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Do you regularly achieve your goals?

We are often told to create short term (which can be today or for this week), medium term (which can be for this month or this year), and long term goals (which can be this year or over the next 15 years).

I’ve discovered that writing down goals isn't really the answer for me. I've discovered that I need to create outcomes, not goals.

When we create an outcome, we develop an internal focus – meaning we have to be the type of person who can achieve that outcome.

For example, someone may say that they want to be promoted. Being promoted is actually the goal – this has an external focus. The outcome is to be promotable, someone who can be promoted, internally ready and prepared to step up to that next role.

A well-formed outcome should be tangible and sensory specific and comprise the following information:

  • What do you want to achieve? Is it stated in the positive (what you do want, not what you don’t want)?
  • For what purpose do you want to achieve this  (ensure you answer with ‘so that…)? Keep repeating this question until you really reach deep purpose for achieving this
  • Use sensory based language to describe experiencing achieving this goal. Imagine that you have achieved your outcome:
    • What do you see? Imagine that your outcome has been reached. What are you seeing around you, what are you doing, and what are other people doing?
    • What can you hear, what are other people saying and what are you saying to yourself?
    • What are you feeling?
    • What can you taste or smell with this achievement? 
  • The outcome must be able to be self initiated and self maintained (i.e. if you are reliant on other people to  achieve this you may need to change your outcome so you rely on yourself and your own resources to achieve it)
  • How will you know that you have achieved this outcome, what evidence do you need to have to support your belief?
  • What are the consequences of achieving this (e.g. will there be any issues with friends expectations and the way you are, compared to how you will be when you achieve it)
  • And is there a first step in achieving this? Identify the first thing you can do to move in the right direction towards your outcome.
  • Is the outcome ecological? This means that it will do no harm if you achieve it to yourself, others or the environment.

Once these steps have been completed, step into the future and describe the experience as if you had reached our outcome.

The whole purpose of for creating well-formed outcome is to move someone from where they are presently to where they want to be. 

To make any change, you first have to be whatever that change is internally. 

‘We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them’.

Albert Einstein

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