This year, for the first time ever, I am going to write down my goals. Long term and short term. Goal setting is believed to make you happier and more productive. Goals can be large or small, playful or serious, but the more daring the goal, the more likely it is to be effective as a catalyst to action.
I feel like I’ve made some big leaps and bounds in my personal life in the last few years and I have yoga to thank for opening my mind. With the power of self-realization (still in the process) I am going to dig deep and set my goals.
“Failing is an essential part of success. To make goals effective, you have to fail at them 50 percent of the time, or they didn’t stretch you far enough.” ~Chip Wilson (founder of Lululemon Athletica)
I found these steps to goal setting in an article inspired by Chip Wilson, the founder of Lululemon, in my monthly Yoga Journal. The article states one of his goals was to climb the Grouse Mountain trail, a steep hike (2,800-foot vertical rise over 2 miles) near downtown Vancouver. The challenge was not just to get to the top, but to climb it at least as many times as the number of his age each year. In 2011, at 56, he had hiked to the top 56 times by September, achieving his goal. What a great personal goal to keep him active and healthy. Which also reminded me that my goals don’t have to all be about career, they can (and should) be about personal health too.
Aim high… steps to goal setting
1. Imagine… Start by thinking of your life 10 years from now. Imagine a detailed picture of where you see yourself. What kind of home do you have? Who do you spend time with? What work do you do? How does it feel?
2. Break it down… Work backward from that vision to figure out the steps you need to take to turn your vision into reality. Define 10-year, 5-year, and 1-year goals.
3. Set deadlines… It’s easier to get yourself focused on a quantifiable goal with a “by-when” date. For instance, if you’re hoping to become a yoga teacher some day, turn that into “I will complete a 200-hour training by January 2014.”
4. Test your goals… Read your goals aloud to see if they feel authentic. If you feel a little tension in your belly as you read, that’s probably good. Powerful goals will excite you and drive you to action.
5. Recruit support… Share your goals with friends who you know will support you. Encourage them in their goals as well. The mutual support will help you make it to your personal finish line.
6. Revisit and refresh… Write your goals on a piece of paper and keep it where you will read it often. Feel free to revise them. Nothing’s set in stone except your commitment to achieve the success you are capable of.
Here I go…