Considering Big Audacious Goals again

It’s my birthday eve-eve-eve

It’s three days before my birthday. I’m almost 59, or almost-almost 60, so I don’t have a “birth month” any longer. I have an extended celebration, bits and pieces here and there.

This last weekend my husband and I traveled to Kansas City, in part for a writing retreat and in part for my birthday. I got to see a Studio Ghibli double-feature and spend quality time in coffeehouses. We postponed the visit to the classic, elegant steakhouse until the future when we could get reservations in on time, but we ate Middle Eastern and Indian food.

My actual birthday is on Sunday. I’m expecting more coffeehouse time and maybe dinner at the local steakhouse (which is not as fancy as The Golden Ox in KC). Maybe a Kris and Kates’ Birthday Cake twister, although I’m off sweets right now.

Making Big Audacious Goals

What I really want for my birthday is a good day, a calm day with a little joy. A day with a little surprise, hopefully pleasant. Hugs and kittens. I don’t ask for much. Besides, Sunday is not a day for Big Audacious Goals to be met.

Photo by Padli Pradana on

I will make the Big Audacious Goals for the next year on my birthday, because it seems to be the right time, avoiding the treachery of the New Year and the spookiness of Halloween. (There’s also Asian New Year and Rosh Hashanah to select from for New Year, if we want to get more complicated.) But instead of correcting bad things (resolutions) I’ll make Big Audacious Goals.

What are Big Audacious Goals? The name spells it out — they’re gutsy and magnificent and perhaps harder than we expect them to be. The idea is to use them to push ourselves beyond our notion of ourselves.

A Big Audacious Goal is best when it specifies the action you’ll make rather than the result you will get, because we have less power over what results from our actions. For example, writing this blog twice a week (which I have only done consistently lately) is a better BAG than getting 100 followers, which is something I have no control over. Coincidentally, I have over 100 followers. I didn’t get to my goal exactly, but close enough to celebrate.

Choosing Big Audacious Goals makes us feel more powerful, as if we have chosen something heroic to perform. I read somewhere that dogs define themselves by what they do: “Hank, fetch!” Now the dog’s name is Hank, fetch! I argue dogs become heroes in their own minds by what they do. We do too by adopting Big Audacious Goals.

What if you don’t succeed? It was a Big Audacious Goal; attempting it in the first place puts you a great deal better than before you adopted it. One of my BAGs was to indie-publish Gaia’s Hands, which I did. Not too many people have read it, though, which was the other half of the BAG (I should have known better). But look at the BAG of indie publishing it. Gaia’s Hands is a highly personal novel, and the one which I found hardest to write, so publishing it is a grand step. Putting it in front of readers, even if they don’t read it, is a grand step.

I don’t know what I’m going to adopt as Big Audacious Goals this year; I’m going to talk about that with my husband. Writing something I’d already planned for writing is not a BAG; the goal should be above the ‘do’ level and into the ‘dream, then do’ level. If it’s another book, it has to be something I think is beyond me. Maybe it’s doing something dramatic in marketing like better TikTok or a podcast (if only I had something to talk about!) A few cups of coffee and I’m sure it will come to me.

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