Hand writing goals, plan, and action on a chalkboard with checkmarks

Is Having a Goal Enough?

We’re all familiar with the concept of setting goals in life. Society ingrains in us the importance of being goal-oriented, whether in the corporate world or our personal lives. Year after year, we outline our goals and targets for the company, our teams, and ourselves. Personal goals, such as running a marathon, losing weight, or buying a house, become our roadmap for the future.

Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m a big fan of goals. They give us hope, encouraging us to envision our future selves successfully achieving what we set out to do. I, too, have my 2023 goals neatly typed in a document on my laptop, revisiting them each month, reflecting on the progress made (or not made), and determining if they are still significant in my life.

However, the downside of goals is that they often remain mere words, residing in our minds or, at best, written down somewhere. It’s easy for them to lose their spark, and often quickly. We move on with our life, living the daily grind. But fear not, there’s a powerful tool that has elevated my meaningful goals – the Well-Formed Outcome.

A Well-Formed Outcome takes your aspirations to the next level by making them not just goals but achievable realities. This exercise involves answering a series of questions designed to focus your mind on what you truly want to achieve. One thing to note, I don’t recommend doing this with every goal. For me, I focus on one thing at a time. What is that achievement I really, really want?

Enter the Reticular Activating System (RAS), a small but mighty part of the brain near the top of the spinal column. This neural hub acts as a bouncer, filtering the massive amount of sensory information coming at us and allowing only the most important bits into our conscious minds. What’s fascinating about the RAS is that you can consciously program it by choosing the messages you send from your conscious mind.

Consider writing a Well-Formed Outcome as the key to programming your mind to concentrate on the goals that truly matter. When crafting one, remember these guidelines:

  • State it positively
  • Keep it realistic, appropriate, and achievable
  • Ensure it’s self-initiated

For optimal results, I recommend handwriting your Well-Formed Outcome. There’s something about the physical act of writing that helps cement the message in your brain.

The questions you’ll answer mainly revolve around the senses of hearing, seeing, and feeling. For instance, ask yourself, “What will I see, hear, and feel when I have achieved it?” or “What do I look like, sound like, and feel like when I have it?” These questions guide the RAS to focus on and admit these sensory concepts into your conscious mind. It cannot distinguish between reality and synthetic reality – it believes whatever message you give it, so why not tell it what you want to achieve?

I’ve personally found a set of 18 questions, learned from a course I took in 2021, to be particularly effective in shaping my Well-Formed Outcomes.

Check out the full list of questions here

Dedicate 15 to 30 minutes in a quiet space to answer these questions in detail. Then, sit with it for a few minutes, envisioning your future self having already achieved what you truly desire.

Here’s to turning your dreams into tangible realities. Best of luck, my friend!

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