During the dot com era, I worked at one of those cool Internet Consulting Firms. It was like “Top Gun” for Geeks. We had the requisite pool table, free snacks and Razor scooters. We survived Y2K. I didn’t stay there long, but one thing I do remember – it’s where I first heard the term BHAG. (Bee-Hag).


I remember the General Manager saying BHAG in a meeting and I looked around and wondered why no one else thought this was a weird thing to say. BHAG? When I learned it was an acronym for Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals, my first thought was that some man must have come up with this. No woman would put “hairy” in there…more likely some balding guy. But, I digress. Suffice it to say, I never really connected with the term. Although many others did.

BHAG is from the wildly popular book: Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras.

Now, 15 years later, I find myself thinking about BHAGs again. It’s that time of year when people think about goals and resolutions and change. It got me thinking about why goals don’t seem to work for so many people – or companies. (That cool internet company with the BHAGs? It filed for bankruptcy in 2002.)

Many people cringe at the thought of making resolutions or setting goals. Too often we “set them and forget them.” You may think about past New Year’s resolutions that failed and have stopped believing in setting goals. It can feel like a waste of time. They seem unattainable and unrealistic.

Once January 1st has past, you think your chance to make changes has past too.

The popular SMART goal setting technique is a step in the right direction. You come up with goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant (or Realistic) and Time-bound. But it feels too formulaic and uninspired to me – a dreaded chore, or like eating your brussel sprouts to get ice cream. Plus, after you set your goals, how do you make them happen?

I want to feel inspired and energized and motivated to take on something new.

There must be a better way to achieve great things than by coming up with long-term (hairy?) goals, where you start strong for a week and then give up.

There is.

It’s somewhere between BHAG and SMART. I call it B-SASi. (Be Sassy).


B-SASi is about getting excited about a big, bold dream and making it come alive with short-term goals that you can actually achieve, with actions that get results. You weave these action steps into your daily routine and start seeing progress right away.

BBIG, bold dream
SSMALL, short-term goals
AACTIONS that get results
Si SCHEDULE IT to make it happen

Go BIG. Start SMALL. ACTIONS for results. SCHEDULE IT.

One of the biggest complaints I hear from people is that it’s hard to focus. You have so many responsibilities and distractions, and it’s easy to get knocked off track or pulled in so many directions. You feel like you’re all over the place and out of control bouncing from one thing to another and not making progress.


You’ve probably heard of ROI – Return on Investment. ROA is what I call, Return on Action. Are you taking action on the right things? Are you being busy or being productive? Are you just running around or are you making progress on your goals?

Women are often great at making lists and completing tasks – but sometimes we fill up our days keeping busy with little things, that get in the way of actions that could change our lives. It becomes clutter that takes time away from things that we could be doing, things with purpose and that help you make progress. (How is your ROA?)

The B-SASi method helps you figure out actions that get results – that increase your ROA. You start with a big dream and break it into smaller pieces and determine the actions that will provide the most value to achieve those pieces. Then you schedule those actions into your week to make them happen. For example:

BIG, bold dream
I want to make $120,000 this year in my business

SMALL, short-term goals
I need to make $10,000 a month
I need to know my most profitable activities/products
I need a plan to increase my revenue

ACTION steps for results
Review sales over the last year to see the most profitable products/services
Review sales over the last year to see the top customers
Create a list of 5 revenue ideas to get to $10,000 a month
Make a list of 10 ideal clients
Contact 2 potential clients this week

This is where most things fail. Believing without doing, is just dreaming. You have to take action. You have to do something. Every week. You have to get the right things – actions that get results – into your calendar.

If it’s not in your calendar, it doesn’t happen. You have to schedule it to make it real.

To help you do this, I have developed a 90 Day Action Plan Workbook. It is part of my new course, Business Bootcamp for Women, that uses the B-SASi method to make your big dreams happen.

Check out the examples in the B-SASi video of how to accomplish big dreams like making a 6 figure salary or taking a trip to Italy:

It’s tough to do this on your own. It’s easy to fall into old habits or talk yourself out of doing something. (You’re probably telling yourself now why this won’t work for you, aren’t you?)

You need support and accountability to push through those doubts and fears- especially at the beginning. In our Business Bootcamp, you call in from anywhere on Thursday nights, to a group webinar to check in, go over where you are stuck and keep you motivated and moving forward. The power of a supportive network is incredible.

What would YOU love to do this year? How great would it feel:

– to push past the fears and doubts that hold you back?
– to stop spinning your wheels and start getting results?
– to feel confident and in control?
– to not feel alone?
– to make a difference, and a great living, doing work you love?

You can. We can help. We’ll even give you an action jumpstart below.

I used this process to quit my job on my 50th birthday, write a book, start a business, travel, work a flexible schedule, teach students around the world and much more. It’s about consciously deciding to live the life you want and not waiting for some magic someday, or January 1st, to start. It’s about realizing that the best day to begin is today, and taking a small step.

It doesn’t matter if you call it HAIRY or SMART or SASSY. It just matters that you start.

Start Right Now

So, here’s a simple way for you to start right now. Yes – as in like, now. I’m giving away a free version of my 90 Day Action Plan Workbook. Just sign in below and it’s yours.

Simple, right? I dare you. Let’s pump up your ROA and make this your amazing Year of Action! You can start seeing results this week.

1-2-3 Go! Take a small step now and sign in below – (no brussel sprouts required).

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Erin Moran McCormick

Erin Moran McCormick

Founder, Year of Action

Director, Entrepreneurship Center, UMass Boston

You can make this YOUR Year of Action.  I’d love to help.  You can start today.

Take a step today and join us.