NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) Outcome Setting Made Simple

I’ve heard the term NLP quite often in my journey to grow as a person. So, in my research of this topic, I ran across this article by my guest writer Johnny Maguire which may be of interest to you as well.

To the Greatness Within You!



NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) Outcome Setting Made Simple

By Johnny Maguire

First, one of the most important steps: write your outcome down!!! A clearly written goal is worth lots of vague ideas in your head.

Okay, here it is, the only three part structure you’ll ever need to succeed at anything you want in life – Outcome, Acuity & Flexibility.

1. Outcome – Know what you want.
2. Acuity – Notice what you are getting.
3. Flexibility – Have the flexibility to change what you are doing until you achieve your goal.

That’s it… really!!!

Within this, there are only 3 questions you’ll need too:

1. What do you want?
2. How will you know you’ve got it?
3. What benefits are there and what needs / wants will be met if you don’t attempt or achieve the goal?

“What? That’s it?” I hear you cry! Yes, that’s all I do with my goals.

Let me explain.

Here is where the questions fit in with this structure.

Outcome – What do you want?

The simpler and more specific, the more you will increase the chances of success. Goals are helped by having a date you want, as it is something to work towards. Also, this question naturally supplies an answer stated in the positive, because if you focus on what you don’t want, you might get that instead of what you do want.

Acuity – How will you know you’ve got it?

This question gives you the evidence to know when you’ve got your goal. If you’re not clear about what’s going to happen once you’ve got it you may either get it without realising, or you will unconsciously keep re-evaluating the end-point. This will either cheat you of enjoying the fruits of your labour, or even worse, mean you’ll never achieve an ever-shifting end-point. (This is kind of like that dream you may have had, where a person you were trying to catch up to keeps moving further ahead of you no matter how hard you pursue them.)

It helps to use sensory based language as we understand our entire world through our senses. We move towards things we like, and away from things we don’t. So to help move towards your goal feed your imagination to increase its attraction. Include what you will see, hear and feel once you’ve got it. Step out into your imagined future and noticing what is around and inside you at the time.

Once you know you’re end goal, you’ll be able to more easily notice if what you’re doing is working.

Flexibility – This is essential even before you get to work on your goal. You should be thinking flexibly as soon as you first start setting your outcome.

Due to this investment of time of most goals, it is worth pre-empting any problems and the deeper reasons behind them before you start. By addressing them before starting, figuring out what needs / wants they are fulfilling, you’ll be able to more easily move past them when they come up. You will also save yourself a lot of grief and heartache working towards a goal that will leave you worse off when it’s completed than if you hadn’t even bothered.

What benefits are there and what needs/wants will be met if you don’t attempt or achieve the goal?

By asking this, you’ll probably come up with a few benefits to not working on the goal (such as more time, energy, etc) as well as not achieving it (could mean more time with family and friends as your career goal would demand more of you). There are nearly always benefits to not achieving a goal and whatever these are it’s important to be aware of them.

This is where your flexibility will first be tested.


[What do you want?]

To learn all the NLP practitioner-level material in my manual in 6 months.

[How will you know you’ve got it?]

I can see myself sitting with my first paying client, I am talking confidently and I feel self-assured in my knowledge of NLP as I have an abundance of therapeutic techniques I can choose from my repertoire to work with.

[What benefits are there and what needs / wants will be met if you don’t achieve the goal?]

Benefit to not working on it – More time to relax.

Need/Want being met – The need to relax.

Benefit to not achieving it – Won’t feel guilty about staying in current job and not pursuing a career as an NLP coach.

Need/Want being met – The want for consistency, comfort and security.

Solution: Simple, be flexible.

Find a way to meet these needs while working on the goal.

Firstly, give yourself a way to relax and learn NLP. Relax by sitting back with a freshly brewed tea/coffee and watch your NLP videos instead of watching the usual goalless TV. Listen to NLP CDs/mp3s instead of music/radio on the way to work or in the car. Read your NLP Manual or a good NLP book while in the bath or sitting in the park.

Secondly, find that same consistency, comfort and security pursuing a career as an NLP coach. Perhaps do one practice session at the same time each week with a different friend/client each time, while still continuing your old job, giving you the comfort of being able to help others in their own lives and starting you on the road to consistency and security, as coaching becomes more and more integrated as a part of your life and over time you will begin to notice you have a fantastic ability as an NLP coach.

There is nearly ALWAYS another path to meeting a need as long as you stay flexible.

(Johnny runs NLP Practitioner Trainings in London. For further details and to read his blog check out his website’m the founder of Johnny Maguire Ltd – I was born in London, UK (1984). I’m an NLP Master Practitioner, Trainer and Speaker. I live and work in London where my life consists of writing my latest book, running coaching sessions, trainings, bootcamps, working out, and reading everything on NLP and Communication that I can get my hands on.

– Johnny Maguire

(Johnny runs NLP Practitioner Trainings in London. For further details and to read his blog check out his website

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