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So, 2021. How exciting. It’s only really a continuation of days and yet it feels like a chance to make new choices, new resolutions to take something up, stop something else, reinvent, renew, reinvigorate. I know it’s the moon and all that and it’s only a new day dawning. However, it does seem like a chance to turn a new page. Lots of us set resolutions and goals at this turn of the clock, this year, why don’t you set a goal that will have action behind it.


Here’s a check for you to ensure any goal you set for the new year is actually something that is going to happen.


It’s called a well formed outcome in NLP terms.


Let’s begin: set your goal. What do you want in 2021?


Let’s continue: go through this check list. (PURE acronym by Peter Freeth)


P – have you stated your goal in the positive, grammatically. Eg. I want to increase my income by 100% (instead of I don’t want to stay in this same position)


U – is it under your control? Can I increase my income – not really someone else will have to pay me, but there are steps I can take to make that happen. AH HA, my first sticking point. So, I can now tweak my goal. I don’t want to increase my income, that is the result of my goal. My goal needs to change and it may split off into several parts. Let’s start with this part which will therefore change to ‘I want to dedicate 2 days a week to marketing, producing content, networking etc purely towards my own business goals’. (Better!)


R – reality, do I know what this would feel like, look like, sound like to do this ‘dedicating’? Do I know what it feels like to dedicate myself like this and is it realistic. Am I going to sit at a desk for 48 hours and purely network, market etc? No, unrealistic, my second sticking point. So now I work out how many hours this is realistically. My goal changes to ‘I want to dedicate 8 hours a week to marketing, networking, producing content etc.’ In my head I will now imagine what that looks like, feels like, sounds like, the measures I need to put in place to do this (phone away, in my office, exercise first thing so that I am set up for the day etc). I would dig into the language here of ‘marketing’, ‘networking’, ‘dedicating’. I must be sure I know what this means. If I do, I can carry on…..if not, the goal further breaks down to some research!


I know I am being nit picky but, if I want to actually act on my goal, I need to be this specific or it will not happen, just like so many resolutions which fall by the way side.


Finally I have one more check……



E – the ecology check. ‘If I were to give myself 8 hours a week to network, market, write content etc. would I take it?’ Here I am careful and listen to my inner voice. Is there any hesitation or over excitement? If I am working with a client, I may see hesitation, see them with an internal thought or image pop into their heads. These are all clues to tell me that the goal needs tweaking. Before going forward, I will carry out further checks to see that nothing will stand in my way.


My goal has transformed in this short process. I’ve gone from doubling my income to sitting down for 8 hours in a week and following a strategic plan. Sometimes my clients and I may take a few sessions to reach an actual goal. Why, because within this process there are blocks, obstacles, inner beliefs and dialogues. That is the work. NLP’s language analysis really is the key to help uncover what the goal really is. Otherwise we will have a fancy, impressive goal which may get rolled out year on year.


It’s the tiny tweaks which create a larger systemic change and move you forward.