A few years ago I was doing a quick scan of the local paper while I ate breakfast. There were two articles on health and fitness. While neither article said anything that wasn’t strictly true, as far as fitness goes, I found the approach annoying and some assumptions false, for two reasons:
One article considered “older adults” anyone over forty-years old. I am sixty-five and can do anything I could do at forty so that was just irritating. The other reason was that both articles were so uninspiring. The approach was just to start slow with a fitness plan, just do something small, do not set unrealistic goals, etc. Okay I get it. Start slow and work into more, but who is going to stick with a program so lacking in challenge, so uninspiring, and attaining minimal results? When I hiked the Tour Du Mont Blanc I met many “older adults” on the trails. At the top of one particularly long, hard climb I chatted with a woman in her seventies who had knee replacements in both knees. If I get a chance to write an article for a publication like the ones I read that day my message will be, “Hey, you are not too old! What would you like to be able to do? Let’s get you out training for a 5K, hike the Pacific Trail, or get ripped!” Goals like that are worth working for.
A few minutes after reading those articles I was reading “The 4 Hour Work Week” and saw this comment:
“Goals have to be unrealistic to be effective.”
As I jotted that down I noticed the quote of the day in my planner:
“Go for the moon. If you don’t get it you will still be headed for a star.”
And from my own files:
Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood.
Daniel H. Burnham
All of this reminded me of the acronym BHAG proposed by Jim Collins:
BIG HAIRY AUDACIOUS GOAL
Everybody should have BHAG’s, not just in business, but in all areas of life. You won’t believe what you can accomplish by attempting what appears to be the impossible. I always require my clients to have a bucket list of at least 50 Big Dreams. Things to do, things to be, and things to have. While we start with fifty items, I hope they will be inspired to build that list to at least 100, and then continue to add items all their lives.
Maybe you are wondering what’s on my list. One thing I am proud of is that I recently finished participating in the figure division of a body building show. I am sixty-five years old and was easily the oldest woman participating. Getting on that stage at my age, with little training, and a very small costume was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I have been to all seven continents, all fifty United States, and to almost fifty countries.
Many years ago I read a book that inspired me to want to visit the Galapagos Islands and added it to my Big Dreams list. I knew it was both expensive and complicated to go there and often wondered if I would make it. The opportunity recently presented itself and so Ken and I made the deposit for a trip to the Galapagos. We leave in February of 2022 on a small cruise ship.
There is magic in having big dreams and putting them in writing. Do not miss some great adventure because you didn’t believe it was possible. In fitness and in life, you can always do more than you think you can.