State vs Goal and Keys to an Achievable Outcome


State vs Goal

Sometimes people set goals that include a state — “when I accomplish x I will be happy”. The issue of happiness from an NLP point of view is that it is a state. Since it is a state, we can have it immediately. All you have to do is remember a time when you were happy.

In fact, why don’t you just stop for a moment and remember a time when you were totally happy. Go back and remember a specific time. As you go back to that time, float down into your body, see what you saw, hear what you heard and really feel the feelings of being totally happy. Take a deep breath and immerse yourself in the feeling of happiness … now, how do you feel? You probably feel pretty good, right?

So what’s the difference between a state/value and a goal?

A state is ambiguous but a goal is written specifically.

To create a state or values we write affirmations, but with NLP we can create a desired state within moments. Goals are stated as achievements or outcomes

States can be achieved now, with a goal or an outcome time is involved. There is a difference between confidence and competence. I can remember a time right now when I was totally confident and I can experience that feeling. But if I wanted to learn brain surgery, I could be really confident, but if I’ve never taken any surgery classes then I don’t think you would want me working on your head. Time is involved in the process of achieving a goal or an outcome.

With a state there are no steps, but with a goal there are steps needed to get there. One of the ways to do it is to get the final step and then work backwards.

A state or a value is infinite and is not really measurable (how to you measure happiness?) whereas a goal or an outcome is measurable.

A state can be stated for yourself or others and generally a goal is stated for yourself only.

Keys to an Achievable Outcome

goalNow pick one of your goals which is most important to you. Pick that one that if you accomplished this goal would be the most important thing you had ever undertaken.

OK, I am going to go through the goal setting process with you using the actual answers I wrote when I did this stuff in October. Some of my answers are different then to what I would say now, but it is interesting to see that I have made progress.

My goal was/is :

My goal is to repair the physical and emotional damage from my disordered eating (restricting and bingeing).

State in the positive
What specifically do I want to have happen by creating this outcome for myself?

  • back to a size 10 (fit my clothes)
  • eat healthy meals and treats
  • enjoy moderate exercise
  • see myself as beautiful
  • have a fast metabolism
  • see food as just food
Specify present situation
Where am I now?
  • Size 12 -14 (none of my clothes fit)
  • eating whatever I feel like
  • not exercising
  • hating the way I look
  • stacking on weight easily
  • scared of food

Specify outcome
What will I see, hear, feel, when I have accomplished this outcome?

  • I look great in the mirror and naked (see)
  • people say how good I’m looking and my self talk is positive (hear)
  • I feel light, energised and tight (feel)
  • it feels easy and effortless (feel)
Specify evidence procedure
How will I know when I have it?
  • I will lose weight and keep it off without any struggle
  • it will be natural to be lean
Congruently desirable
What will this outcome get for me or allow me to do?
  • live obsession free
  • free up time to focus on work, relationships, and spirituality
  • live a long healthy life
Self initiated and self maintained
Is it only for me? Can I alone control the outcome?
  • yes
Appropriately contextualized
Where, when, how and with whom do I want it?
  • where – on my body
  • when – within 6 months
  • how – through working on my thoughts
  • with whom – Duckfish, friends and bloggers
Resources needed
What do I have now, and what do I need to get my outcome?
  • have I ever had or done this before? no
  • do I know anyone who has? yes
  • can I act as if I have it? yes
Now although this set of questions does nothing more than clarify what it is you want and how it is possible that you don’t have it now, it may have changed how you feel about your goal. Does it make you excited and give you an impetus to start work? Or are there things that don’t ring true? If you feel motivated and energised by this process then you have identified an achievable goal that is well within your reach.

About KatieP

Embracing my midlife sexy while exploring modern love & relationships • Devoted to all things beautiful • Master of Arts in creative writing & non-fiction writing