same time and had one of those super meet-ups like everyone else has???

    I don’t set big goals and I’m fine with that (for a long time in my past I was told I’d never be good enough and as a result I just do stuff and see if I can do it, but I don’t set a big goal) but then what doesn’t feel like a big goal to me (run a marathon. Run a DIY marathon) I know seems big to others.

    I’m blown away you’ve done a sprint triathlon, so brave and amazing. I can barely swim and can’t ride a bike at all and I salute you!

    1. Author

      I would definitely love a meet-up in London! Running any distance, let alone a marathon distance, is a huge deal!!! I enjoyed that sprint triathlon experience so much, I’m already signed up for next year! I’m hoping to work on my swimming between now and then, but I am a huge procrastinator!

  5. Great goals. A Tri is pretty scary. I can barely swim as well.

    Are you trying to run NYC in 2019?

  6. I love that you have such big goals!
    I have a goal in the back of my mind to do an ironman one day! EEk, that is the first time I have ever written that down!
    I sure hope you get into Tokyo!

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