Last year I decided that my fitness goal for 2020 would be to walk for exercise every day for 366 consecutive days. So far, I’ve stuck with this despite having a medical procedure in January and outpatient surgery just last week. On February 26, I had surgery that morning and still went for a walk that afternoon.

Am I saying you should follow in my footsteps and walk around your neighborhood while doped up on Percocet? Of course not! I recognize and accept that I’m a crazy person. But I am saying you should be deeply committed to your goals and to your success and not just interested in it.

Though walking every day is a fitness goal, doing so for the past two months has taught me a lot about what it will take to accomplish my writing goals, too.

Selfie taken during a recent walk

Secure the BHAG

Let’s talk about your Big Hairy Audacious Goal, or BHAG. Your Big Hairy Audacious Goal is that goal that’s so big it scares you. That goal that’s so big you may not have even shared it with your closest friends. You won’t let yourself say it out loud. You may not have even let yourself write it down. But let’s go for it. Take a moment and write down your Big Hairy Audacious Goal. Now read it out loud.

So how do you secure your BHAG?

Build your day around your BHAG.

In her book Girl, Stop Apologizing, Rachel Hollis encourages her readers to devote at least five hours a week to working on their goal. And the past two months have taught me that this time must be scheduled and must be a top priority.

Each night I look at my to-do list for the next day and decide exactly when I’m going to get in my walk for the day. I check my app and if it’s going to be a nice day, I pick the warmest hour of the day (in the summertime, I’ll pick the coolest hour). If it’s going to be raining, I figure out when I can get to the gym that day to hit the treadmill (or dreadmill as I like to call it). Scheduling my walking time is my top priority and so it always gets done.

If you’re serious about accomplishing your Big Hairy Audacious Goal, schedule at least five hours a week to work on that goal and treat that time like an appointment that you can’t break.

Go after one BHAG at a time.

I’ve been killing it with this walking goal! My other goals? Not so much. Why? Because I’m trying to do too much! Case in point, I set 10 goals for February. Ten! I always tell the ladies of See Jane Write to set no more than four goals for the month but here I am failing to practice what I preach.

Of those 10 goals I accomplished six, which isn’t bad but taught me, nonetheless, I need to stick to the rule of four goals per month.

As you set your goals for March, set no more than four and make your Big Hairy Audacious Goal your top priority.

In addition to meeting all of my deadlines for my freelance projects and assignments, here are my goals for March:

  1. Walk for exercise every day this month.
  2. Speak at the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators conference.
  3. Relaunch the See Jane Write Collective.
  4. Send a pitch to one of my favorite publications.

Get crazy committed to your BHAG.

While I don’t want you to feel like you need to go exercise after having surgery, I do want you to be a little crazy about your goals. You need to be committed enough that you will do the work even when you don’t feel like it.

I must admit that I actually wanted to go walking after surgery. I hate people treating me like a sick person. I hate feeling helpless. Being pushed around in a wheelchair at the hospital that morning was nearly unbearable for me. So, walking that afternoon gave me a sense of power.

But there have been plenty of days these past two months when I didn’t want to walk. It has rained A LOT in Alabama this winter, so I’ve had to put in many miles on the treadmill – which I loathe. And there were some days that were so busy with work that the only way I could fit in a walk was to get up at 4 a.m.  But I did it because I am crazy committed to this goal.

What are your goals for March? What is your Big Hairy Audacious Goal for the year?