NLP Goal setting techniques

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Use the S.M.A.R.T. goals setting technique. It is an acronym.

S – Specific 


– Attainable/Assignable

R – Realistic/Rewarding

– Timeable/Tangible

The NLP Model of Well Formed Outcome goes beyond “goal setting” into actual “programming” of minds to drive us towards our desired goal.  The brain works primarily from our sensory system ie VAK system composed of pictures (visual), sounds (auditory), feelings (kinesthetic).

The NLP Goal Setting Model drives our neurology and physiology towards obtaining our desired goal. It facilitates concentration on what you internally see, hear and feel. Your attention will direct itself toward external and internal resources necessary in achieving the goal; to move from a present state to a desired state.

1) State Goal In Positive Terms

Describe present situation and

compare with desired future goal

•    Where are you now?

•    Where do you want to be?

•    What do you want?

•    State it in the positive

      (what you want achieved)

•    What are you going toward?

2) Specify Goal In Sensory Based Terms

•    What will you see, hear, feel, etc when you have it?

•    What steps are involved in reaching this goal?

•    Engage all senses in this description process to employ more

      of your brain and nervous system

•    Have you broken goal into small enough chunks so that

     each is do-able?

•    What are the sizes of behavioral chunks?  Could the size

      possibly overwhelm you?

3) Specify Goal In A Way That’s Compelling

Does it pull on you?  Make it a compelling future representation that is dissociated (ie you see yourself having obtained your goal)

4) Run Quality Control Check On Goal To Make Sure It’s For You In All Areas Of Your Life

•    Is desired goal right for you

      in all circumstances of your life?

•    Is your goal appropriate in

      all your personal relationships?

•    What will having your goal give you

      that you do not now have?

•    What will having your goal cause you

     to lose?

•    Is your goal achievable?

•    Does it respect your health, relationships, etc?

5) Self-Initiated & Maintained

•    Is the goal something that you can initiate yourself  and maintain?

•    Test your goal by asking if it is something that you have

      within your power and ability to do

•    Is it within your control?

•    It cannot be dependent on other people.  Ensure that the goal

      reflects the things that you can directly affect


6) State The Context Of The Goal

•    Where, when, how, with whom etc. will you get this goal?

•    Is the goal appropriately contextualized?

•    Test your goal by applying it to a context: when, where, with

      who etc. to ensure it is going to be fitting and appropriate.

      Readjust your goal to make sure that it fits

7) State Resources Needed To Achieve Goal

•    What resources are needed to get this goal?

•    Who will you have to become?

•    Who else has achieved this goal?

•    Have you ever had or done this before?

•    Do you know anyone who has?

•    What prevents you from moving toward it and attaining it now?

8) Evidence Procedure

•    How will you know that goal has been realized?

•    What will let you know that you have attained that desired state?


Gaining control over our emotional states  influence our behavior & thus our results in life. We can not create great  results with wimpy or negative states.


•   How well you can act “as if” and elicit the state

•   How much you can intensify the resource

•   You can do this process with the four resourceful states of your choosing or with a single state repeated


Decide on the resource state that you need to experience more often

1.    Imagine an invisible circle on the floor – 3 feet in diameter & 2 feet in front of you. It should be large enough for you to walk into. Just relax and breathe deeply. Does your circle has a color? Is it just flat  or “pop” up? Is it filled or only line drawing?

2. Elicit a strong state & intensify it. You do this by imagining a time when you were great at what you do and everything went smoothly. You were bright, funny, happy, confident, full of energy and a great success. You were balanced, centered, creative, powerful or choose any positive state of your choice.

You want all your ‘chi’ (internal energy) to flood your body with good feelings. Stand, breathe as if you had that state intensely and feel the sensations. Project those intense feelings into the circle in front of you.

If don’t have this personal history, just pretend! In your mind, visualize ‘step-into-shoes-of’ role play of movie hero or living legend or anyone you admire to get into that state you want. Pretend to be this chosen role model – stand, walk, breathe, behave like this chosen role model.

The brain can not tell the difference between a REAL & IMAGINED history. So  emotionally capture that feeling of excellence, whether real or imagined. An observer should be able to see physical, noticeable changes in your breathing and posture when you have got it. Otherwise the resource state you are trying to access is poorly accessed or of low quality. Keep practicing until “you’ve got it” and it “clicks.”

3. Add enough resources so you can step automatically into powerful state created within circle. As soon as you step into circle, imagine its as if you have “stepped” into that person, that set of states or superpower being – feelings at peak. Intensify and feel that powerful emotion surrounding and flowing through body. Breathe in this feeling. Enjoy it fully and completely. Develop full visual, auditory, kinesthetic state. Color, texture, qualities and size symbolized by this state? Sounds and feelings come from circle?. Tastes & smells? Use all senses to actually FEEL what it is like to be in that state. See yourself in the circle being great. Visualize fully. Feel greatness and fullness of ‘chi’.

4. Move into the circle of excellence. Step into the picture of yourself. Anchor this as a resource state so can access it at any time – a unique word or phrase, facial expression, some aspect of physiology, tapping your fingers, pulling ear lobe, etc.

5. Before the intensity fades, step back out and break state. Shake out the feelings and return to a neutral state.

6. Step back into circle and test it out. See how quickly you can get into states of excellence. Step in and out several times until your body learns to get it quickly. Repeat  with additional resource state or the same state. Ensure the circle gets more and more powerfully resourceful. How does having this resource affect all aspects of your life? Notice how different your perspective is, how feeling changes according to the way you go about things. Now store that imaginary circle in a safe place. Since it is only in your imagination, you can tuck it into your pocket  or purse and you can imagine you can take it out any time you want to.


Email: [email protected]/[email protected]
YouTube: Rachel Khor


Principal Trainer, Peak Success Abundance Sdn Bhd

From Directive Communication International & American Institute of Business Psychology:

– Certification in Colored Brain Communication
– Certification in Human Drive & Motivation
– Certification in Dynamic Speaking
– Certification in Curriculum Development
– PSMB Certified Trainer
– Certification in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)
– Certification in Hypnotherapy from London College of Clinical
Hypnosis (LCCH)
– 18 years corporate training experience

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