Thursday, February 28, 2008

Nearly ninety days in... 2008. Are you on track?

Certified Stress Management expert (and hypnotist) Rick Allen led a terrific teleseminar on goal setting around the first of the year. Those who don't make New Year's Resolutions tend to set goals: Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Time-defined (SMART).

Where to you want to be, this year or in five? How do you want to live? What do you want to do differently? With NLP, change begins with a well-formed outcome. An outcome is well formed when it is within your personal power to change, when it is within a specific context, and when it is ecological (congruent with your values and situation).

Rick had listeners vividly imagine their outcomes, or goals. That's the first step, which is partly rooted in, "If you don't know what you want, how will you formulate the steps to get there?"

To get to Seattle, for instance, there are a lot of intermediary steps. If I'm driving, I have to get on I-5 and pass through Vancouver, Centralia, Olympia, Tacoma, etc. I need petrol and a car. I probably need an address in Seattle, or else I could stop at the city limit... but I probably wouldn't reach my desired destination.

The other part of the equation is, "If you don't know what you want, how will you know when you get it?"

For example, if you say you want more money, and I give you a quarter... well, you got what you said you wanted, but it's probably not what you meant.

So, to continue with the Seattle illustration, what's the address? What are the landmarks? What sequence are they in? What position, or orientation, do they have?

Don't know the steps or the landmarks? One good way of finding out is to ask someone who's been there.

Goals help us get where we want to be, but they need to be SMART. Now is a great time to review your New Year's Resolutions and 2008 goals and check them for well-formedness.

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