Have you ever set a goal and not been able to achieve it? It is a trick question, since most people have had that experience. When I work with people on an important goal like to lose weight, reduce stress, or get a better job, I want to stack the deck so that person can reach their goal.

Before we do any coaching or change-work, I work with a client to clearly define what they want using a proven framework called “The well-formed outcome.” Well-formed means that it is defined clearly enough, stated in the positive, there are metrics for achieving it, any downsides have been considered, and that the person will feel happy once they have achieved it.

Below are a couple of questions that will help you to begin to create a well-formed outcome. These are the basics - in a session we go into more detail and I guide the client past any blocks that may come up.

Pick an area of your life where you have a goal - something like improving your health, reducing stress or anxiety, improving your career. Then use the questions below to create a basic well-formed outcome.

Creating Well-Formed Outcomes

Use these questions as a guide when setting a goal. It will help to make sure that you have captured all the relevant information in a way that is more likely to make it happen. Do this process for each major goal

1. What do you want?

State your goal in the positive

2. Is the goal under my control?

Make sure to set goals that are under your control. Not “I want my boss to be nicer to me.” Instead, it could be “I want to respond with curiosity and compassion when my boss is short with me.”

3. Ensure your goal is appropriately contextualized.

Where, when, how, and with whom do I want it? Define the overall context of the goal.

4. Describe the evidence that will emerge from the procedure.

What will I see, hear, and feel when I have it?

5. Explore potential downsides to getting a goal

For example, if going for a promotion, will you then have to travel more and spend more time away from your wife and family. How will it impact those relationships?

Next Steps:

Often when creating a new goal, people bump into limitations. They may need to get some coaching to remove blocks, change limiting beliefs, or change how they think about themselves.

Go ahead and take the first step towards your goal now! If you get stuck, seek out some coaching so you can move past any blocks that come up.