What if you could be as certain about the future as you are about the past? To know for sure that the goals you have set for yourself will happen just as you have planned? This 8th and final Attitude helps you to become 100% certain of the success that lies ahead of you.
Let’s re-visit the goals you set for yourself in relation to the first Attitude (‘I live my life on purpose’’).
What I want you to do now is to choose the goal which, when you achieve it, would make the biggest difference to you in your life right now. It’s important to select only one goal for now, so go for a big one! Once you are familiar with the process, you can use it for your other goals, too.
As always, make sure your goal is a SMART goal (i.e., specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timed). In my personal view, the two most important factors are ‘achievable’ and ‘realistic’. While you want to really stretch yourself – otherwise it wouldn’t be a goal, would it?
At the same time your goal needs to be something that you have a realistic hope of attaining. This next activity is designed for you to answer questions to ensure that the goal you have chosen is a totally SMART goal. The SMARTer we can make our goal, the more likely it is that we will achieve it so take the time to go through these questions…it’s well worth it.
Activity: My Goal
Step 1: Write out your SMART goal
Make sure you write your goal in the present tense, as if you have it now. If you write your goals in the future tense, they are more likely to stay in the future. The clearer you can be about what you’re aiming for, and the more specific you can be about your goal, the more achievable it becomes. There is a direct relationship between the specificity of your goal and its achievability.
Step 2: Questioning for achievable outcomes[i]
It’s best to find a partner for this activity. Do it in one go if you can. Ask your partner to ask the questions clearly and to coach you through the process as quickly as possible. Ask him or her to write down your answers and give them to you after the exercise.
If you can’t summon up a partner, you can answer the questions yourself and write down the answers you come up with. It is very important to write the answers down because once you commit the details of your goal to paper, it becomes much more real.
- What specifically do you want? (checks that the goal is stated clearly)
- For what purpose do you want this goal? (checks that the goal is compelling)
- Where are you now in relation to your goal? (checks if you are close to achieving your goal, still some distance away or still at the start of the process. Wherever you are right now is fine.)
- What will you see, hear and feel when you have it? (creates a multi-sensory description that makes the goal more compelling)
- How will you know when you have it? (checks that it is measurable)
- What do you already have and what do you still need to obtain in order to achieve your outcome? (checks the resources required to achieve the goal)
- What will you gain or lose if you have it? (checks the impact of your goal on other areas of your life)
What did you notice happening to your goal as you went through that process? Most people find that their goal becomes much clearer, and they feel more committed to achieving it. The sensory description (i.e., what will you see, hear and feel when you have it) really attaches you to your goal.
Look at question number 7 in particular. This flushes out what is called ‘secondary gain’ in NLP. This question encourages you to think about what you might lose as well as gain when you achieve your goal.
For example, losing weight will help you to feel better about yourself, but you are likely to have to stop eating certain foods you like and start to exercise regularly.
It’s very important that consequences are acknowledged and addressed, because any internal conflict can cause you to give less than 100% commitment to your goal and you may end up compromising your own success.
My Last Word on the Eight Attitudes
These series of blogs have been intended to help you probe deeper into who you really are and what you want for yourself. By now I hope that you are much clearer about who that person is. The way to transform our lives is to learn to see ourselves for who we really are, and let our true selves flourish and grow.
Richard Beckhard, a change management consultant said that for change to occur, there needs to be sufficient motivational energy in the system under review. To discover if that energy is likely to be present, he came up with the ‘Change Equation’.
He said that change will occur if (stay calm and breathe …!):
(V x D x S) > F
This is where:
V = Your vision for the future or your goals
D = Your dissatisfaction with your current life
S = Knowing how to take the ‘first practical steps’
F = Your level of fear of doing something different
To put it in plain English, if you have compelling goals for the future, you are unhappy with your life and you are clear about what to do to take the initial steps toward, this will be enough to overcome any fear of change you experience. And, yes, your goals, dissatisfaction and knowledge need to be strong.
I created The Eight Attitudes to empower us all to leave a legacy to our children and families about faith and hope for the future, because they help us to be true to ourselves and believe in who we are.
Here’s to your wellbeing, health and a deeper joy in living your life.
[i] The following questions have been adapted from the original ‘Keys to an Achievable Outcomes’, developed by Tad James and Wyatt Woodsmall in the book Time Line Therapy and the Basis of Personality. 1989, Meta Publications