"How do we get what we want?" There are many theories, many models and many people waiting to take you money to sell you the secret to getting what you want. While it is important that we have goals and outcomes that we want for our relationships, business career or life in general; we cannot accomplish this simply by defining what it is that we want. A plan is more than important, it is essential. More important than that, however, is how we determine a solid effective plan. These are commonly referred to as S.M.A.R.T goals, however, NLP takes this a step further with a well-formed outcome process. If you have a copy of Bankroll Your Mind, Rich and I cover it there, if not, read on.
S.M.A.R.T goals should be:
Within the context of NLP there are seven conditions that must be met before you can begin to work on that goal or outcome- that is if you want to have the very best chance of success, making your goals even smarter goals.
A well-formed outcome approach requires you to step back from your end state goal and ask some key questions about what you really want. Often we tend to think through a problem, find a solution, and then hold onto our solution as the ‘right way’ to fix the problem. Instead of fixating on the solution, focus more on what the desired outcome is – what it is your solution is intended to achieve. With a clear, well-formed outcome identified, you’re ready to begin crafting your SMART goals.
As you go through the process though, ask yourself a few additional questions:
Is the goal stated in positive terms instead of negative ones?
Is it self-initiated or are there outside factors forcing the issue?
Is it maintainable by you, or within your sphere of control?
Does it include ‘evidence procedures’ (or milestones) to stay on track?
Is it stated in the right context – one that is applicable to the situation?
Does it identify the resources that are needed to succeed?
Is it ecological – meaning does it fit in with the big picture?
Does it identify the first step that needs to be taken?
Does it lay out a clear path – one that can really be followed?
Does it include any stated degree of flexibility in achieving the goal?
Asking these additional questions, and others like them, will certainly help make your goal-setting process a bit easier – well, maybe not easier, but it will definitely make sure they're both smart and SMART at the same time. As a Life Coach one of the things that I do by asking questions, the right questions, is help my clients determine what is that they truly desire and then work with them to make sure that the roadmap that we create together will have the very best opportunity to manifest itself.