Creating the Future with S.M.A.R.T. Goals

It is important to know how to go about creating the future easily. Knowing what a S.M.A.R.T. goal is and creating one are quite different. I have spoken with many people who ‘know’ what a S.M.A.R.T. goal is, but when they state a goal it is clearly not S.M.A.R.T.

For example, I heard someone say they ‘want to be able to…’ The problem with this sentence is that you can always want to be able to.. As you slide forwards through time, the wanting to will also slide forwards. The result is that you can always want to be able to.. It doesn’t set the achievement in terms of successful completion of the task.

When students on my trainings create their S.M.A.R.T. goal, I make sure they fully embrace the technique, create clear goals and move towards then

What is a S.M.A.R.T. goal?

A S.M.A.R.T. goal is defined as one which takes into account all the following criteria.

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Timed

Specific – Goals should be simply written, and clearly define what you are going to do

Measurable – You need to know the evidence procedure. How will you know when you have achieved that goal? What will you see, hear, feel?

Achievable – It needs to be achievable by you. You may find achieving the goal a stretch, but it’s defined well enough so it’s possible to achieve it. There will likely be a big picture goal statement, but this will chunk down into smaller goals which are achieved along the way.

Realistic – There may be consequences of achieving a goal, for friends and family (and indeed society and planet), as well as self. Is it ecologically realistic to achieve the goal?

Timed – This is a critical component. You must make sure it is fixed in time so it doesn’t constantly slide forward along the time line.

My formula for setting S.M.A.R.T. goals

You need to state S.M.A.R.T. goals in the present tense, as if already achieved. Sometimes a company has to produce a statement of intent towards certain tasks being completed by a certain date. This would be an exception to the present tense rule.

You need to know the LAST thing that has to happen so you know you have got it. this can be different for different people, even if it is about the same event.

If there are multiple goals you need to work on each one individually, and work chronologically through them all.

Make sure you are IN the image you pull up of the goal being achieved. See yourself in there (otherwise you may achieve it for someone else!)

Whether it is a professional or personal goal, it is important to set a S.M.A.R.T. goal. Each member of a company can have their own goals, which contribute to the larger goals of the company. It ensures that there is good communication between employers and employees and supervisors, so there are no surprises during annual performance evaluations.

It is just as important for personal goals. When you have targets, clearly defined and set in time, you have the perfect way to self assess the rat of development and achievement along the way. Realising how much you are achieving along the way gives impetus to continue to set new S.M.A.R.T. goals, to review and adjust others as necessary, and to keep you accountable towards the life you want to achieve.

Good questions to ask wench setting S.M.A.R.T. goals
  • What specifically do you want?
  • Where are you now in this?
  • What will you see, hear and feel when you have it?
  • How will you know when you have it?
  • What will this outcome get for you or allow you to do?
  • Does it depend only on you?
  • Where, when, how and with whom do you want it?
  • What do you have now and what do you need to get to your outcome?
  • Have you ever had this before?
  • Do you know anyone who has?
  • For what purpose do you want this?
  • What will you gain or lose if you have it?
  • What will happen if you get it?
  • What won’t happen if you get it?
  • What will happen if you don’t get it?
  • What won’t happen if you don’t get it?

If you follow this simple pathway to creating your future you will have a solid platform from which to leap.

Example

Presenting goal – “I want to make £20,000 quickly”. This was goal from one of my clients.

Now I pointed out that it’s possible to achieve this goal very quickly, but the method might not be legal or morally acceptable! Achievable but not very realistic for him. So when specifically would you like to achieve that goal? The answer was by the end of the year. So the initial goal becomes “It is December 31st 2017 and I have made £20,000”.

Now I ask would it matter if it cost £30,000 to make the £20,000? Of course it would. So it’s not making £20,000, it’s having £20,000 in the bank account at the end of the year. This is measurable now because the client could look at the bank account online and see the money is there on the day. In fact he was going away on holiday and might not be able to see the online account on December 31st, so it was reset to December 29th, before he left. So now the goal is “It is December 29th and I am looking at my account online and I can see that there is £20,000+ in the account today”.

This now fulfils all the component criteria for S.M.A.R.T. goal status. This is the answer to the first and fourth question in the list above. The rest of the questions fill out the goal and make it more solid by stating how they’ll feel, what it will do for them or allow them to do and so on.

If you are following this through and finding the last four questions a stretch – good! It takes some time for people to get their heads around those last four questions. On my trainings I go into those four questions in some detail.

What is it that you want to achieve? Have you broken it down into a series of S.M.A.R.T. goals that you can process easily yet? What’s the very last thing that has to happen in order for you to know that you have achieved that goal? When did you decide to go for it now?

 

Presenting at the ANLP Conference 2018

I am excited to be presenting at the ANLP Conference next year on 20th May. The timing feels right. Over the last 20 years I have got used to the skills of NLP. I employ them in my everyday life consistently, gaining great results along the way. This is not only down to the techniques and applying them, but also by being sensitive to the environment around me. This is so I can identify and take action on opportunities as they arise. I believe you need to cultivate a certain state and attitude to succeed.

Most seminars on creating your future talk about ideas, concepts, possibilities, but not a specific process through which to achieve those possibilities. So it remains interesting intellectual information. ‘Creating Your Future™’, however, gives you the specific process of HOW to change your unfulfilled dreams into actualising your true wishes and expectations.

Last year also brought me new opportunities. I became a certified Trainer of Time Line Therapy®, and I realised that time is such an important element in creating the future. Time is also key to letting go of unwarranted emotional triggers, old behaviours, beliefs and decisions. This allows us to live more fully in the present, and head towards the future we’re creating with clearer vision. It is around this idea that I will be presenting at the ANLP conference.

I have been researching the structure of language and consciousness for most of my life. Through this, I have been learning how to become more and more aware over time. I have learned how to observe emerging states, and the moment-to-moment continuity of consciousness. Many people have written about this experience, for thousands of years, across all cultures. Within this simplicity lies the emerging reality I create for myself. I am the observer of my reality, I am the cause of what I observe. I understand the all perception is projection, and that I can change the projection.

For me, creating the future is about combining several threads into the weave. Using Time Line Therapy® the past is cleared of the things that held me back. This includes negative emotional reactions, limiting beliefs and decisions made, and old patterns of thought and behaviour. This reclaims my life and allows me to stay in the present for increasingly longer periods of time. Then, in order to set the goals, I have to identify what really matters. S.M.A.R.T. goals are essential to create the future you desire. There is a specific technique which can be employed for placing goals on the future time line, so they come true.

Through this, So that takes care of the past and the future, but what about right now? This is the element I observe most people neglecting. According to Dr. Deepak Chopra, my Unconscious Mind is eavesdropping on every thought, every word, and instantaneously bathing every cell in the body with neurotransmitters. This in turn affects my physiology and state, and thereby affects the behaviours I generate outside. So I do my best to attend my consciousness, to attend my thoughts and to attend my words when I speak. I am aware that I can alter my own programming by consistently working with what emerges and giving my Unconscious clear and consistent instructions for what I want to be achieving in life.

The fastest path to my authentic success lies in working with this element. Right now everything exists that is possible to exist. Right now all the opportunities I could need to discover are around me. If I’m busy thinking old habitual thoughts, or revisiting the memories of the past, I am missing the present and any opportunities on offer. Instead of that, I am enjoying my journey towards the future I desire, and concentrating on being successful right now with the things I can succeed in.

On 20th May 2018 I will be unpacking how I do this at the ANLP conference. It is easy to learn, easy to utilise and easy to know exactly what to do next.

For more details of conference and to book tickets see conference website.

NLP Practitioner Certification March 2017

Last week I certified new Practitioners in NLP, NLP Coaching, Time Line Therapy® and Hypnosis, in an 8 day, intense but enjoyable course.

I’m very proud for the new Practitioners, they showed great determination and focus, diligence in absorbing the theories, performing the skills, and changing their lives positively.

They will be a real asset to the clients they have.

I believe in the highest-level quality of training for my students and clients, and that’s because I had that level of support myself from the best teachers in the World. I strive for excellence in everything I do. I will encourage you to strive for excellence too.

As a student your preparation work includes reading at least two required books, listening to 20 hours of audio material, carefully studying the training manual, and taking a pre-study test, totaling around 80 hours of work. Of course I recommend further reading, and that the audio is listened to multiple times!

My own preparation work is just as thorough. For this course I reviewed the manuals from all my courses and the notes I made, reread the same required books as my students, and listened to the audio. I also watched a further 30 hours of DVDs. I then took the approximately 200,000 words of transcribed audio and turned it into ‘4-mat’ – the teaching approach created by Bernice McCarthy. It is favoured by educational establishments Worldwide, to provide a superior learning experience for my students, as it addresses the four different learning types. I then then distilled all this into a day-by-day, segment-by-segment delivery format. The whole process took months of consistent daily work.

The eight days gave the students a total of 72 live training hours. There was another 7 hours of personal practice time, and around 14 hours of homework, giving them a total training of 148 hours. This is over the 139 minimum requirements for certification with the three bodies – the American Board of NLP, The American Board of Hypnotherapy and the Time Line Therapy® Association.

I prefer to teach in small, intimate groups. This is so I get to know you extremely well during the week, can monitor your learning thoroughly, and assist you in accelerating your personal development in a way that would simply not be possible in larger groups. And that’s just the beginning, as I offer a lifetime commitment towards your further development, with ongoing support.

Resetting my coordinates with NLP, Time Line Therapy® and Hypnosis

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In two days time I fly to Australia again to study NLP, Time Line Therapy® and Hypnotherapy and NLP Coaching with Tad and Adriana James. This time I am taking the Trainer level courses.

I’m feeling a mixture of wild excitement and slight nervousness, as I am putting so much into pursuing my dream, and I’m confident that this is something I am doing, which I have wanted to do for years. There is no better time than now for pursuing dreams!

I originally trained to trainer level with Richard Bandler, starting in 1997. It completely changed my life around. I was able to produce amazing results for my clients quickly, achieved outcomes I would only have dreamed of working previously as a counselor, and took myself not just to a whole new level, but beyond that to start defining new levels to transcend. I shifted by several orders of magnitude.

I went on to study Professional Media, with the idea of gaining all the knowledge I needed to make professional NLP products to sell. This opened an unexpected door, and I found myself being offered work in the TV and Film industry. At first I divided my time between Film and therapeutic work, and then as time went by I spent most time in the Film industry, and worked on films for the next 14 years, using my skills with NLP to help influence films productions in the most optimal directions they could go, designing workflows and implementing and maintaining them.

Outside film work I still took on clients as I could. After 14 years I decided that I wanted to move back to the direction I had previously been travelling in so successfully, that of helping people achieve their best self through NLP and therapeutic work. It seemed a gargantuan task to leave the industry that would guarantee me a lot of money, to pursue a dream, which would cost me a lot of money. A Producer once said to me “It’s a hard industry to be in but a harder one to leave” and I agree there is an element of truth to that statement, but not enough to stop me!

If you travel just one degree off-course from your route on a map, then at first it doesn’t seem very much, but after travelling great distance you would miss your destination by miles. In the same way, if you are one degree off-course with the pursuit of your dreams then after many years you will have diverged a great distance, as I had with being in the film industry. In my case I decided to correct the course and to do everything I could do with what I had – exactly like what I expect my clients to do.

So in May I flew to Sydney, where I studied with Tad and Adriana and successfully qualified to Master Practitioner level in NLP, Time Line Therapy®, Hypnotherapy and NLP Coaching. I was surprised at how much more I learned than before. The teaching methodology was completely different, as was the content taught. Time Line Therapy® revolutionized the way I thought and experienced and gave me many more new tools to work with. Work with clients has taken a different course since then, with very measureable results and satisfaction all round. So satisfied in fact, that I committed to entering the Master Trainer program, which starts after the Trainer program is successfully achieved.

So here I am, studying before travelling, working hard so I can do well on the course, preparing to leave. I expect my clients to achieve beyond their expectations and to put in 100% effort – I expect nothing less from myself. I believe totally in the value that NLP, Time Line Therapy® and Hypnotherapy can bring to everyone around me; everyone can benefit from the skills. So I am committing to bringing more of this back from Australia to disseminate as widely as possible, to individuals who want to excel and achieve beyond their wildest dreams in their personal and professional lives, and to groups, businesses and institutions that want to propel themselves into much greater success, efficiency and profitability.

Once again I head joyfully into the unknown. It is very exciting for me. And when I return I will be ready to take my skills out there and accelerate the potential of all I work with, so they’re motivated to achieve their dreams, increase the quality of their lives and those around them, and do my part to make this planet a better place to be.

I’m all in. I’m totally motivated about this direction I am travelling in, I am changing rapidly again and I like the changes – changes which others are commenting on too, so they’re not just my own perception! I am going through what I expect my clients to go through, and it feels really good. I hit the reset button and will always be very happy I took the chance to do that. Are you ready to hit yours yet?

NLP And The Keys To The Kingdom

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In October 2006 I finally admitted to my counseling supervisor that I could predict a lot of what a person was doing inside by the way they moved their eyes. I nervously handed over a piece of paper with eye directions and information accessed. He smiled and said, “You’d love NLP”. I’d been driving myself mad with those observations for months and he just casually said I’d love NLP!

Within a couple of months I had read a lot about what it was and had attended a taster course where I saw PTSD cleared in minutes. I was hooked. I discovered that there was a Practitioner course with a leading teacher in London next March. I knew I had to be there – I saved what I could, and sold some possessions. “What am I doing?” I sometimes wondered, but the feeling was the same one I had always followed and it had rarely let me down; that was enough for me.

The teaching was exceptional. It liberated my already free mind beyond my wildest expectations. I found myself able to do things eloquently and easily, to exhibit the skills being taught and to go with the information presented in a completely new way. No one had ever shown me how I was good before. It was as if I discovered the keys to the kingdom, and I ran amok with those keys opening any and all doors I encountered. During the course, break-times and evenings became opportunities to go out and practice everything, and I wholeheartedly embraced my new perception and was amazed and excited about everything.

Three days after my return I had an epiphany experience. It was like emerging from the Matrix, or a toxic wakeup. During this time my neurology felt like it was surging into everything I observed, and making adjustments to my projections. Reality was never going to be the same again. I had no idea how to be like I had been before, or even what that meant, but I started to be able to help clients in ways I would never have dreamed of previously.

The first really surprising result came when I had a client who had had both his legs amputated and suffered phantom limb pain. He also complained that he felt like he was constantly stubbing his toes on things, and also that his prosthetic legs were shorter than his real ones had been – he was already a short person so it really annoyed him.

As I was walking to meet him it hit me as I stepped from the road to the sidewalk that if his phantom limbs were longer than his prosthetics then they would stick out and hit the kerb; and maybe the same for stairs, which might explain the stubbing toes sensation. Although I felt a little strange about it I mentioned it to him. He was taken aback – he’d never considered the possibility before but he was up for experimenting and so was I.

As the head of a Spiritualist church, he was no stranger to trance. I explained the process and then we both went into trance. I did a formal eyes closed induction, induced an arm catalepsy and set up finger signals. His unconscious was very responsive. I asked his unconscious would it make it so that the neurological stimuli, which he had been interpreting as phantom limb pain, would no longer feel like pain, and to make it so that the feeling of having phantom limbs was adjusted to be the same dimensions as his prosthetic limbs. It agreed to take full unconscious control for achieving that, that it knew what to do and had all the resources necessary to do that, so I asked it to go ahead and signal me a yes when it had started an inevitable process to do that at the unconscious level. I waited around a minute then got a clear yes response. The session ended soon after that.

A few days later I received a call. The pain was gone, he hadn’t felt like he was stubbing his toes, and in fact his prosthetics felt so like his real ones that he had forgotten a few times when approaching flights of steps and nearly stepped down without holding the handrails. He virtually cursed me over the last part!

I was blown away. I would never have attempted to do anything like that as a counselor. I had been encouraged to go out there and find out what was possible, with a proviso that there were strange things out there, magical experiences. This was way beyond giving up smoking, improving skills or feeling better about life. This was a whole new level, which I had never encountered, and it made me wonder just what else was possible.

This result was life changing for both my client and I. I would not have encountered this without NLP training, and it propelled me through Master Practitioner and Trainer courses, and several other related courses. My life has become whole, I love living, I am becoming more proficient with my skills over time, have helped so many people and myself too of course, and am accelerating the process all the time. I encourage others to train, and intend to teach as many people as possible the skills for themselves, to make my own small contribution to the positive development of the future of human consciousness in the time I am around.

Every day I am grateful that I took the opportunity to leap into what it was that I did not know yet, to go for something I was unsure about but felt it was the right thing to do. I hope NLP and Hypnosis helps everyone at least as much as it does me, and continue to hold strong in my mind the possibilities for the great future that’s totally achievable and being achieved right now.

What have been the key moments for you on your NLP journey?

Being A Secret Agent Of Change – Finding Your Inner Giggle

DSCF2366Giggle? How easily can you find a giggle? There is always one somewhere if you look deeply enough. I have even found them in the most profoundly troubled people, and they always appreciate it. Last week I was going into the hospital to see my sister, who had had a serious operation. There was a woman by the lift who was quietly collapsing in obvious pain, with three concerned children around her. Everyone was ignoring her. I went up and spoke with her, found out where she was going and offered to join her on her journey there. That got the first smile. I slid down the lift wall with her and kept chatting, telling her the pain would be gone soon and she would be healthy again and happy. Again everyone else in the lift acted like we weren’t there. I imagined the pain getting less and put my arm around her to give reassurance and hopefully to remove some pain. Then I asked her was that really a giggle she was hiding in her elbow – she laughed right through the pain, at the stupidity of my question – and I anchored it and said to watch out because it may spread all around her and make her feel better. She smiled more, I anchored it more. The lift arrived at her floor, I helped her ferry herself and the children to the right place and then wished her well and headed away to the floor my sister was on. Later on after the visit, as my other sister collapsed leaving the hospital from the stress, that same woman was being wheeled to the patient lifts nearby. She smiled again through the pain when she saw me, and I asked if she would let my sister use her chair as she was looking better. More laughs. Funny how I was basically in the same position with my sister as I had been in the lift with that woman earlier in the day. I thought afterwards that she must think I just go round helping the sick like that. Then I found a giggle in myself.

Laughter moves lymph through the convulsions of the body and oxygenates your organs as you take in extra gulps of air. This helps remove old, dead and waste products from the organs and tissues, which in turn helps the immune system to maintain a healthy body. It releases oxytocin – the ‘love’ or ’empathy’ drug – and also endorphins and seratonin, which make you feel better and also helps reduce pain sensations. It also increases levels of immune-boosting interleukins, immunoglobulin’s and T-cells. It also reduces the levels of stress hormones such as cortisol, epinephrine (adrenaline) and dopamine. I have read that that for every minute of laughter, you produce somewhere around £6,000 worth of healthy body chemistry, in that if you had to buy these refined chemical compounds from a pharmaceutical company it would cost you this much to purchase them. But your brain is doing this for free when you laugh.

When we find something that works, we repeat it. Within around 6 weeks it becomes an established neural pattern – a habit – which can last unless it is changed. There’s no delete button as such for the brain, but it is possible to change your brain and create more meaningful and positive patterns which become the norm quickly. The more you focus on this new circuit the stronger it becomes so that it is the preferred route, rather than the old pattern. The more new circuits you build the more choices you have, and NLP is the perfect vehicle for building new behaviours accurately.