set goals and take a leap!



Back in October 2006, I joined lululemon athletica’s People Resources team and set a course of events into action that I never could have imagined. Having grown up as a competitive dancer I was mildly obsessed with lululemon and the values it represented (I may have had the manifesto poster on my bedroom wall) so I felt extremely fortunate to find a new home for myself within the lululemon team.

dancing with ashley from lululemon
A passion for dancing up a storm.

What came next was meeting some of the most inspiring and outstanding people I’ll probably ever come across in this lifetime. Oh, we hired hundreds of new, fabulous lululemon faces, and we launched exciting attraction programs too... the work was about as challenging, fast paced, and action packed as anyone could hope for! But an itching desire to strike out, take risks and have a grand adventure always slumbered within me, and I knew deep in my heart of hearts that there was something more, waiting for me, somewhere across the Atlantic.

dream jobs at lululemon
The people resource team.

As a hopeless romantic I had spent my entire life wishing, dreaming and hoping that someday I’d live in Europe. However, I never really took any steps to make these visions a reality. It wasn’t until I learned and understood the skills of goal setting, received some incredible coaching and encouragement from Susanne Conrad, and created a vision board with my People Resources team, that it finally sunk in that I needed to DO IT NOW.

So I did.

personal goal example
Ashley achieving her goal to live in Europe 2 years earlier!

Fast forward to present day, March 2010, and I have leapt over the pond and landed myself smack dab in the centre of Edinburgh, Scotland. By some force of fate, luck or magic, I have managed to stay a part of the lululemon recruitment team and continue to work remotely; providing creative project management for our key 2010 initiatives. Technology really is an incredible thing, when someone can log in to say hello to their favourite coworkers each morning via Skype, and at the same time, live out their wildest traveling dreams.

lululemon gal ashley in scotland
Ashley living in Scotland.

So far, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Chamonix (France) have been the hosts of my traveling office. In early March, I’ll be working from Spain, and I have an ambitious list of places that I plan to spread some lululemon love in the months to come!

living your dreams
A new life with a new view.

If you have big, wild, crazy dreams I recommend that you don’t delay.

Make a decision. Take a leap. Do it now.

vision board goal setting example
A vision board makes your goals and dreams reality.

You only have one life to live, and trust me, it can be pretty darn spectacular.

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21 Comments »


wonderful post! thanks for the inspiration!

Comment by Katie (Sweet Tater) — March 3, 2010 @ 10:58 am


This is amazing. What a great company to have this kind of progressive policy, and to encourage your great employees to follow their dreams, while still keeping them on your team. Very impressed!

Comment by Dallas — March 3, 2010 @ 10:59 am


This kind of story is exactly why I follow lululemon on Twitter — the kind of get up – get on with it spirit that makes me happy to be.

Comment by Tracey — March 3, 2010 @ 11:00 am


I love when vision boards & goal setting dreams all come true! Powerful stuff, eh? Good for you Ashley.

I totally agree with the thought that this is life! Dive in! Make it count! (And do it now…)

Something I try to promote everyday with my biz and one of the reasons I love you gals at lululemon so much.

Comment by Molly Hoyne — March 3, 2010 @ 11:14 am


This was so inspiring! Thank you! Off to make a vision board.. :)

Comment by Jenna — March 3, 2010 @ 12:01 pm


I too feel so inspired after reading this! Thank you Ashley for the reminder to go after what we want and not waste time waiting. Can’t wait for your next blog update!

Comment by Alana — March 3, 2010 @ 12:52 pm


i love this post – mostly because by setting goals and saying yes to life, ashley is truly living out her dreams! inspiring, thank you.

Comment by Marisa — March 3, 2010 @ 12:55 pm


Wow! thanks Ash! good to see we have the same ideas! we danced together for so long and end up with the same involvement in the same amazing company! You are very inspiring – and i feel that my goal board should be revamped to include some of those goals i want but am too scared to write down!

Good luck and congrats!

Comment by Ashley — March 3, 2010 @ 1:02 pm


i love this – a perfect illustration of “do it now!”
last year, i also dreamed of living in europe, and also took a leap to end up in edinburgh! it is absolutely stunning – enjoy every single breath of scenery and culture, it will stay with you for always.
at the end of my time in edinburgh, i wrote a list of my absolute favorite places… i’d love to share it with you!
http://robynmichelleleeblog.blogspot.com/2009/08/edinburgh.html

namaste!

Comment by robyn — March 3, 2010 @ 1:37 pm


good on you…so many of us have dreams that die with us…you are a terrific example of making yours happen – you’ve inspired me!

Comment by amy — March 3, 2010 @ 4:13 pm


Yeay go Ashley!!!! i see myself back in Europe one day; i’ve already seeded some of my friends with lululemon stuff and they want more!! how exciting that you are on the frontier of possibly making that a near reality :)

Comment by Carlson — March 3, 2010 @ 4:23 pm


I can’t stop smiling – Thanks so much for your comments. :)

Robyn, I am in LOVE with your blog and will quickly toss out the lonely planet and focus on this instead!!

Ash, so glad life has brought you to lululemon too… DEFINITELY write down the goals you’re the most scared of! Those are the best ones. xox

Comment by Ashley — March 3, 2010 @ 4:36 pm


ashley – AMAZING. way to DO IT NOW! i am so inspired by you truly living your goals and the incredible culture we have at lululemon. girl – let me know when you make it to spain – lots of friends there from a couple years of studies in that captivating country!

Comment by shannon — March 3, 2010 @ 6:29 pm


Way to live you vision!

Comment by Brian — March 4, 2010 @ 1:05 pm


so glad you love it, ashley! thanks for the compliment… enjoy! xo.

Comment by robyn — March 4, 2010 @ 3:52 pm


why is everyone so obsessed with lululeamon

Comment by taylor — May 17, 2010 @ 4:28 pm


This is amazing Ashley! I got this link off of your LinkedIn profile, since I’m scoping out what it’s like to work at lululemon… with the goal of getting there myself one day!

I love hearing these stories of people who have succeeded in goals and have such a great company behind them.

Since I also have a lulu manifesto poster right next to my computer, I hope to work with you someday soon!

Comment by Stephanie Andrews - Banff — June 27, 2010 @ 7:51 pm


Wow, I hadn’t read this post when I made my” Motivational Montage Manifesto of Marathon Messages & Images”. Yes, I was inspired by Lululemon’s manifesto and my memory of making Vision Boards in high-school from magazine clippings, but I’m so glad to read your recommendations since we’re clearly similar in how, when, why, and where we find inspiration.

BRAVO.

–Gabrielle
Ab Fab Fit – Absolutely Fabulous Fitness & Wellness
AbFabFit.com & Facebook.com/AbFabFit

Comment by Gabrielle Miller — January 3, 2012 @ 12:02 pm


Hi Ashley,

Like Stephanie, your LinkedIn page led me to this post, and after reading both, I am compelled to get in touch with you. Pretty much every word of your LinkedIn bio resonated with me, as my mission is to help others develop and I want to become a career counselor (ideally working within an organization). For me, the law of attraction translates into the following equation: Desire to Empower Others + Love of Vancouver = Lululemon People Potential Team!

If at all possible, I would love to connect and hear about your journey in the HR and counseling worlds (and beyond)!

Cheers,
Kelly

PS – Make it to Grindelwald yet?

Comment by Kelly — May 12, 2012 @ 7:14 pm


Stephanie and Kelly, I am so glad that LinkedIN led you to this story and that it resonated with you! Let’s connect on LinkedIN, and I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have about Lululemon and / or my journey!

Gabrielle, thanks so much for your kind and encouraging words! Looks like you are living proof of the power of visions and goal setting!

Comment by Ashley Thomson — November 24, 2012 @ 9:54 am


Ashley,

A friend of mine directed me to your LinkedIN page, as I am a big fan of Lululemon and interested in learning more about your company and culture.

I was so inspired to read your blog post because of how much I can relate to your story. I too wanted to live abroad and have a ‘once in a lifetime experience’ and so I spent two years in Russia studying ballet. After a career as a professional dancer, I applied to business school, where I am currently experimenting with ways to combine creativity and business. I admire how Lululemon motivates people to achieve health and wellness in their lives.

Thank you for sharing this wonderful post about risk-taking! I love hearing stories of dancers and athletes achieving their dreams in new ways.

Best,

Elyssa

Comment by Elyssa Dole — March 19, 2013 @ 10:35 am


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