It’s wonderful to set goals, but to have the greatest chance of success they need to not only be desirable, but also you need to make them utterly compelling and inspiring. They need to be ‘fit for purpose’. A well-defined goal is a great outcome that you’re passionate about achieving. Set a vague goal and you’ll get vague results, that may well not be what you intended. But, set a great outcome by testing and refining your goal and your unconscious mind will work 24/7 to help you achieve it.
So how can you take a good idea, a wish or a vague goal and make it into a truly achievable outcome? Well, there are a number of paths you can take and various fitness tests that you can put your goals through to make them into outcomes. These keys to an achievable outcome and well-formed conditions for goals trade under a variety of different names and acronyms, but in essence their similarities remain. I’ll go through the best 9 below….when you have thought your goal through all of them it will have become an achievable outcome – it will be realistic, inspiring, motivating, most certainly compelling and have a huge possibility of success.
#1 POSITIVE – your outcome should be stated in positive terms – what specifically do you want? Now I’m not talking glass half full and positive thinking here. This is about focusing on what you want and instead of what you don’t want. For example, you may say you want to be a non-smoker, instead of that you want to give up smoking. Any statement where you use words like ‘reduce’, ‘stop’, ‘give up’ or ‘lose’ are likely to be negative, so turn them around. It is Jan 1, 2012 and I weigh my ideal weight of 75kg – that’s far more powerful than I will lose 10kg over the next 6 or 8 months.
#2 PRESENT – specify the present situation and consider, where are you now in relation to achieving this outcome? What would be your first step towards achieving it?
#3 SPECIFICS – specify your outcome and describe in detail what will you see, hear and feel when you have it. Be as specific as possible and get down into the vivid details. Compare ‘I’ve always wanted a nice house’ to ‘I own a 6 bedroom, detached, brick house with a red roof on Aptos View Road, in Monterey, CA on March 15, 2013’. Make it as if you’re in that moment (as if now), make it compelling and see yourself in the picture you’re describing.
#4 EVIDENCE – specify the evidence procedure – how will you know that you’ve achieved your outcome? Remember your outcome should be described so that ultimately you and anyone else can measure them – if you want to weigh 75kg by Dec 31, 2011 then anyone can read the scales. Ask yourself – what will I measure to be able to calculate my progress? What will I see, hear or feel when I have achieved my outcome? Take some time to imagine how things will be when you’ve achieved your outcome – close your eyes – do you have a picture?
#5 FIT (CONGRUENT DESIRABILITY) – is your outcome congruently desirable? In other words – how does achieving this outcome fit with who you are as a person? What will this outcome get for you or allow you to do? Is that a good fit? Does that inspire and motivate you? How does it fit with your other outcomes?
#6 SELF – is this outcome self-initiated and self-maintained? How much of this outcome is under your own direct control? You might want to adjust your outcome if you’re not fully in control. Or if you need help or input from others then how can you persuade, motivate and even inspire them to want to offer their help to you?
#7 CONTEXT – is your outcome appropriately contextualised? There may be some places or situations where you specifically want your outcome and others where you don’t. Ask yourself… Where specifically do I want this? When specifically do I want this? How do I want this or in what context do I want this? Depending on if there are others involved you might also ask yourself – with who do I want this?
#8 RESOURCES – what resources are needed to achieve your outcome? What do you have now? If you act as if you have achieved your outcome – is there anything missing that you need? Think about what you require in terms of things (equipment, technology, systems, books, money etc.), people (to work with you or to be role models) and in terms of your own skills and personal qualities. Have you ever done this before? If you haven’t, do you know anyone who has and who could help you as a role model either in person or perhaps they’ve written a book?
#9 ECOLOGY – for what purpose do you want this? What are the wider consequences of you achieving this outcome? What impact will it have on other areas of your own life, on friends, family and other people around you, on your business or where you work, and even on your town, your country and the world at large? Are those consequences acceptable to you? Will this outcome ‘cost’ your time so that you can’t spend time with those you love? Everything King Midas touched turned to gold – was that all positive?! Think through and around your outcome. What will happen if you get it? What won’t happen if you get it? What will happen if you don’t get it? And finally… What won’t happen if you don’t get it?
Now some of the big outcomes you set yourself may seem daunting and may even make you a bit uncomfortable. If they don’t then you’re probably not stretching yourself enough! Small goals produce small results, but big goals open the possibility for you to achieve big, amazing things that you didn’t even think possible. The discomfort you felt may be because you need to learn new skills, expand your vision of what’s possible, build new relationships, try things you’ve never attempted before and learn to overcome your own limiting beliefs, your fears and any other roadblocks you fancy throwing in your own way.
Once you have your outcomes, both large and small, write them down and print them out. Put them up on a wall where you’ll see them at least twice each day. Carry a copy around with you in your pocket, put them on your screen saver, on the fridge…….and every now and again close your eyes and see a vivid picture of you achieving that outcome…..feel the feeling of accomplishment.
The ultimate answer to success is simple – set great goals, develop them into well-formed outcomes and you’ll achieve amazing results.
© Jacqui Gatehouse and NLP THIRTEEN, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jacqui Gatehouse and NLP THIRTEEN with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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