day 7: love your failures

Didn't make your run goal? Read on to find out why you should celebrate that.

It's the last day of Goal Week on lululemon. To end the week, we wanted to remind you that failing is part of the process. Here's Matt with more on why you should embrace your failures.

when failing is fun

One of the most common reasons why people don’t set goals is because they are scared of failing. However, this fear of failure, and failure itself, should be embraced rather than rejected. “Failing” is actually a really positive thing in setting and achieving your goals. Here are three helpful things I remind myself of when I sit down to set goals or when I am reviewing my goals:

1) Fear is an indicator that we are doing something remarkable.
Stepping out of our comfort zone means we are stretching ourselves; we are going after something we really want or something that will really impact our life. Focusing solely on the fear distracts us from the remarkable results our goals will bring about. Use that fear as a motivator rather than a detractor.

2) Failing sometimes takes you off a path you never really wanted to be on.

Sometimes we set goals towards things we don’t really want. Not achieving that goal allows us to evaluate what we were going towards, or how we were going about getting there. It could be the end goal that needs tweeking, or it could be the approach we were taking to tackle that goal.

3) Setting a goal and falling short, is still better than not trying at all.
Your life without goals will remain pretty static over time. Setting an inspiring goal will immediately set you on a path of trial and error towards something great. Bumps along the way are to be expected, so just keep holding on! When it comes time to look back and see what you’ve accomplished, you’ll be astounded to see how far you’ve come – whether you fell short of your goal or surpassed it by a mile. (I like to see this in graph form…)

Do you have a question around goal-setting that you'd like some guidance on? Visit the lululemon Facebook wall on Sept. 8th at 4 pm PST and ask Matt! Event details are here: Hope to see you on the wall!

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Comment by Jeff Cubos — September 8, 2010 @ 12:21 pm

I love this. It really shows how life is all about how you perceive it to be.

Comment by Phalyn — September 9, 2010 @ 7:49 am

I think you are reading my mind! This is great stuff! I always say that nervousness is just your mind telling you “This will feel great to conquer!” Try new things, fail. Try again, grow. That’s the way I live now, though it’s not always easy.

Comment by Matt Joseph — September 9, 2010 @ 4:01 pm

A graphical representation of the benefits of goal setting and failure, complete with an indication of the positive solution set for failure makes my mathematical heart happy.

Comment by Bidisha — February 18, 2011 @ 11:02 am

A great post. Very succinct and provides clarity for those looking to step out of their comfort zones.

Comment by Terry — July 11, 2011 @ 5:21 pm

If only w, as a society would provide the gift of teaching them to embrace failure and believe it as a part of the path of life. Matt, you wrote beautifully about the benefits of approaching the unknown with a sense of fun and a lack of concern for failure.
I am the executive director of a noon profit youth oriented organization and the best part of a day is when I can authentically demonstrate a well executed failure for our group members. I make a point of bringing attention to my failure and the feelings accompany the myriad of experiences that I accumulate ample supplies of over the course of a week. A favorite was when I took a serious face plant as I ran down a trail during our Adventures in Nature group. The children surrounded me and assessed the bodily damage to the old lady’s body as they indicated their concern. I was slightly bruised, but explained that falling is not scary to me because I do fall with some frequency. I told them that I am glad I fall, because it helps for older people to remember to remain loose and be able to remain clear and focused on damage control. It was an interesting lesson for them; an adult who found a positive aspect of the act of falling down. I may be practicing wishful thinking, but I think the group became more willing to take risks, experiment, and play in the outdoor experiences we share!
Thanks, Matt, I am putting your comments on our “quote wall”

Comment by Elizabeth Mayer — August 7, 2011 @ 2:28 pm

Love it Matt! And I especially love the graph!
I’m keeping this in mind when I go home to set some new and amazing goals tonight.


Comment by Jenna — August 7, 2011 @ 4:00 pm

Love this….definately going to make use of that goal planner!

Comment by eavan — December 2, 2011 @ 10:03 am

Normally I try and get my mix of Vitamin E from pills. Although I’d actually like to through a fantastic meal strategy it can be rather hard to at times.

Comment by ÿþµþüþÓþ — December 15, 2011 @ 7:21 am

Very inspiring chart!

We fail to achieve a goal most often because of lack of enough action, and we don’t take enough take because of our fear of failure. If we haven’t experienced any failures while reaching a goal, either because our goal is too easy or worthless, or because we haven’t taken enough action. Ultimately when it comes to accomplishing goals, only action matters.

Comment by Harry @ GoalsOnTrack — October 19, 2012 @ 5:36 pm

May I recommend Setting Goals by John Renesch. A few copies are available on for under $5. It is worth its weight in gold.

Comment by Jody — October 20, 2012 @ 8:42 am

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