How to Set Goals With Vision, Possibility, and Balance
Every January my yoga classes are packed with new bright-eyed students and their new year’s resolutions. In February the classes are still going strong. But by the time spring rolls around many of the well-intentioned students and their resolutions have fallen back to old routines, patterns, and habits. Many of the new year’s students make the mistake of making resolutions that are too ambitious, like doing a daily power yoga class, running eight miles per day, or vowing to never eat a certain food ever again.
As an athlete, I grew up always setting goals to improve my game, but everyone from yogis, to Native Americans, to the Mayans believe in setting intentions during the New Moon and the change of seasons. This year New Year’s Day falls on the New Moon, and therefore, we are presented with a clean slate on which to create our life this coming year.
I love creating intentions and making a vision board at the new year. I use my vision board to set my yearly intentions, and often when I look back at my old boards I am amazed to find that many of the goals have manifested. Combining the written goals with the visual, picture form is powerful as both hemispheres of the brain, analytical and creative, are utilized.
Resolutions or intentions can be a great tool for keeping us motivated. From lululemon I learned a systematic way of successful goal setting that is broken into achievable steps. Yes, I know lululemon has received some bad press lately, but I fully support the company and everything for which they stand. As a lululemon ambassador since 2007, I attribute much of my success in my career to their support and goal-setting techniques.
The lululemon Goal-Setting System
lululemon breaks down goals into three categories: personal, health, and career. By examining these three areas you create well-rounded goals, and the lululemon system includes setting one-year, five-year, and ten-year goals. The first step in setting goals is to write down the “big picture” vision. This is called a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG). This is the long-term vision that may take many years to accomplish. From the BHAG smaller goals can be set that are in line with the big picture. Since we are focusing on new year’s resolutions today, we will target the one-year goals.
According to the lululemon system, three aspects to consider when setting goals are possibility, vision, and balance. Are the goals possible and sustainable? For example, is going to the gym every day or never eating sugar again a realistic and possible goal to keep? Maybe it is more attainable to set a goal of making it to the gym three to five days a week or eating healthfully 80% of the time.
The second aspect is vision. Can you envision yourself achieving this goal? Also, are these goals in line with your BHAG or big vision picture? For instance, is your career goal to write a best-selling book, yet you are working in the corporate world doing administrative work? Your career one-year goal or new year’s resolution might be to start a weekly blog. The weekly blog is in line with the big picture goal and is broken into a smaller attainable step.
The third step is balance. Are the goals balanced in all areas of your life? One of the reasons I love lululemon’s method of goal setting is that it includes not only health goals, but personal and career as well. When looking at your vision board is it balanced in all of these areas? Notice if the career or health goals take up the whole board. What about your personal goals? To feel whole we must have balance in our lives.
If you are interested in using the lululemon goal-setting format, you can download this form to work from.
Happy New Year and happy goal setting! Feel free to share your goals in the comments below so we can support each other in our endeavors.
Photos courtesy of Shutterstock.