Do You Have a BHAGG for 2012?

You can't buy it. You can't make it. And you probably shouldn't eat it – unless it's organic.

You can, however, achieve it – because it's a goal… a Big Hairy Audacious Green Goal, exactly the kind of goal we need if we're serious about protecting the planet, our health, and the health and safety of our families.

You notice a BHAGG is not a "resolution," as in the well-meaning but easy-to-break promise you might make to yourself in the new year. Nope, a BHAGG is a specific challenge you strive to achieve, knowing full well it may not be easy to reach – but when you get there, it will make a real difference.

For example, an eco-resolution might be, "save energy in 2012." A BHAGG would be "reduce the amount of energy I use to heat my home by 20%, as measured by a 20% reduction in my heating and cooling bills."
A resolution might be, "eat more locally grown food." A BHAGG would be, "80% of the food I eat will be grown within 100 (or 200 at most) miles of where I live."
A resolution might be, "drive less." A BHAGG would be, "walk or bicycle distances of less than a mile."
Precise, measureable, and meaningful: those are the keys to a BHAGG that will have an impact.

The original term Big Hairy Audacious Goal, or BHAG, was coined by James Collins and Jerry Porras in their 1994 best-seller, Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies. They discovered that successful companies set goals that were not only visionary, but very specific, such as "achieve a 10% revenue growth rate in the next three months."

"A true BHAG is clear and compelling, serves as a unifying focal point of effort, and acts as a clear catalyst for team spirit," they wrote. "It has a clear finish line, so the organization can know when it has achieved the goal…" I added an extra "G" to the original BHAG idea, to include Green in the equation.
At Big Green Purse,  we've encouraged folks to set a goal of shifting $1,000 of their annual household spending to greener goods and services, as part of our One in a Million campaign to mobilize consumer clout to improve manufacturing. You can read about some of the people who achieved — and exceeded – that goal here.
So… what's your BHAGG for 2012? If you want to join those who are shifting $1,000 or more, you can sign up here. If you have other goals, please share them with us so we can be inspired by your example.
Personally, I have two BHAGGs for 2012: to shift an additional $1,000 of my consumer spending to greener goods and services; and to reduce my home heating and cooling use by 20%. Stay tuned for future posts as I figure out how to do that!
Happy New Year!


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12 Responses to Do You Have a BHAGG for 2012?

  1. Mary Hunt January 3, 2012 at 9:33 am #

    We all need more BHAGGing rights. I’m in! I’ll take the 80% locally grown food… and a juicer…

  2. Daniel Milstein January 10, 2012 at 10:47 pm #

    That’s True Diane. We should take preventive measures each and every year to save our planet. And setting up a goal like BHAAG its a great contribution. One thing I learned before I became a bestselling author and long before Inc Magazine voted my company as one of the fastest growing companies is that Our earth is burdened by the loads of human unnatural activities so it needs protection and goal of shifting $1000 is an amazing idea.

  3. Diane MacEachern January 17, 2012 at 9:29 am #

    Thanks for your support!

  4. Cynthia Menard January 17, 2012 at 10:53 am #

    I’m in – I love the BHAGG idea! I’m participating in the Compact this year, and would also make this my BHAGG. It’s going to be a challenge, but our household is really promising not to buy anything new (except food, some household consumables, undergarments and emergency repair needs) this year.

  5. Michelle January 18, 2012 at 9:01 am #

    We decided to go more green a year ago in our house and now my daughter is also. More to think about. I just ordered your book for myself…Michelle

  6. Diane January 20, 2012 at 1:50 pm #

    Michelle, I autographed your book and sent it out. Please let me know how you like it, and good luck reaching your BHAGGs!

  7. Harriet Shugarman January 20, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

    Thanks Diane, love true! We need measurable goals and then we need to “make some noise” and let others know when we accomplish them. One of my goals..Speak at and/or attend 4 public rallies/protests/actions on environmental issues I care about and/or on getting money out of politics..a key to taking back control of the air we breath, water we drink, purchases we make and how welive our lives. I want to see Climate Change as an issue on the campaign trail this year and hold me accountable for helping to make that BHAGGs…

  8. Betsy (Eco-novice) January 21, 2012 at 7:24 pm #

    I think I like vague goals better — seems like I’d be more ilkely to be able to claim success. But this certainly sounds like a good idea. I’ll have to think about how I could make more of my own goals quantifiable — some are, some aren’t.

  9. Promosyon January 24, 2012 at 12:52 am #

    I think this blog is informative for us.I read this blog.It really interesting and wonderful blog.Thanx to share with us great notes.

  10. Lori Popkewitz Alper @ Groovy Green Livin January 27, 2012 at 6:51 pm #

    I really like the concept of a BHAGG. I generally work will with specific goals in all areas of life. My one BHAGG for 2012 is to focus 50% of my spending on green and local shops. If I’m able to achieve that goal then I’ll up it next year.

  11. Peter B. Jackson January 31, 2012 at 2:29 pm #

    Hey Dianne, I like the idea of a BHAGG 🙂 I remember hearing it awhile ago, but you jogged my memory!
    One thing that people can also do is to switch out just one light bulb when the old ones burn out into a more energy efficient one.
    I found a site that has a bunch of different types of energy efficient light bulbs.

  12. Diane MacEachern February 2, 2012 at 7:53 am #

    Yes, I like the idea of specific goals, too, whether it’s driving less, buying greener, or switching out the light bulbs. Thanks for all your suggestions, everyone!

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