How to make goals that are achievable

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One way of thinking about change in personal development and 
business is as a journey between a present state and a desired
state. You could think of a problem as being the difference 
between the two. The present state is where you are now and 
the desired state is your destination.

The Desired State must be something that you really want to
move towards (As opposed to something you want to get away from)
For example, “I want to pass my exams…..” not “I don´t
want to fail my exams ….”. It should be achievable and 
worthwhile. Being motivated towards it gives you the energy 
for the journey.


You can use the SMART goal format to get started and then 
move on to the Well Formed Outcome checklist

Simply stated 

It must be something personal to you. Wishing happiness for 
somebody else, finding a cure for AIDS, making sure that a
child passes exams, making somebody more confident, stopping 
a volcanic eruption, etc are all very worthy but not things 
that you have direct personal connection with. You need to
translate such worthy things into personal statements about
your own behavior, values or beliefs.

You will need resources to achieve your Desired State. Identify 
what they are and set out to acquire them – skills, resourceful
states, techniques, knowledge.


The more precisely and positively you can define what you want,
the more likely you are to achieve it. We do this by ensuring 
that our outcomes, or desired goals, are well thought out and 
clearly defined.

It is important to state what we want in positively. We often
think of the issues in our life as being ‘problems’. This is 
why we get stuck because problems tend to hold us back and we
even get into a ‘problem state’ that becomes an issue in itself.

The brain cannot hold a negative image – you cannot not think 
of something, so make sure the images are positive! When 
somebody says “Don´t think of an elephant” your brain has to 
get an image of an elephant so that it can make sense of the 
sentence. So if you set a goal as “I don´t want to get any
fatter” the brain has to think of “fatter”, when you want 
it to think of “thinner”. The brain will do what you tell it,
so tell it what you want, not what you don´t want.

You turn a problem into an outcome by simply changing it round:

‘I don’t want to do this job anymore´. Ask yourself “what job
would I like to do?” Or “What would I like to do instead?”

“I can´t afford it” becomes “How can I afford it” or “What do
I need to do to be able to afford it”

“I can’t do that” ask your self “what would happen if I 
could?”, or “What would happen if I did?”

A well defined outcome can be challenging and when completed,
it will be something that you can achieve and maintain through
your own resources. It also needs to be the right size. If it 
seems to be too big, work on a smaller part of it. If it is too
small to be challenging, consider what it is part of and work 
on that as your outcome. Something that successful people do 
is divide tasks into small pieces that they know they can 
achieve – that way they are always successful and seem to live 
“in a winning streak”. This builds confidence and helps a 
self-fulfilling prophecy to develop. They succeed because they
believe they can, and the evidence of their history supports 
that belief.

( A famous soccer player was being interviewed and the 
interviewer said that he seemed to be good at soccer, and golf
and snooker and any other sport that played. The player 
replied that was because he only played sports that he was 
good at!)

Before you start going through this check list it is good idea
to check on the current state of play with this project. You 
can do this by making an image in your head of the way you see 
the goal and list the sub modalities of this image.
(See the blog about Sub modalities). Then, as you go through 
the list you can stop from time to time and get the image back,
check the sub modalities and see how it has changed. When you 
have finished the list check the image again, note the changes
and most importantly note the feeling that the image gives you. 
If the feeling is not quite what you want, go over the list again
and again making changes as the thought process develops.
When you are happy with the result keep the image in mind 
and do the Alphabet Edit. (see blog on Alphbet Edit). This will start the unconscious processing 
your well formed outcome. 

IMPORTANT NOTE It is better if the image is dissociated, that
is a picture where you can see yourself in the picture 
achieving you outcome. This tends to increase self-motivation.


1. What do you want? Stated in positive terms and written down

2. How will you know when you’ve got it? 

3. What will you see, hear, feel when you have got it?

4. Where, when and with whom do you want it?

5. Where, when and with whom do you NOT want it?

6. What resources do you need to get it?

7. What will happen when you get it?

8. How will getting it benefit you?

9. Do you want this change in any other situations?

10. How will making this change affect other aspects of your life?

11. What would happen if you did make that change?

12. What would happen if you didn’t make that change?

13. What wouldn’t happen if you did make this change?

14. What wouldn’t happen if you didn’t make that change?


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