GOALS: It’s Not Just About Being SMART (part one)


Chances are if you have done any kind of training in goal setting you would have heard the term SMART to describe the characteristics of a well formed goal.






Is this really enough to set effective goals or do we need to delve a little closer into our mindset when it comes to establishing a foundation for creating goals?

In their book NLP in 21 Days, Harry Alder and Beryl Heather talk about the Six Elements of a Well-formed Outcome. Looking past the actual “target” to the “outcome” that we are wishing to achieve from achieving a goal.

Element #1 – State your goal positively

It is really important that you state your goal in terms of what you DO want not what you DON’T want. Firstly because our subconcious cannot process negatives, and secondly because what we focus on we tend to get more of!

Do you want to lose weight (negative) or do you want to be healthy and fit (positive)

Do you want to pay off your debt (negative) or do you want to be financially free (positive)

Do you want to stop feeling tired (negative) or do you want to be full of energy (positive)

By just that small reframing from what you don’t want to what you do want, you can get your mind working with you towards achieving the outcome you desire.

My experience of reframing

Relating this to my own experiences with trail running, I have never been particularly comfortable with running down steep technical downhills, because I have a fear of tripping and injuring myself.

I would have a mantra that I would say to myself in my head on sections where I felt uncomfortable. That mantra was “Don’t trip, don’t trip, don’t trip“.

What used to happen? You guessed it – I used to trip – A LOT. I even managed to trip going downhill in a race once (actually more than once!) and ended up with a wound from bashing my head on a rock.

All my mind was hearing was “Trip,trip,trip“.

Of course now that I am aware of how the mind works I have been able to subtly change my mantra to something that I DO want – to be perfectly balanced. My trip rate has decreased dramatically since I made this small change to my thinking.

How do you reframe?

If you find it hard to reframe your goal in positive terms here are a few questions you can ask yourself:

What is it that I do want?

What outcome is it that I would like to achieve?

What is it that I would like to be doing differently?

What would I like to do?

What changes do I wish to make?

Even just making this one change to your goal setting is going to get your mind more aligned with achieving your goals.

If you found this content valuable then please like, comment and share. And look out for Element #2 coming soon 🙂

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