Goals: 6 ways to make sure your goals are congruent

I have coached thousands of people around goal setting. I noticed that there is a common theme. Lack of clarity around short and long term goals. The research supports my sense that we are hesitant to set goals and I often wonder why this is. Could it be because we prefer to be in the flow and see where it takes us or are we so busy with all the demands on our life that we tell ourselves we don’t have time for critical thinking? I would love to know what you think and what your barriers are?

Meanwhile, here is a wonderful process for systematically refining goals so that they fulfill six criteria that align our wants, dreams and wishes so that the end goal becomes more believable and achievable. This is then ‘well formed’ and so, without conflict and should take into account all of our roles from being business person to mother/father to daughter/son and to lover!

In brief, the six questions that I now use for well-formed outcomes are as follows

1 – Positive

What do I want?

2 – Evidence

How will I recognise when I have this?
How will I  know when I have this?

3 – Context

Where and when do I want to have this resource?
Where and when do I not want this resource?

4 – Self achievable

What resources do I need to be able to achieve this?
What do I need to do to achieve this?Is this something which I, myself, can achieve? 

Or does it require that OTHER people behave in a certain way?

5 –  Advantages & Disadvantages

What are the advantages of making this change?
What are the disadvantages of making this change 
What will achieving this lose me? What will I become?

6 – Worthwhile

What’s important to me about getting this?
What will this outcome help me avoid feeling?
What is the benefit of this outcome?

This  process ensures you focus on what you DO want rather than what you don’t want! 

our attention is on what to do and how to do it rather than on problems, excuses, alibis, and explanations. Outcomes directionalise our thoughts and actions. Use them for your goals, dreams, wishes – and watch what happens.

The six questions distinguish between those factors which are relevant to getting what you want and those which are in the realm of history, complaint, etc.

Using this process improves your rapport with other people. If you have a joint project using the well-formed outcome process to match and align your objectives adds to the rapport already existing between you – since you now have a joint commitment to the outcome towards which you are both moving. And when you use it to assist someone in clarifying what they want for themselves they are likely to appreciate your concern and interest.

It provides a means of evaluating progress. Having a well-formed outcome makes it more likely that you will quickly recognise when you are thinking or acting in ways that are at variance with your well-formed outcome, giving you a signal to stop and re-evaluate your activities.Use the six question process to evaluate any situation that contributes to your long term well-being. It may not be necessary to go through all of the questions for every objective.

Use your discretion and apply the questions that are appropriate at the time. When using the questions with other people first establish a very good quality of rapport and then either introduce the process formally or use the process in a conversational manner.

To your success!

Tracey Carr