Over the years I’ve heard lots of people talk about goal setting and vision boards through their work and relationship with Lululemon. Today I had the opportunity to experience a goal setting workshop with Aoife Kane, a UK Lululemon Community Connector and Yoga instructor. The Covent Garden Lululemon hosted a 2 hour workshop this morning open to the public which included an hour of goal setting and an hour of Forrest Yoga.
Waking up at 8 this morning was not easy. Even though I had been asleep for 8 hours my body still thought I was trying to wake it up at 2am thanks to my jet-lag. But, luckily Charlie has been my accountability partner these last 24 hours getting my but to Yang and Yin yoga last night after our flight and then making sure I woke up for this morning’s session.
These smiling faces joined me for the workshop (Stephanie, Charlie, Zoe, her friend, and the unpictured Kiera) which made it even more enjoyable. It is so nice having a different workout to look forward to each weekend I’m in London thanks to these ladies.
As we entered the Lululemon store we were greeted by a plenty of yoga mats along with a very friendly staff who welcomed us to the store, invited us to store our stuff anywhere, peruse the racks, and find a spot towards the front. It is so nice that they provide mats as lugging a yoga mat around London on a Saturday is not ideal, especially if you have an afternoon of errands or lunch with a friend afterwards!
Right around 10am Aoife Kane, the instructor the the yoga and goals session, welcomed the group and passed out stapled papers which we would use during the goals portion. Before starting the actual goal session we did about 5 minutes of intention setting and breathing which helped us get in the right mindset. She asked us to focus on a single word, the first one that came to our mind, for the next two hours. I focused on the word positivity, which is a word that has been at the forefront of my mind the past few days.
The next hour was spent talking and thinking about the three main spheres of our lives: health, personal and career. Aoife led us through each portion, sharing personal anecdotes along the way. During the introduction she shared that setting a 10 year vision and goals allows people to have a clear picture of an ideal future and then better understand and articulate what is needed to get there. In fact, one student shared that last year after setting their goals and vision everything happened within 1 year just because it was in the forefront of her mind. She also stressed that during this exercise we need to ensure to take out any perceived constraints such as time and money. Stepping into the possibility and keeping a positive, affirmative attitude would make the exercise more effective.
Step 1 was creating a Mind Map. The mind map takes 3 circles, each containing a single word (health, personal or career) and filling the circle with all the words that describe our ideals, what the word means and the words that come to mind when we see the word. It’s common that 2 circles are more prevalent while the other takes a back seat. For example, right now in my life personal and career has taken priority while health has been a secondary focus.
Step 2 was getting a clear vision of what we each want in our life, now and in 10 years. Within a circle we had to write all the words describing what we want in our life and then outside of the circle, list what we don’t want. My circle was filled with words such as balance, close relationships, health of mind and body, successful career, inspiring blog, strong marriage, travel, and passion while I filled the space outside my circle with words like negativity, unhealthy, cluttered, and unnecessary stress. While some people found this exercise difficult, it actually helped prepare me for the final step as it forced me to think about both what I want and don’t want in my life. As we approached our final step, she led us through a guided meditation of sorts. She talked us through a journey from the Lululemon store down the path to our home in 10 years. She described us walking through the door and asked us what or who we saw, being sure to note the sounds, smells and feelings. I was a bit hesitant and apprehensive when we started the guided meditation but at the end was surprised how much I took from the exercise. I saw myself in a large kitchen with a child’s voice in the background. The whole experience and vision was more clear than I ever expected. Following this we had 5 minutes to write down our 10 year vision while ensuring that we let go of the need to be perfect and keep in mind that this would only be a draft.
Once we had our vision on paper we practiced outlining one of the goals needed to reach the life we saw in the vision. For example, I outlined my career goal and was able to capture what needs to happen in 1 year, 5 years and 10 years in order for that goal to become a reality. Using affirmative language and including clear dates and gates as measures really helps me see the steps and believe they can be achieved.
Over the next few weeks I will go through the rest of the process so I can share with my friends and family my overall goals – two from each aspect of my life (personal, career and health).
The next hour was spent on the mat practicing Forrest Yoga. A new to me yoga method, Forrest Yoga is intensely physical and forced each of us to focus on our breath during the 60 minutes. There were some moves that I had never done before including an amazing hand and forearm stretch. The class was challenging but incredibly rewarding as we each completed the class feeling relaxed and looser while knowing that we’d also used our entire body. I am so glad I rolled out of bed this morning for this inspirational morning. Thank you Lululemon for organizing it and Aoife for leading us through the workshop.
Your turn: What’s one of your long term goals?