Get Back on Track with Tips from a Goal-Setting Guru

January 17, 2013

Already fallen off the resolution wagon? Take heart, you can set goals year-round. And, with a little help from Lululemon's goal-setting guru you can achieve them, too.

Lululemon has kept goal-setting at the heart of its mission since its inception. In fact, everyone from C-suite executives to store educators publicly post their goals around the office (read more about Lululemon's fitness-friendly work culture). For the past nine years, Chloe Gow Jarrett has spent most of her time managing the brand’s vision and goals program, and is a driving force behind Lululemon's #readysetgoal, an initiative to help others discover the power of goal-setting.

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The goal-setting process: Chloe has people start setting their goals by picturing who they want to be in 10 years in order to pinpoint their vision. "Once we have a vision, we start trickling goals back from 10 to one year," she says. "You think: to get here in 10 years, what do I need to be doing in five years? What do I need to be doing in one year?" As you move toward your 10-year goal, you're only ever taking action on a one-year goal, which makes it more manageable. So, for example, if you wanted to complete an Ironman in 10 years, you may set a goal to complete a half-Ironman in five years, and a triathlon in one.  Lululemon has created worksheets to walk you through the process. You can also join them on Wednesday, January 23 at 9 PM EST for a livestream goal-coaching event.

Chloe's goal-setting tips:

  • Set your goals in the present tense. Use language like “I am, I have, I own.” that’s to get you to believe you’re really going to do it. It’s a form of positive self-talk.
  • Be really specific. You’re placing an order. You want to get what you want to get.
  • Stay connected to your vision. “There should be an emotional resonance to your goal,” she says. When I share my goal, it reminds me of who I get to be.”
  • Put a deadline on your goals. “I’m a seasoned procrastinator, so if I don’t have one I’ll push it,” she says. A deadline will move you to act.
  • Share your goals with people you love and trust. "When you declare your goals, people will start to interact with you as if you are already the person you want to be," she says. "I share whenever I can. It’s scary, but it’s important."
  • Set audacious goals. “We encourage people to set intentionally audacious goals with a high failure risk,” she says. “You should fail 50 percent of the time because you’re really challenging yourself. We naturally shy away from failure, but you learn more when you fail.”
  • Keep setting and revisiting your goals. “Vision and goal-setting is a practice. It’s not a one time deal where you type it into template and you’re done,” she says. “We generally say to set goals every 6 months, but it’s a personal thing. Some people do once a year, some people will set goals once a month.”
  • Be kind to yourself. “I want everyone to be kind and generous to themselves,” she says. “Every time I do my vision it looks a little different, and that’s fine. It’s courageous to put yourself out there.”

Meet a goal-setter: