adventures in goal-setting: how getting clear on your vision can change the direction of your life
Chloe, our Vision & Goals Program Manager here at lululemon, first started working for the company in 2002 as a part-time educator at our Queen Street store in Toronto after hearing about the job from a friend. She was looking to pay the bills and chill out after finishing her undergraduate degree in Fine Arts before embarking on a career as a (band camp alert!) music teacher. When she was hired, Chloe wasn’t really an “athlete,” nevermind a yogi; however, she soon fell in love with the practice of finding her breath and stretching it out on her mat.
A few months into her role, Chloe realized that part of what made her want to be a music teacher was her love of facilitating learning for people. She began focusing on this and consequently became a Store Manager. It was also around this time that Chloe was introduced to the practice of creating a vision for herself and setting goals. Her first reaction was something like this (something a lot of us can probably relate to):
“I am a cool city girl from Toronto who doesn’t read self-help books thankyouverymuch.”
Chloe soon realized, however, that if she was going to facilitate learning for her staff as a Store Manager, she needed to walk the walk and invest in what she was supposed to be teaching (aka drop the too-cool-for-school vibes and open up to the possibility that Vision and Goals could be awesome). She began by setting a vision for her ideal future life in 10 years and then created 1, 5 and 10 year goals for herself (personal, career and health-focused) that would support her in achieving this vision.
Once Chloe got into goal-setting, she realized that it was working: by intentionally writing down and declaring what she wanted, things started to come together. Zing! She realized that she wanted to train people in Vision and Goals and became lululemon’s Training Manager. How did she know she wanted that job? Because her goals and her passions were clear enough that she knew, she had the confidence to declare her goals, and she was around people who supported her in achieving them.
It’s been, ahem, a few years since Chloe first created the training role in Toronto. Since then her life has been pretty rad: she has moved to Vancouver, become the Head of Retail Training for the company, got married to a cool dude, had a baby, backpacked New Zealand and come back to share why vision and goal-setting is badass once more. She isn't teaching music class - instead, she's living the life she was meant to, with her authentic vision acting as her true north.
key takeways from chloe's journey
1. surround yourself with people who support your goals.
Sometimes the people around us are happy, supportive, honest and will do whatever it takes to support you achieving your goals. Other times there are people who (for whatever reason) cannot get down with what you are striving for. Surround yourself with positive people who are rooting for you and will give you honest feedback - you will find success more easily, promise.
2. get clear on what you actually want.
Chloe originally thought she wanted to be a music teacher. She told herself that that was what she wanted, plus she had just gotten a fine arts degree, so she should still do it. When she gained the courage to actually declare what she wanted, it became clear to her what her vision is: owning and running a leadership retreat centre where she creates awesome experiential leadership programming. The courage to have a real conversation with yourself about what you really want (not what should happen, but what is POSSIBLE) is when things will begin falling into place. Speaking of that…
3. set goals from possible, not probable.
Close your eyes and think about what you really want. Not what might or probably will happen, but what you really want for yourself without any caveats getting in the way. It’s remarkable how many of us are doing stuff that has nothing to do with what we actually want. When we shift into the perspective of possibility, we can begin to discover what makes us happy and what looks like an ideal vision for ourselves.
This month we are getting down with setting vision and goals for ourselves! For more on how to create a vision and set goals, check out these worksheets. Share your progress on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #readysetgoals.