I have a really cool tool I want to share with all of you today! This is a worksheet I use in my coaching and counseling sessions with people who are wanting to create a big shift in their lives, but don’t quite know what it will be like when that goal is accomplished. As we’ve talked about before, our Conditioned Self (the fearful, doubtful, holding-back part of us resulting from early wounds in life) has a hard time believing we can accomplish goals. Why not make it easier for your Conditioned Self to get on board with a goal by painting a clear picture of what life will look like, sound like, and feel like when that goal is accomplished?
A great way to do this is by completing this NLP Description of a Goal worksheet. NLP stands for Neuro-linguistic programming which is an approach to communication, personal development, and psychotherapy created by Richard Bandler and John Grinder. NLP explores the connections between neurological processes, language, and behavior learned through experience and posits that these can be changed to achieve specific goals in life. So let me share the worksheet with all of you, including my comments on relevant parts:
Step 1: SELECT A GOAL: You want to focus on what WILL be true, not what you want to get away from. For example, instead of saying “I will be debt-free” because that still is referencing debt, say “I am financially sound”. Also state the goal in the present tense, as if it is already accomplished because Conditioned Self needs to view this goal as here-and-now rather than in the future.
Step 2: VISUAL DESCRIPTION: List several things you will literally see that will confirm for you that this goal is accomplished. So, for example, with the financial goal above, we might see a checkbook with $5000 in it, or our mortgage stamped “Paid in Full”, or a smile on our face, or being on a beach in Cabo, or whatever are images that a camera could capture that signify to you the goal is a done deal. The clearer you can make your descriptions (pictures are good, too!), the better.
Step 3: AUDITORY DESCRIPTION: List what you will hear that will confirm this goal is accomplished. You might hear yourself laughing, or someone in particular saying “Wow! You are so successful.”, or birds chirping, or silence. What are the sounds that signify to you that the goal is accomplished?
Step 4: FEELING DESCRIPTION: Pick a word to describe how you will FEEL when this goal is accomplished. You may start with a list of feeling words: satisfied, confident, peaceful, happy. List whatever comes to mind, but then select the one that most chimes for you in terms of how you most want to feel when this goal is accomplished.
Step 5: EXPERIENCING THAT FEELING: Close your eyes and imagine feeling that way now. If you’ve felt that way before, simply recall how that felt in the past. If you’ve never felt that way before, use your imagination to “try on” that feeling. Once you’re in that feeling state, answer the following questions:
a. What color do you associate with that feeling?
b. What smell do you associate with that feeling?
c. What temperature do you associate with that feeling?
d. What texture do you associate with that feeling?
e. What shape do you associate with that feeling?
Step 6: Go back to your goal at the top and determine if it is the following:
a. The EXACT goal you want to accomplish?
b. Worded in the present tense?
c. Captures the richness of the goal?
Step 7: REVIEW THE GOAL FOR POTENTIAL NEGATIVE OUTCOMES: One of the main reasons we don’t accomplish the goals we seek is we don’t address the potential negative outcomes, unwanted consequences, possible downsides of achieving our goal and then those downsides stand in the way, preventing us from accomplishing the goal. For example, if I have fears that unlimited wealth would lead to chaos in my life, difficult decisions to make, people approaching with expectations I owe them, danger if others try to take the money from me, etc., I am NOT going to be okay with accomplishing the goal! I need to address those fears first in order to be as open as possible to receiving that abundance.
Step 8: WRITE OUT REBUTTALS: For the possible downsides listed above, take the time to write out why those won’t be that big a deal, won’t be allowed to interfere with achieving the goal, could be addressed or changed, such that they no longer are potent enough to stand in your way of achieving the goal.
Step 9: CHECK IN WITH YOURSELF ENERGETICALLY: Get quiet and listen within. Does your Mind-Body-Spirit feel aligned with your goal? If yes, you are good to go! If no, you may need some assistance in getting past those barriers in order to be open to receiving what you desire. That’s where I can come in and help you. I love using energy-based methods of coaching you through and past those barriers so you can receive the fullness of life every single day.
I would love to hear your thoughts on using this method. Please feel free to post what you discovered.