NLP Setting and Achieving Goals
Many people are unable to accomplish anything in their life due to a lack of clear goals. On the other hand, there are people who set daily, weekly and monthly goals, and get outstanding results. Success is achieved due to their clear focus on measurable targets. We can reflect back on our successes and failures in life, and try to understand how clear and positive goals attributed to the desirable results.
Goals are an important aspect of the human experience, and we can describe our personal goals using desires, dreams or aspirations. Positive goal setting can bring about a phenomenal change in our lives, and achieving goals can become a pleasurable experience. Many entrepreneurs and business tycoons are driven by unimaginable motivation, a definite ambition and a cogent dream. These motivating goals become a yardstick for all their actions, and success becomes imminent. Even organizations have their versions of outcomes, missions, visions and goals. However, the truth remains that the individuals of the organization are the key contributors for achieving a goal, by converting well-formed goals into persistence, motivation, self-confidence and belief.
Goal Achievement Technology
Human behavior always has a purpose. We always act a certain way in order to benefit from it. We might not always put the purpose in words, but our actions are dictated by a desired outcome in our mind. As per Neuro-linguistic training, we are programmed to behave in a way so that we can gain pleasure and avoid pain. That means we have an inherent excuse for all our actions, good or bad.
By setting positive and constructive goals more consciously, as a well-formed outcome, we have a bigger chance of converting our goals into behavior and achievement. Neuro-linguistic Programming can be used to develop this innate human tendency of setting and achieving goals. Although we might not have a conscious goal for all our behavior, there exists some underlying motive. Human beings function as goal achieving machines, and a deep-rooted dream or goal drives us each and every day. Neuro-linguistic Programming techniques focus on the goal setting ability as an unconscious as well as conscious process. The Neuro-linguistic courses provide the techniques for incorporating a conscious goal setting in our daily lives, and using our inherent ability to achieve them.
As per Neuro-linguistic Programming, the process of goal setting can be described using a four-stage success model. The model describes the process of programming our personal goals in context with the overall progress for achieving excellence. The four-stage success model encapsulates the Neuro-linguistic Programming approach for achieving goals and changing behavior. The stages of the model include:
1) Set the goal by deciding what you want
2) Take action
3) Observe what happens
4) Change your action till you get the desired outcome
Using this Neuro-linguistic Programming four stage success model consciously, we can steer ourselves toward a desirable outcome and benefit by applying it to all situations. There lies a thin line between success and failure, where you will find yourself on the wrong side of the line if you miss out of any one of the above four stages.
The Neuro-linguistic courses describe the goal setting guidelines known as the elements of a well-formed outcome. These Neuro-linguistic guidelines are a foundation for successful behavior and accomplishment, and should be constantly applied to our daily lives by converting them into a thinking habit. Before using the guidelines, you must come up with a list of goals, desires, dreams that you want to accomplish. This is an initial list of goals, which will later on be modified using the following Neuro-linguistic rules for goal setting:
1) State the goal positively: This is because anything that occupies the mind intentionally or unintentionally is converted to reality and behavior.
2) Put the goal in context: This is because anything that you visualize, hear or feel within yourself gives a preview of what will eventually happen.
3) Use specific sensory terms to express the goal: This is because everything that has been achieved till now is an outcome of a thought in somebody’s mind.
4) Choose the goal so that it can be fulfilled by yourself: This is because achieving goals actually means achieving your goals by controlling anything that is controllable.
5) Evaluate honestly the effects of achieving the goal: This is because a goal will bring about a change in behavior, thoughts, feelings and ecology.
6) Choose a worthwhile goal: This is because a goal should be worthwhile to you, your life and your dreams.
Understanding and applying these Neuro-linguistic guidelines for goal setting can dramatically improve your chances of achieving the goal. These guidelines can be learnt through Neuro-linguistic training.
The Neuro-linguistic approach to goal achievement goes beyond the SMART process by having a unique emphasis on ecology. As per Neuro-linguistic training, ecology pertains to the broader and more indirect effect of the goal, which can include affecting other goals. There might also be a conflict between your identity, values and beliefs and the target goal. In such a case, the goal will not be a reflection of your personality. In some cases, the goal might cause hurt to people you care for, and their goals might affect your goals as well. As per natural ecology, our values, outcomes and desires are interdependent and interconnected with everyone else related to the goal.
In most cases, our unconscious goals affect the outcome of our conscious goals. It is important to identify these underlying goals, and satisfy them first. As per Neuro-linguistic courses, our secondary gains or unconscious intentions take precedence over conscious goals. Sometimes, even when the conscious goal is fulfilled, the unconscious goal remains unsatisfied, resulting in a feeling that something is amiss, or even anticlimax. In such cases, either the ultimate goal is still not achieved, or the goal achieved is not the right goal. As per Neuro-linguistic training, an ecology check must be performed before any efforts are put in for achieving the goal, failing which can result in a painful post mortem of the failure. A better definition and purpose of the goal can save time, efforts and pain, and can increase the chances of success.
Representation of Outcomes
As per the model described in Neuro-linguistic courses, we convert the sensory stimulus information into a mental representation by creating a map of the world. These representations create our internal goals. Our beliefs and values instruct our unconscious mind on what goals must be accomplished. Our most prominent thoughts direct the type of goals we set and achieve. For example, a person with strong ethics will pursue ethical goals. A person who believes in independence will strive to achieve it in all his goals.
As per Neuro-linguistic training, our beliefs and values guide us continuously towards our ultimate destination. They dictate whether our conscious goals are achieved or not. For example if a person believes that he cannot manage people, this belief will hinder all his efforts on managing or leading teams. A belief or a value can therefore take you spiraling up or down. By identifying and modifying these underpinning beliefs, you can bring about a change in your approach towards achieving a goal.
The Cartesian questions provided by Neuro-linguistic courses can help incite the less conscious goals. The four Neuro-linguistic Cartesian coordinates are:
1) Theorem: What would happen if I did (fully achieve my outcome)? This is visualizing the fulfillment of the goal.
2) Converse: What wouldn’t happen if I did (achieve my outcome)? This question brings out the secondary gains. It helps identify the benefits of the present behavior that might be lost once the new outcome is achieved. A few pleasures might be lost in the process, which you might value strongly. The answer of this question should be reflected upon carefully, honestly and taking time for introspection.
3) Inverse: What would happen if I didn’t (achieve my outcome)? This question will bring out the pain or cost of going ahead with the present behavior. The forceful choice of going ahead as is will provide motivation needed for achieving the goal.
4) Non Mirror Image Reverse: What wouldn’t happen if I didn’t (achieve my outcome)? This question in effect confuses the left brain and gets you beyond the conscious mind. It can make you aware of the values and inner forces that were hidden. It is best to answer the question intuitively rather than logically. This question brings a fresh perspective on the goal.
The Cartesian questions can be used to identify hidden aspects of the goal and create a dialogue between the conscious and unconscious mind. This can help understand the real meaning of an outcome, and help achieve success by fulfilling any secondary gains. Personal achievement is possible only when the goals are precise, well conceived, cover and nurture all aspects of the ecology, and are in harmony with the unconscious goals, beliefs and values. These guidelines can be applied to business and organizational goals as well. By reflecting on the goals with patience and honesty, and modifying them to fit with all aspects of life, personal excellence can be achieved.