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If you haven't ever heard of the term "BHAG," you should consider adding the acronym to your vocabulary and your business plan. BHAG, or Big Hairy Audacious Goal, was coined by Jim Collins who has authored several bestselling books including Good to Great and Great by Choice.

Goal setting is a cornerstone of our industry, yet it is a term that is often thrown around. One of the first questions we typically ask a potential client is "what is your number one goal when it comes to fitness and your health?" As we continue to work with the client, we hold them accountable to that goal and dangle it in front of them so they are reminded of why they are changing their lifestyle, making tough choices and pushing themselves physically and emotionally. Without goals, we would have no direction or path on which to lead our clients.

But why do we really set goals; what is at its core? Is it really a number on a scale or a smaller pants size? When a client reaches their "ideal weight," then what? Do they simply stop exercising and eating well?

Why do we set goals as fitness professionals for ourselves and our businesses? Is it really to meet a level of profit or attain a certain number of clients? If we reach your revenue goal, do we just stop trying to further our business?

The essence of an accomplished goal is not just about the goal itself nor is it about its tangible results; rather it is the feeling that achieving that goal gives us. Setting and conquering a goal creates an almost euphoric feeling, and goals should be the catalyst for setting and achieving further goals.

When you set your BHAG, your mindset should be long-term and big picture. The goal should be so ambitious that it may almost seem unattainable at face-value. But the beauty of setting a clear BHAG is that it gives you direction; a path. Your BHAG is what will drive and motivate you to keep achieving and keep growing. Break down your BHAG into several smaller, shorter-term goals that are accountable to a timeline: annually, monthly, weekly and even daily goals.

Let's say your BHAG is to reach 10,000 clients by the year 2020. Each year, you commit to reaching 1,250 people, breaking down to about 105 each month. Now that you have your BHAG set as a cornerstone to your business, you have tangible numbers and direction from which you can create a blueprint for your business -- all driven by your BHAG.

Goals alone do not give direction and motivation; the path to achieving a goal is just as critical to success. Set yourself up to succeed by creating and sharing your BHAG; break it down into shorter-term, attainable goals and most importantly, embrace the journey.

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