I had the pleasure of delivering a workshop this past week at the Lululemon showroom in Cannes on the topic of Vision and Goals. As this session was going to be my first workshop in French, I did more preparation and practice than I normally would had I been delivering in English, just to get the words and the flow just right. I’m very pleased to say the session went well and the feedback received from the participants was positive!
Preparing for this session was perfect timing for me, as I took the opportunity to clarify my vision and my goals for 1 – 5 – 10 years in the future! It’s been just over three months that I have been living in Nice, France, and still loving the fact that I am living the dream!! A dream that I actually had over 10 years ago when I did all the soul-searching and introspection about what I wanted to do in life and where I wanted to go!
What is a personal vision statement? It is a short statement, stated positively of course, of how you see your life in the future. As we were looking at our goals for 10 years time, I suggested that they write a vision of how they see their lives in that same time frame. A personal vision is like a guiding light illuminating the path in the future. It influences how they are as a person, who they have become and what behaviors and attitudes they need to have to become that person. It can describe what success looks like to them, their own definition of success rather than someone elses. It describes how they are living their life having achieved all they achieved.
To help the participants think about their own person vision statement, I offered a couple of questions that they could ponder upon. The questions I suggested were the following:
- What do you enjoying doing, in work and in life? What makes your eyes sparkle and you get really excited and happy about doing?
- What are your top 10 values of what is important to you in work and in life? Values being what you deem as important and influence all that you do.
- If you won lots of money and never had to work again, what would you do with your time? How would you spend your days?
- If you were at a birthday party when you were very very old and everyone was standing up saying things about you, what would they say? How have you influenced their lives? What effect did you have on them?
- If you could do anything in your life and money was not a concern and you were guaranteed to succeed, what would you do?
From the answers that they might come up with, I encouraged them to see what threads they might tease out to find the essence or the commonalities to help them imagine what their vision for their future life would be like.
We then moved onto goal setting in order to help the participants think of ‘what next?’. For some people, thinking about the next steps or their goals in the future can be a daunting experience as they don’t know what they might do, have never done goal setting before or have had experiences where they have not dared to dream. So, to help them start dreaming of possibilities, I challenged the participants to write a list of 100 items or more of everything they wanted to BE – DO and HAVE in their lives. Reminding them that they do not have to have any realism with this list of dreams and reminding them that they do not have to take action on any of them. Also, I encouraged them to give themselves permission just like when they were children to dream of all sorts of things.
Dreaming of the possibilities of some things they might BE – DO and HAVE, they can then take the next step of picking a few to set as goals. I reminded them of the saying ‘the journey is more important than the destination’. Even if along the way they decide to pursue a different goal, the time is certainly not wasted. It is time enjoying the journey, the learning and growth they acquired and the the sense of purpose.
When it came to actually writing out goals for 1 – 5 – 10 years, I reminded them that there is no right nor wrong way to go about it. Some might chose to start looking at their one-year goals in the personal, professional and health/fitness areas, followed by progressing onto the five-year and ten-year goals. Whereas others might imagine where they might like to be in ten years before ‘working backwards’ where they think they might need to be in five years before setting their one year goals.
It was great to have the opportunity, while the participants were writing their vision and goals, to speak with each one individually and to offer coaching support, questions and encouragement to help them see the possibilities.
We concluded the session with a reminder that success in achieving their goals comes from regular action and I encouraged the participants to go away and make a plan with smaller ‘mini-goals’ that help them towards reaching their goals. Then, they then need to take action ensuring they regularly review their progress on a daily, weekly or daily basis. These reviews provide the opportunity to acknowledge their progress and to more easily see what the next steps are. Also, these regular reviews start to become a habit giving them the opportunity to reflect on where they are going and what they are doing to ensure they achieve their goals and achieve greater success in all that they do.
Many thanks to Georgia, Florian and Loïc of Lululemon Cannes for your support in organizing the workshop, and to all the participants who attended.