Goal setting tools

NLP techniques

Getting started

I wonder how many times you needed goal setting tools to get you from where you are now to where you want to get. 


Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?
Robert Browning


There will have been times, I am sure, when you have felt you really wanted to do something only to let months, or even years elapse before you got round to doing it, or perhaps you never did it at all.

Great ideas

Maybe you even thought you had a great idea for a business venture or some other money making idea, but didn’t actually do anything about it.

Then in the course of time you discovered someone else had come up with the same idea and was now making big bucks. 

You thought to yourself then, “I could have done that”.  But the truth is you never got round to doing it.

You will have read elsewhere in these pages that successful people are people who take action.  In all other respects, they are really no different from you. 

Not only do they take action, but they have definite goals and they are persistent.

Goal setting tools and well-formed outcomes

This exercise is concerned with establishing your goal and having, what we describe in NLP, as a well-formed outcome.

So many people have such a hazy outcome of what they want to achieve that it is difficult for them to know how to get there.  

Others know what they don’t want but aren’t sure what they actually want.

It is useful to clarify your objectives at the outset.  Ask yourself:  what exactly do I want?  That is basic but very important.  

If you don’t know exactly what you want you will get exactly that!

Goal setting tools and the questions to ask

Next ask yourself:  when I get what I want, what exactly will that do for me?  How, in fact, will I know when I have what I want?

These questions may sound a little banal, but they are necessary to concentrate your mind on the specifics.  

The next question to ask yourself is: how will I know when I have achieved my ambition?

So, for example, what signs will you expect to see?  Will you feel differently?  Will others act differently towards you?  Will you possess something that you don’t already possess?

Then ask yourself:  What will I see, hear and feel when I have achieved my ambition?

The next question is important and worth thinking about carefully:  Do I have control over the outcome and does the outcome involve others? 

And then ask yourself:  Can I create and maintain the momentum to achieve my goal?

You will also need to ask yourself when you want to achieve your goal, where, how and with whom.

Finally, ask yourself these questions:  (i) what will happen if I achieve my goal?  (ii) what will  happen if I don’t achieve my goal?  (iii)  what won’t happen if I achieve my goal?  (iv) what won’t happen if I don’t achieve my goal?

Goal setting tools and your timeline

Your mind thus clarified, we may now proceed to the next step.

For the purposes of this technique you will need to establish your timeline.  

If you have read other pages on this website, you may already know about timelines and have established yours.

If not, here is a quick resume.  There is no right or wrong about this;  people envisage their timeline in different ways.  

Stand up and permit yourself enough space to step forward, backward and sideways. 

Think of yesterday and take a pace in that direction.  Then think of last month and take a pace in that direction.  Then last year and take a pace in that direction. 

Resume your starting position and then think of tomorrow and take a pace in that direction.  Then next month and take a pace in that direction.  Then next year and take a pace in that direction.

Now you can resume your seat.  Some people envisage the past directly behind them or slightly to an angle, and the future directly to the front or at an angle. 

Others see the past to one side or the other and the future directly opposite.  Still others view it differently.

It does not matter.  What does matter is where the past is to you and where the future is to you.

Goal setting tools and achieving your ambition

Now you know that, we can turn to the goal you wish to achieve.  What do you really want to do?  Think about it hard and convince yourself.  On a scale of 1-10, how badly do you want to achieve that ambition. 

If you want it really badly you are going to be up around 9 or 10, so using that scale will help you establish whether you are serious about it in the first place.

Now, imagine that you have achieved your ambition.  You have the very thing you desire so much.  Relax.  Close your eyes and think about it for a few moments. 

Allow your mind to drift down and see what you would expect to see.  Make the image you are holding in your mind bigger, more vivid and brighter, and then double it.

See yourself achieving the objective.  Hear the sounds you would hear and make them louder.  Feel what you would feel and make those feelings more intense. 

Smell what you would smell and, if there are tastes associated with the ambition, taste those too.

Goal setting tools and attaching the line

Imagine now there is a line attached to your body and visualise it stretching out into the future.  At the other end it is attached to your goal.  Take note of where on your timeline that goal is.

In your mind’s eye imagine now that you are walking along your timeline towards your goal with the line still attached to you. 

As you get to the position where the goal is, walk into the image, feel it surrounding you and intensify the vision, the sounds, the feelings, the smell and the taste.

When you have fully experienced that, decide in your mind that you will walk back to your starting point keeping the line attached, but walk back only as fast as your unconscious mind can make all the adjustments needed to take you easily and effortlessly to your goal.

Those italicised words are worth remembering so read them again and memorise them for use in the technique.

When you have reached the starting point, you can now release the line that is attached to you, look forward and envisage yourself achieving your ambition.

You have taken some time to established your well-formed outcome and to imagine yourself achieving your ambition.  Now is the time to plan seriously, so read More Goal Setting Tools before going further.



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