Checking that Goals Are Well-Formed

Coaches understand the value of setting goals with clients. Clients' goals must be motivating and realistic, while taking clients towards the changes they most desire.

You mayalready be familiar with SMART principles. According to the SMART model, goals need to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timed (hence the acronym). This approach instils valuable focus and discipline to the goal-setting process, which NLP builds on. By including sensoryspecific information, as well as taking clients through a proven process, you support them to create meaningful change.

image The NLP approach to making SMART goals smarter is known as the well-formed outcome process. This process requires you to answer a series of questions that really help you explore the hows, whys and wherefores of your desired outcome. By following this process you begin to understand your true motives for wanting your goals, and you can weigh up the pros and cons of success versus failure.

When your desired outcome meets the following criteria, it satisfies the well-formed conditions. For every goal or result you want to achieve, ask yourself the following seven questions:

  1. Is the goal stated in the positive?
  2. Is the goal self-initiated, self-maintained and within my control?
  3. Does the goal describe the evidence procedure (in other words, when will you know that you've achieved ...

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