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NLP: what goal to set?

What goals to set

Table of Contents

Wether you are an NLP practitioner or not, sometimes it is hard to figure out what goal to set.

Motivation is a key piece of NLP. There are many tools that can be used individually, as well as in combination with each other, to motivate yourself or another person. What few NLP Practitioners consider is how multi-layered can motivation can be.

NLP: what goal to set?

From Most Conscious to Unconscious:


Setting goals in relation to changing our environment.
Whether it is about doing a construction project in our house, finding a new job, creating a website, or making a new friend. These things are most easily touched, seen, heard, and felt by ourselves, but also can be observed by our environment.

Behavior & habits:

Setting goals in changing behaviors.
For example: a work-out routine, getting up early in the morning, or being less reactive.


Setting goals on learning a new skill.
For example: how to play tennis, learning NLP, how to create a website etc.


Values are the foundations we stand out, they drive us.
Values are far less conscious as beliefs are. Goal setting in relation to our values could be meeting a certain value more over time.


Changing who you are.


Having a spiritual paradigm shift, achieving peacefulness.

Criteria to use to determine what goal to set

The higher up the chain you go from environment to source, the harder it is to:

1. Achieve this goal.

2. Meet the standards of a well-formed outcome as taught in NLP Practitioner training.

3. Stick to a certain time frame.

Trickling down

The most interesting thing is that changes higher up the chain will trickle down into the lower, more conscious, parts of the change.  For example, making a ground breaking discovery about yourself in terms of your identity, and through that making a change. This will change what skills you end up adopting, your habits, or your environment’s.

Trickling up

Changes in the lower part of the chain may also trickle up.  So for instance, people who move to another country learn new skills, form new habits, adopt new values, change their identity, and may even cause a shift on a source level.

Goal setting

1. Sometimes setting goals in the lower part of the chain may end up causing or providing a trajectory on the higher part of the chain.

2. If you make goals aligned with the values (the elicitation of these are taught in depth inside a quality NLP Master Practitioner lesson).

3. Setting goals in different parts of the chain can be extremely helpful.

4. Setting a series of short term goals inside the environment, habits, skills, and long term goals inside the higher part of the chain.

Being conscious of this chain, and where the specific goals truly fit, will provide a completely new awareness or self awareness, giving you a better idea as to what NLP tools to use, and what goals to set.



The Power of Your Subconscious Mind – Joseph Murphy


What does science say about goal setting?

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