No matter what they are, setting goals — and sticking with them — is tough. Who has time to think so far ahead? And the more long-term they are, the more challenging they seem. Truth is, once you set some time aside to focus on what you want in the next one, five or 10 years, the easier it gets to accomplish your goals.
So you want to complete a marathon next year, or get strong enough to pull yourself up those 8-foot-high walls at the Tough Mudder (one of my goals!)? Goal-setting can get you there, and the good people at Lululemon can help.
The yoga-inspired athletic apparel company has launched the concept of #readysetgoal on their blog (featured as one of our Top 25 Fitness Blogs of 2012), where they encourage you to experience the power of goal setting for yourself using helpful blog entries and a thorough, downloadable worksheet as your guide.
Think of what you envision your life to be like 10 years from now if anything was possible and write it down. (Don’t worry if it seems unrealistic; that's the beauty of it!) Let’s use one of my 10-year visions as an example: I will compete in the Roller Derby World Cup with Team USA by 2023. Always write your goals down in the present tense so you feel you're already making it happen.
Next, determine what you need to do within 10 years to successfully meet your goals. Example: I will try out and make the U.S. team.
Then map out your five- and one-year goals that will help support your bigger, 10-year goals. Example: I will seek out as much training from Team USA bootcamps and skaters as possible (five-year goal). I will practice and cross-train hard with my current team (one-year goal).
Click here to download and print out the worksheets. They are easy to follow but make you think in a deep way.
Don’t freak out; you are not carving your goals in stone for eternity. It is important to tweak your goals as life moves on.
“Goal-setting is a practice that is always evolving,” Gow-Jarrett said. “Write about it, tweak it, just remember to ask yourself why you’re re-writing it.”
Once you have a solid foundation, share your vision and goals with the ones you love. They will show you support throughout your journey. Maybe they will be inspired to map out their own 10-year vision. If it’s fitness-related, you may wind up with a training buddy!
Setting up a 10-year vision is not an easy feat, and there will be times when you will not meet your goals. That’s OK!
“If you’re setting goals that are challenging, you should fail 50% of the time," explained Chloe Gow-Jarrett, vision and goals program manager at Lululemon. “Failing is a big part of goal-setting. [Remember to] think about what you learned. New experiences form your next experience.”
Lululemon practices what they preach. The #readysetgoal plan is used internally in their self-development department.
“We’re sharing the culture that we’ve built our company around,” said Gow-Jarrett.
Since there are so many people in the act of achieving goals — you see it all the time on Twitter and Facebook — Lululemon asks you to use the hashtag #readysetgoal to connect with other goal-setters. Gow-Jarrett said she hopes that it takes on a life of its own that way you can hold each other accountable and feed off each other independently of Lululemon.
“How exciting it is to make your vision a reality,” Gow-Jarrett said. “It brings light, excitement every day. It’s intimidating and sometimes scary but rewarding.”
Need some inspiration to get started? Check out this video: