One of the greatest things I did as a manager for lululemon athletica was goal coach my team, and also be goal coached myself by my superiors. We were trained as employees to do this with our team, and with each other. My dad is a very goal oriented person, and raised me to think in terms of goals for everything, therefore, my whole life I have been a planner. So goal coaching my peers was one of my favorite things about working for this company. When I set my mind to something, I aim to achieve it. I write lists, do monthly budgets and have organized calendars. I love the feeling of checking something off my list. I also enjoy the challenge I present to myself when I say, “I’m going to do this,” or “I want to do that by this time”. The first goal I ever remember setting happened in my 6th grade history class. We were learning about World War II and the Diary of Anne Frank. I was so intrigued by these events, that it encouraged me to major in History (World War II emphasis) in college. But as I sat in that class, looking at a picture of Anne Frank’s hiding spot in Amsterdam, I thought to myself, I am going to go there one day. It was an exhilarating feeling to walk into her secret annex 8 years later when I took a side trip to Amsterdam while studying abroad in France my Junior year at USD.
Why goal coaching now? As I mentioned in a previous post, I am 35 years old, with four children. Since March, when we found out about the twins, my husband and I have had to alter our lives quite a bit. In fact, so much, that we felt it necessary for me to quit my job for now, and focus on being a full time mom. I love that job, but I also love working. I do not want one thing to define me, or who I am or what my life should be like. I still feel as though I have so much ambition and desire to do more, in addition to raising my family. Having the twins kind of threw us a curve ball. My husband and I talk frequently about our goals, but over the last few months, it felt like our life was a bit uninspiring. Babies do something to bring to light that life is so short. Here are these unassuming, beautiful beings that have their entire life ahead of them. They have no regrets, no limitations, no ego. It’s like when you go to your first day of school and the teacher says, “Right now, you all have A’s.” Right now, they have the opportunity to make the choices that are going to shape their lives forever. That is so exciting. As a parent, it’s pure pressure to make sure we guide them and teach them, yet allow them to choose on their own. As a parent, it is also a time to reflect on our own lives and the realization of where we are, right now, in the present, how we got there, and where we are headed for the future. As I was allowing the curiosity of new life toy with my emotions, I also experienced a complementary perspective in dealing with death. In the last nine months, I have lost my grandfather, and our family lost a close friend to cancer. This circle of life forced me to not only consider what I have done and what I plan on doing, but also, who am I going to be as a person in getting there. The funeral for our friend was amazing. I left the services so inspired by his life, and mostly because of who he chose to be in his life while he was living it. Obviously, he worked hard at that because the amount of people who came to say their good-byes filled two chapels and spilled into the waiting rooms. His friends who spoke about him cried, and the details he put into planning his own funeral made me wish I knew him more than I did. After this, I decided it was time for Kelly and I to re-evaluate our goals and life direction. I didn’t want to wake up one day and nothing had changed for us, and our conversations were sprinkled with words like “should have, could have and tried”.
I was feeling overwhelmed with the thought of being a stay at home mom for the rest of my life. He seemed down and disinterested in what he was doing. It was the perfect time to just check in with each other and make sure we were on the right paths, and if we weren’t then we needed to get ourselves back on that path. We had dinner together, for the first time since the babies were born, and had an amazing conversation. I left the restaurant so inspired and excited about our future together, and he did too. I convinced him to let me give him a real goal coaching session. We had talked about goals and direction before, but we never really sat down and went through the details of goal coaching. I created a little worksheet for him to prep for our session. It is similar to what I use to do for my team. I believe that doing this a few times a year is so detrimental to living the best lives we possibly can and living with intention, that I want to share it with you. I also believe that it is something you should not be stingy with, and you should share with those in your life who support you, especially your spouse or SO to make sure you both have similar goals, and want to support each other’s goals. After all, they are living this life too, and shouldn’t we all be in it to win it together? Life is much more fun when you share it than when you live for just yourself.
Before you start on this very exciting journey into your life…I have to preface it with the following statements: Goal coaching is about you. It is about YOU. So as you ponder through the following questions, you have to think in terms of what do YOU want to do, who do YOU want to be. It is so easy to start building walls around our lives, obstacles that don’t allow us to truly sit and think about our goals and our future. As you start to answer these questions, immediately tune out that little voice in your head that is saying, “but you have four kids…” or “but my mom and dad want me to do this…” or “but my spouse doesn’t want to move there…” or “but I don’t make enough money, or I have to make my money this way…” By putting yourself first, and drowning out the world around you, you can be true to yourself, or to anyone you plan on sharing your goals with. Put yourself in that space of this is about ME, or this exercise is futile. This part is so important. Got it??
Finally, this is obviously an abbreviated version of something that can be super powerful and begin to transform your life. It’s a great start, but you may need more than this, or have questions, or need some personalized coaching. I would love to be that person for you, so please feel free to contact me if you need to go deeper than this.
OK, now that we have established that, get a pen and paper, and start writing!
Brainstorming your Goals: hint: don’t think too long or too much about the answers. The object is to write down the first thing that pops into your mind when you read the following questions. Go with your instincts…
r />If money was no object, and you had no other limitations in your life (spouse, kids, other family obligations, loans, etc) what would you do with all of your time?
You just won Mega Bucks…name three things you would do with your money:
What is the one thing you have achieved (professionally, financially, personally, etc) in your life that you are the most proud of?
List your top 5 values in order of importance:
At this point, you should start to see a pattern emerging. These values and thoughts will guide you in writing your goals. Your goals will eventually be a reflection on what is important in your life as far as values and who you want to be.
The final brainstorming exercise is to consider your 10 year vision.
Think about your life 10 years from now. What is it like? Who is in it? Who are you in it? Where do you live? Do you live in a house, apartment, condo? Are you married? Do you have kids? How many? What city do you live in? What car do you drive? What are you wearing? Where do you vacation? All of these thoughts are creating your ideal life. The life you are striving to live. Write down your ideal life in 10 years. Remember…no limitations, no ego, no obstacles. This is your life…
Things to consider…
The hedgehog concept: slow and steady wins the race. For more information on this, check out the book Good to Great by Jim Collins.
The story behind the hedgehog concept is that of the fox and the hedgehog. The fox is always in a rush to succeed, not setting any long term goals, has little focus, and is always changing his course to try the newest, latest, quickest way to gain success. The hedgehog, on the other hand, has a course of action in mind. He does not deter from the path he has set for himself, and is very cautious about any changes or adaptations he makes to his plan. He doesn’t lose site of his goal, nor does he allow any outside forces to distract him from it. He becomes an expert in all things related to his goal. In the end, the hedgehog will successfully reach his goal, leaving the fox to ponder where he went wrong and why he isn’t where he thought he would be. Even though it seems the fox would have achieved success because he took risks and explored shortcuts, he has failed because he hasn’t set any long term goals, and therefore, was susceptible to changing his focus many times along the way, thinking he would get there faster. The hedgeghog is successful because he kept his eyes on the prize and slowly but surely, reached his goals through perseverance and determination.
What are you best in the world at? Now it’s time to toot your own horn, stroke your ego a little bit.
What are you best in the world at?
What are you most passionate about?
How do you make your money?
OK, you have reflected on your life. You’ve been real with yourself. Now it’s time to write down those goals. There is a language we use when we write our goals. The language is an important piece because it forces us to be present with them as though we are already living them. When we do this, they do not seem as intimidating, and much more attainable. A great reference for this is the lululemon goaltender website (http://www.goals.lululemon.com/) Below are language points taken directly off of their website. It is direction in how to organize your thoughts into words to make them intentional in order to achieve them. Remember when I said I did not want our life to be sprinkled with “should have, could have, and tried”? This is where you have the chance to speak in the affirmative and speak so you take action. “Successful people replace the words wish, should and try with ‘I WILL’.” ~lululemon athletica manifesto
how to write your goals: 5 steps
A goal needs to be specific and measurable so that you can easily determine if you’ve achieved it. Here’s an example of a wish: “I don’t work out enough, I wish I were in better shape.” And here’s how to turn it into a goal:
1. Use affirmative language: “I will exercise more”
2. Write in present tense: “I work out more and am in better shape”
3. Make it measurable: “I exercise twice a week”
4. Be concise. No need to justify: “I run on Mondays and Wednesdays”
5. Be specific: “I run for 45 minutes on Mondays and Wednesdays”
When you organize your goals onto paper, consider doing so in increments of 1, 3, and 5 years, and into sub-goals like personal, professional, health, financial or any three topics that are top of mind for you in your life right now. Use your ten year vision to trickle down into your 1 year goal. For example, if it’s in your 10-year vision to be pediatric surgeon at the Boston Children’s Hospital, what do you have to do to get there five years from now, then three years from now…what do you need to do by the end of this year to get you to your three year goal, so you can reach your five year goal, to get to your 10-year vision?
Most importantly, have fun with this! Again, this is your life and only you can live it!
Good to Great by Jim Collins
Focal Point by Bryan Tracy
Goals! by Bryan Tracy
Goal Tender Website: http://www.goals.lululemon.com/