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NLP Newsletter Goal SettingGoal Strategy

Woke up at 5am this morning. Do you have any idea how quiet the world is at 5am? I got a lot of work done before the first of my many children started waking around 6am. I recommend you try this to see what you can achieve in an extra hour.

Which leads us back to achievement and goal setting from last week’s conversation.

Mr. Robert Dilts has proposed six strategies for defining goals. Let’s look at them and see which feels most comfortable for you in your own goal setting.

Goal Strategy 1

Express your goal in relation to a present problem. If the idea of speaking in public makes your stomach churn, you’d state your goal as, “I want to stop being afraid to talking in front of a group.”

This is a good starting point, but we can’t stop here, because this is a statement of what you don’t want. It’s not a real goal.

Goal Strategy 2

Find the polar opposite of the problem, and state your goal in those terms.

“I want to be confident while speaking in front of a group.”

This is much better, in that it focuses on what you want. The danger is that it likely creates an inner conflict.

Goal Strategy 3

Set your goal using an external reference, or model.

“I want to talk to a group like Martin Luther King would.”

This gives concrete references. But until such time as you’ve mastered Dr. King’s oratorical skills it can give you an exceptionally high standard of comparison, and can lead to inappropriate expectations.

Goal Strategy 4

Define the key characteristics of the goal you set.

“I want to embody the qualities of mastery when I’m talking to a group.”

This is positive goal setting, but can be more challenging intellectually. How does one deal with abstract principles such as flexibility or integrity?

Goal Strategy 5

Define the outcome.
“I want to be more balanced and creative when speaking in public.”

This is a great step from Strategy 4. It builds on the key characteristics. It also presupposes you can identify when you’re being creative and balanced.

Goal Strategy 6

Act as if you’ve reached the desired state.

“I am relaxed and comfortable in front of people.

Each of these strategies has limitations, but each offers advantages over the others. And, frankly, some great goal setting techniques involve combinations of different strategies.

What goal setting strategies have worked for you? Leave your comments below, will you?

Until next week,

John “Goal Strategies” Cassidy-Rice