Everyone has goals. Sometimes the goal is to put one foot in front of the other and make it around the block. A month later, a goal might be to make it an entire mile without stopping. When that becomes mundane, the next goal gets incrementally harder.
It’s good to set goals; with a goal, it’s possible to see where you’ve been and where you’re headed. Whether or not you ever get to that goal is irrelevant; you could change course mid-way and find another path that looks more interesting based on your current location or perspective.
Smart Goals are goals that are attainable within social contexts or social settings. Say your buddies enjoy their weekly hour-long trail runs and decide to run a half marathon in five months as a get-away for the group. That’s a Smart Goal; it’s feasible to train, won’t take over your life, and you can incorporate the longer runs into your Saturday or Sunday morning without too much effort.
Then, there are BHAG’s. Big Hairy Ass Goals. These are the goals that are so outrageous that almost every person in your life will say “YOU’RE CRAZY!” And mean it literally. A BHAG takes you so far outside your comfort zone that the terrain become foreign, and guarantees that you’ll be forever changed. You’ll never see your life the same, and you won’t ever forget the journey.
Some people set BHAG’s in their athletic life. Run a Marathon? Check. Run 100 miles? Check. Ironman? Holy crap, that’s insane!! And how about this one… Train for and run 100 miles while working a full time job, parenting the kids and supporting your spouse through a job transition. A BHAG can happen at any point in a person’s life.
Set some Smart Goals, but don’t be scared of the BHAG’s. They’re the ones that epic adventures are made of.