A lot of people know that a key secret to being successful is to set Well Formed Outcomes – effective goals that match certain criteria. The most *basic and well known of these is SMART;
- Measurable (more importantly ‘Meaningful’ if you’re a Neuro-Semanticist!)
But why is it that so many people who set well formed goals never actually achieve them? It seems strange but the answer is because they focus on the goal. They semantically load ‘reward’ into the desired end result. To (positively) ‘semantically load’ something is to fill it with lots of value, importance, desire, passion and meaning. When people do this with goals they are constantly aware of what they don’t have because they are not there yet… and that gets uncomfortable and causes many to give up. The process of getting to the goal in comparison is hard work, tough, boring. They make it all about the ‘having’ and nothing to do with the ‘getting there’.
It sounds counterintuitive but the Secret, Secret to Success is to set a well formed goal – and then let it go. Hold it in the back of your mind as the ‘destination’, simply the direction to set the compass by which to steer; and then semantically load the process, not the result. Make the journey as enjoyable as the perceived end.
To do this is to honour our humanness. We are human-be-ings; Be-ing passionate, alive, vibrant… be-ing is about being fully alive and engaged in every moment. We are also human-doings; we do stuff, even if the do-ing is an internal process like thinking and planning. Nowhere are we human-stoppings… well, not until we die!
NLP trainer John Overdurf says that “we are change”. And it’s true. We are constantly changing, both biologically and psychologically. We are a process of living; where/how am I now, and where/how do I want to be?
In Neuro-Semantics we speak of ‘Intention’ as a constant driving process in our lives – we always have an intention, we are intentional beings and this drives our mind-body-emotional states. This explains the fact that we are both be-ing (in state) and do-ing (intentional) at the same time. To set a goal is to be intentional, outcome centred. But it’s only half honouring our humanness. To get there we must be in the right states of motivation, passion, etc. in every moment along the way.
So when you set your next goal, quality control your meanings, states, expectations, etc. about the process of getting there. If they are not useful, change them so that they are dripping with passion and pleasure. Give everything to the process and the outcome will take care of itself.
*In Neuro-Semantics and Meta-Coaching we have 18 critical distinctions that cause truly transformative change for my coaching clients
Leave a comment below if you have a question or share your best goal setting strategy. Or email me email@example.com and lets chat about setting you some goals that you actually achieve.
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