NLP goal setting tends to be referred to as ‘setting compelling outcomes’ and I do this with my child clients. A compelling outcome is one that:
- they really really want
- is specific and ‘small chunk’ so they know what they’re aiming for
- they have the skills to achieve
- will make a significant difference in their life
- is so real they can imagine it happening
Let’s take these in turn.
Choosing the goal
- It’s no good suggesting what children should choose as their goal. It’s tempting to pass on goals their teacher has suggested from their end of year report. Maybe you’ve discussed things they could work on. However, the very best, most compelling goals are those they come up with themselves. Even if they say their goal is to be in the 1st team for football, working towards that goal will build skills and confidence they can apply in all areas.
- They need to list all their ideas and get them all out for inspection. Then go back through them
- Are they all worded as ‘towards’ goals – what they do want not what they want to avoid
- Is each one realistic, can they actually do this?
- Is it in their control?
- If they give each a score out of 10 for how much they want this goal, which would score 10 out of 10?
Chunking down the goal
- When we word our goals in a vague way e.g. “I want to get better marks in maths” it isn’t specific. There’s no clear sense of what ‘better’ will be and when they will have achieved it. Instead, set a specific goal that is small enough to go for with confidence that it is achievable, then set another goal afterwards.
The skills to achieve
- What skills do they need to achieve the goal? They need to make a list.
- Where do they have these skills? They might have them in their sport or hobby or in another school subject.
Making a significant difference
- We want our children to be happy, don’t we? In order for it to be compelling, the goal needs to make them happy. If it won’t, then choose another goal.
Visualising the goal
- Ask them to close their eyes and look up to the right (this connects with the future in their brain) and picture themselves having achieved this goal. Encourage them to hear what they hear, see what they see and feel what they feel as they achieve their compelling outcome. If they can’t imagine it then it is not as compelling as they think.
- What would it be like to achieve their goal? Can they find a picture to reflect it? Use that as their phone background to remind themselves daily of how great it will be to achieve their goal.
- Strike a power pose to integrate the goal through their body – like Usain Bolt.
- Personal goals (hobbies and sport mostly)
- Work goals
- Relationship goals
I’ll also be running workshops on Friday 1st September and Saturday 2nd email for details firstname.lastname@example.org
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