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Bodacious Goals

It has taken a while but I think I’ve come up with an understanding of the difference between a bucket list and bodacious goal. A bucket list is most often a collection of activities to accomplish—see the Grand Canyon, learn conversational Italian. Or even learning to do a new activity—horseback riding, skydiving, etc. Bucket lists are full of goals.

A bodacious goal, however, is a goal that requires unrelenting discipline, chipping away at it often in obscurity until the goal is achieved. The goal, at the beginning, seems so insurmountable that people’s faces turn blank when they hear the idea. They want to be polite, but you can see “You’re out of your mind” flicker across their faces as they smile and respond superficially, “Great. Go for it.” That’s okay, because you weren’t looking for approval or permission.

I admire bodacious goals (and I’m speaking about positive goals). I know a couple of people who have big goals and I’m rooting for them to achieve them. For example, earlier this year I attended a weekend seminar given by one of the most energetic people I had ever met. The seminar is designed to help participants master every area of their lives: financial, spiritual, physical, mental and emotional. The speaker, with a bucket list of his own, recently embarked on an adventure that has people watching from all over the world.

On February 9, Leo Schreven left Jacksonville Beach, Florida, on a journey across the United States with San Diego, California, as his ultimate destination. He plans to arrive on May 19—his 50th birthday—100 days from his start date. During his 100-day Walk Across America, Leo completes about 26 miles per day. Daily video posts keep his family, friends, supporters and those who are just curious up to date on his progress and the sights he encounters. I’ve followed him from the first day of his journey through the South, over the Mississippi Bridge, past Texas ranches, on lonely roads, and now to Arizona with its spectacular scenery. Because of Leo’s bodacious goal, I have even seen the inside of the Tindle Promod Racing Team’s car trailer and garage, listened in on Leo’s conversations with the crew and marveled at the engineering of the cars. That was interesting!

I realized that bodacious goals differ from the SMART goals we set in the business world: specific, measureable, achievable, realistic, timely. Those two characteristics in the middle of SMART—achievable and realistic—are magnified in bodacious goals. People will say you’ll never achieve it or that the goal is not realistic, “try starting a little smaller and see how it goes”. These characteristics require boldness and courage. That’s when you have to develop tunnel vision, map out your strategy and get on with it.

Leo Schreven is only a few weeks away from achieving his goal of walking across America in 100 days. Check out his progress at www.goallpower.com/walk as he makes his way to California. Leo’s action leaves me a question to ponder. What bodacious goals have I set?

Categories: Goals Tags: ,
  1. April 24, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    That’s an interesting thought. For the most part, the goals on my 101 List are usual bucket list items and clearly have measurable goals. I’ll know when they are completed. But on the 40 before I’m 40 list, I have more qualitative goals like “Stop Being So Angry” or “Reconnect with my faith”-they aren’t boadacious goals in that they don’t have that whole “You’re crazy!” response from people, but they certainly don’t have a beginning or an end. Thanks for posting!

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