Building Your BAG

When on a journey it is helpful to identify your destination. Now, we know, not all that wander are lost, but hopefully those who wander are not doing so aimlessly. In this post we will look a way to define your goal and not just any goal but your Big Audacious Goal (BAG)! 

First let me remind you what is a Big Audacious Goal is. I introduced the concept of a BAG in the post “Achieving Goals is in the BAG“. It came from Jerry Linenger, who at age 10 decided that he was going to be an astronaut. He created a plan so that he knew what he needed to do to achieve this BAG, and he did. A BAG should not be a small, quickly achievable task. Rather it should be a huge guiding force that drives your smaller goals, such as your five- and ten-year goals. Yes, those should be small compared to your BAG. 

If you were to Google “how to write a goal” the top results all explore SMART goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time Based. While SMART provides an excellent formula for shorter term goals, it is won’t work for a BAG with some modifications. Your BAG should make others questions how realistic (or achievable) it really is and its success should not be tied to a timeline (time-based). So let’s dive in into our twist on SMART! I encourage you to start by writing down your first draft of BAG and make edits as we go, mine will be noted in italics. 

I will open an ecotherapy center that offers a variety of mental wellness services that integrate traditional practices as well as nature assisted therapies. It will provide out patient, partial hospitalization, and residential programs as well as consultations and programs for the general public.  


Your BAG should be clear and specific. Avoid generalizations like “I want to make a difference.” Instead thinks about how you would make a difference. Do you want to start a business, provide a service, or share information?  


Can you track your progress toward this goal? How will you know when you have accomplished your goal? If you cannot see your growth you are likely to lose focus. 

Opening a business that offers specific services is both specific and measurable. Progress toward it can be easily tracked and I will know when I have arrived. 


Given enough passion, and perseverance anything is possible. Your BAG should not be easily achievable however, it should make others doubt your aim.  

Some people think I am a little crazy and my goal is way too ambitious.  Others, those who have taken the time to really get to know me, know that I will be successful. 


Does this goal provide you a sense of purpose? It must be relevant to you and insight a passionate fire inside you. This fire is what will drive you forward. 

I have personally learned to live despite some awful life experiences. I would not be alive and productively functioning without access to quality mental health services and a supportive community. I want to build a place that provides these very things for others. 

Can you achieve this goal in the next few years? Yes? Reach higher! Your BAG should not be an easy target and therefore don’t tether yourself to a strict deadline. We will work to develop a plan that will gives some clues to a timeline but this should be such a large goal that it will take ten or more years of work. 

In order to achieve my goal I need to accomplish many smaller goals. In the next five-years I will have made considerable gains, in ten-years even more, but in order to build up the facility I am aiming for it will take much longer. 

How does your BAG hold up? Is it SMART enough? Share your BAG in the comments below and make sure you subscribe to my blog. In the next post in this goal setting series we will dive into breaking our BAG down to see what’s inside and begin planning out our journey. 


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