One of the basic patterns in NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) is about forming ‘Well-Formed Outcomes’. Most of the solution-focused forms of therapy and cutting edge developmental tools like coaching and counselling focus on the desired outcome when dealing with a desire for change.
How to form a ‘Well Formed Outcome’?
The questions we ask in coaching and counselling can also be applied to yourself when you want to clarify a future outcome. Ask yourself:
What do I want to achieve?
If a miracle happened tonight, and tomorrow I did not have the problem (or I achieved what I set out to achieve), how would I know? What would I notice to be different? What do I have to let go of?
What are the specific steps and questions to make an outcome well-formed?
1. State in the positive
What do I really want? Not what you do not want.
2. State what you can do and maintain
Is my goal something I can do myself? What can I do today that will move me towards my goal? If your goal depends on others you will not have full control over it.
3. When, where, how, with whom?
Give your brain clear and detailed information regarding what you want to happen.
4. State in sensory-based words
If I were to see myself on a video having achieved the outcome, what would I see?
5. Steps and stages
What are the steps that I can take now? Use small and simple, bite-size steps so your goal becomes do-able.
6. Add resources
What resources do I need to make my dream come true? Add these resources as steps to your action plan.
7. Evidence for fulfillment
How will I know that I have achieved my goal? What will I see, hear, feel when I am there?
8. Make it compelling
Is my desire compelling, exciting, worth my effort? If it is not, choose something else.
9. Check ecology
Does my goal fit into my life?