Setting goals is a common practice nowadays in business and is vital in terms of our own personal development. We all know that if you do not set goals and objectives, write business plans then you are at the mercy of fate and fate is random. You will not get what you want unless you decide what it is that you want. You also get what you focus on, so you might as well focus on what it is that you want.
There are various models that will assist you in setting your goals. A common one, and a good one is the SMART system.
Make your goals:
That is, to know exactly what it is that you want. To make sure that you can measure whether or not you have it, and also measure if you are on the right track to achieving it. To make sure that it is achievable for you with the resources at you disposal and realistic to achieve it in the time that you have available. To make sure that you have a deadline for achieving it. This system is designed to make us consciously aware of our goal.
Given that most of our behaviours in life are unconscious (unconscious is everything that is not conscious – like breathing when you are asleep, tying your shoelaces etc) it makes sense to also let our unconscious mind know about our goals, so that it can assist in achieving them.
NLP provides us with a process that you can use that will ensure that all of these points are covered, that your goals are SMART and that your unconscious mind and energy is aligned in achieving it.
The NLP process involves understanding how you order your memories.
Think of something that happened last week. Got it? Notice as you think of it where in your head the memory came from.
Think of something that happened last month. Got it? Where did that thought come from?
Think of something that happened last year. Got it? Point in the direction that the though came from.
Think of something that happened five years ago. Got it? Did that though come from the same general direction?
We all store our memories in our head in a line. Usually the most distant memory away is stored the farthest from us, the most recent the nearest etc. We do this so that it makes it easier for us to retrieve the memory.
Bear in mind that this memory storing is an unconscious process, so you may not have been aware of it before now.
I was talking to a client recently about this and he was saying that he couldn’t decide which direction his memories were coming to him from, and as he was talking about the memories he was looking over his shoulder. His memories were all behind him in a line!
Now think of something that is going to happen next week. Got it? Notice as you think of it where in your head the thought (future memory) came from.
Think of something that will likely happen next month month. Got it? Where did that thought come from?
Think of something that will happen next year. Got it? Point in the direction that the though came from.
Think of something that will happen five years from now. Got it? Did that though come from the same general direction?
Your future memories are also stored conveniently in a line.
Now, can you notice that you could draw a line between your most distant memory and your most distant future event? This is your timeline.
So, let’s set a goal using your timeline.
Think of something that you really want to achieve. Think of when you want it by. When you think of that thing get a picture of it in your head. See yourself in the picture achieving your goal. See what you will see around you when you are achieving it, hear what you will hear and feel the feelings that you will experience as you achieve it.
Great. Now, what | want you to do is float up in the air in your imagination. Float up above your timeline and grab hold of this picture of you achieving your goal. Grab hold of it and float out into the future along your timeline until you get to just above the time that you want to achieve your goal. When you get there just let go of your picture and let it drift down into your timeline. As it fits into your timeline, notice that all the events on your timeline rearrange themselves to take into account this new goal.
Float back to now along your timeline and come down into the present moment. Take a breath.
Congratulations! You have put a goal in your future using the NLP Timeline method.