Written by Darla Harms

I work in the world of leadership development. For several years now the word “goal” has been hammered into my brain as the end all be all of leadership measurement. So much so, that a couple of years ago, I started to avoid every book, article, podcast, blog, etc., that had anything to do with setting goals. I basically felt like the word was becoming overused. Everyone in my field had an opinion about goals and what they should look like. My personal favorite was the acronym, “BHAG”, which stands for “Big Hairy Audacious Goals”. Whoever came up with that has a sense of humor, I’ll give them that. I felt like it was a desperate attempt to make the word “Goal” more appealing by giving us the imagery of a go-getting Bigfoot, (I believe there is a Bigfoot by the way). Not that it’s bad imagery. Who doesn’t want to say they have a “BHAG”!

Upon reflection of what I came to see as a 4-letter word, I began to change my mindset.

The word “goal” isn’t overused, it’s misunderstood. Here’s what I mean:

Take the word “love” for example. Just yesterday at church a woman I hardly know came up to me and said, “I love your hair.”. I replied by saying “thank you”. She was thoughtful, and who doesn’t want to know that they have good hair? However, the word “love” in that context means very little to me. In my view, to love something means to sacrifice, give up, serve, believe, and even give up your life for it. I doubt she was willing to die for my hair. I still appreciate her kind words, but I think you get what I mean.

Words have power.

On the way out of the church building, my pastor’s wife said, “Love you! Have a great week!”. I knew there was meaning behind the word “love” in this context because of my relationship with her. I know that when she says, “Love you”, she means it in the sacrificial, serving, believing, give up your life sort of way.

Here’s the conclusion I came to about the word “goal”. When used flippantly, carelessly, or frequently without any fruit, it loses its meaning.

When used with purpose, clarity, passion, resiliency, belief, and grit, it has power.

We are homing in on goals at Small Town Girls Play Big. I am asking that you take the word seriously, not flippantly. I want to throw some gasoline on those goals and get you fired up about achieving them.

Here’s how you do that:

  1. Write them out
  2. Get accountability to reach them
  3. Work on your mindset in the process

That’s it, it’s so simple it’s ridiculous. The problem isn’t the goal, the problem may be that you haven’t developed the habits, resiliency, and grit to achieve them.

When you love someone or something, you fight for it.

You must develop the courage to do the same to achieve your goals; otherwise, you’re only living in a dream.

Time to wake up from that dream and change the meaning and value of the word “goal”. Turn Netflix off, set your alarm, get off the couch, delegate some tasks, get your kids to pitch in to help you take care of the house, start saving your $, advocate for yourself, and do what you need to do to start making your “goals” happen.

The word has power when used correctly. Let’s shift our mindset about “goals” and get to work. People are watching and waiting for us to start knocking them out, so we can give them permission to do the same.

Want to change your life, your family, your work, your community?

Set goals and achieve them.

“Goal” isn’t a 4-letter word. It’s a power word and it deserves your attention in a sacrificial, serving, believing, give up your life sort of way.

Here’s to achieving “BHAG”! Bigfoot would be proud.


Darla Harms
Small Town Girls Play Big

Share Your Comments