Keys To An Achievable Outcome - Part 1 - State The Goal In The Positive

It would be hard to find one person in your group of influence, who has never failed at achieving a goal in life. This obviously excludes New Years' resolutions by default, as they could not be further from a goal.


Most of us have set health, business, or personal goals that for some reason or the other we never managed to achieve. This can be frustrating, to say the least, and we often tend to shy away from setting new big and audacious goals when we remember the kick in the gut of failing to achieve the last one.


Chances are, that you set yourself up for failure by not following the correct process in setting the goal. Do you agree?


Years of research into the psychology of goal setting within the NLP field has identified 10-Keys in setting achievable goals. Over the next few weeks, we will look at each of these in turn, and discuss how you can use these keys to set, and achieve your desired outcomes.


At the end of the 10 Keys, I will provide a simple worksheet, as well as an online assessment you can complete, to help you set clear and achievable goals.


Key #1 - State The Goal In The Positive


First, let's set a goal that we can use, analyse, and develop over the next few weeks. I will use one of my own goals I set years ago, and we will see how it evolves. You can use your own goals as well.


I want to be a millionaire by age 50.

Let's look at this goal while keeping Key #1 in mind. That statement looks pretty positive, doesn't it? Whether the goal is stated in the positive or not, stems from its motivation. So while on the face of it, there is nothing negative in it, when we dig deeper we may unravel a more negative motivation. Why is it that you have the goal? What is it that you want to achieve with the goal? What is it that you are trying to change? What is it that you don't want any longer?


Let's ask a few questions to determine if we are motivated towards the positive outcome of the goal, or away from some other negative potential outcome. We can use a simple process called the "Five WHYs" (you may not need to ask Why five times, and may discover your answer much earlier)


So let's ask...


Q: Why is it I have this goal?

A: Because I love the idea of having that wealth.


Ask again...

Q: Why is it important to you to have such wealth?

A: Because I can have a nice house with all the comforts.


One more time...

Q: Why is it important to have a nice house with all the comfort?

A: Because I grew up in a small house and always wanted the comforts my friends had.


Boom! There we have it!


A "from" motivation (negative) and not a "toward" motivation (positive).


The challenge with a "from" motivation is two-fold. First, as long as you are not in the "from" state (the small house of your childhood you are avoiding) there is less of a driving force for you to achieve the desired outcome.


Imagine a dog chasing you, when the dog is hot on your heels, you summon unknown strength and stamina to get away from Fido! When Fido turns out to be a bit slow, or tired, instinctively you expend less energy to stay ahead of it. You might even turn around and taunt it!


Secondly, by stating our goal in a "from" or negative motivation, we constantly keep our focus on the negative experiences that we are trying to change in our life. We have discussed how the brain does not process a negative statement (If I say "Do NOT think about a purple elephant riding a bicycle...", your brain does not stop you from thinking about that, you immediately think of the purple elephant on a bicycle). In the same way, we must look forward and up if we are to move toward our goals.


Even though at first sight, my goal did not appear negative, we can see how the driving force behind it, the true motivation, was less than positive.


Going forward we will look at how we can reframe that goal, into one with positive motivation.


Take some time and look at some of your goals. Ask yourself the "Why" questions and answer honestly. Feel free to share your feedback in our members' section or in the comments.





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