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The New Year is almost here ….

Firstly, I’d like to take the opportunity to wish you all a Happy New Year and hope that you’ve had a great time with your family and friends over the holiday season – my wish for you is that 2017 is your most awesome year yet – that you continue to learn and grow, that you achieve and become everything that you set your heart on 🙂

Before you start on 2017, do make sure you make time to stop and reflect on your successes in 2016 – what did you achieve? do? become? what were your firsts (the things you did for the first time), what did you learn? how did you grow?

It’s always great to pause to consider and review what the last 12 months have given us

Life happens for you, not to you

So what are your hopes and dreams for 2017?

… more of the same or something different? As the glasses clink at midnight are you planning on making New Year’s resolutions or not?

What if this coming year could be different? What if you could make something happen? What if you could realise that career change? start that business? increase your income? travel? find that special someone? get fit? who do you want to be? – all of these have the same start point, and that is you!

I know that the idea of New Year presents an opportunity to start with a clean sheet of paper and all of the above have the potential to be amazing goals – but how much time do you usually invest in writing your goal(s)? – are you clear about what you want from the 8,760 hours ahead of you during 2017 ….

Do you usually set New Year’s resolutions?

So, let’s just stop for a moment and consider how you might have set your New Year’s resolutions in the past – if you track back over the last few years, perhaps your New Year’s resolution’s looked something like this image …

New Year 2016

This picture made me smile and chuckle when I saw it, because it reminded me of the years where in a fleeting moment in the run up to midnight, I used to panic and think quickly about a couple of New Year’s resolutions – I’d lose weight, change my job, spend more time with my family … – year after year I approached New Year’s resolutions in the same way …

So; do you set New Year’s Resolutions? if so, how did you set yours? Did you pause and reflect? did you jump right in? Did you listen to everyone else’s and pinch the best? (I’ve done that too!), Did you focus on what you want (or what you don’t want)?  Did you think about what went well in 2016 that you want to build on? Did you pause to consider what you learnt along the way that you can take into 2017? Did you consider what You really, really want for you in 2017?

Why I don’t set New Years Resolutions …

New Year’s resolutions simply don’t work so I don’t set them (66% of people breaking their New Year’s resolution in the first month according to The Guardian). I changed the way I think about and write goals once I’d learn’t an NLP technique from the NLP Practitioner course – ‘well formed outcomes’. They help me set goals that are really compelling, the process is based on scientific research (dating back to a Harvard study in 1979) and I know from personal experience they come to fruition if set in this specific way – how do I know? – every time I set a goal in this way, it happens and then I set a new one…

5 NLP tips to help you write better goals …

NLP Goal Setting

  • Write it down! – I can’t stress this enough – the Study of Harvard Students back in 1979 proved this – of the MBA students who wrote down their goal (which was only 3% of the population in the study) they achieved 3 times more than the other 97% – so get it committed to paper!
  • ‘Watch your language’: To be successful the language you use to write your goal needs to pull you towards a specific target/goal/outcome you desire (this get’s you more consistent results and progress) – TOP TIP: what specifically do you want? – any goal that is stated in the negative – e.g. lose weight, stop smoking etc – can be simply rephrase it into a positive, something you want (e.g. to be fit and healthy). Ensure your goal specifies the outcome that you want (be specific about what you want, ensure it’s time bound – what’s the date by which you will have achieved it e.g. 1st September 2016). Ask yourself some great questions, such as – how will you know when you’ve achieved it, do you have – or can you get – the resources you need to achieve it? Is it only for you? (make sure you are not dependant on others to realise your goal).
  • Know your “why”: a phrase I heard from Ray Higdon is: “pain pushes you, until a vision pulls you” – I totally love this phrase – it’s all about motivation behind a goal – in NLP terms we talk about whether you are motivated away from something you don’t want, or towards something that you do want. So in relation to your goal, ask yourself a few questions to get you thinking: What will happen if you do 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? – whilst on first read you might stumble over these questions, just ponder of them in relation to the goal you’ve written down and see what pops into your head. Be honest with yourself, is there a massive ‘why’ behind your goal that excites and delights you if you imagine having already achieved it? (Top TIP: if not, think again and often that means a bigger goal, something that is on the cusp between exciting and scares you, something stretching that you need to work towards is great – it gives your unconscious mind something to get after!).
  • Take Action! – do something every day towards your goal (no matter how small) – nothing is going to happen unless you do something! TOP TIP: when I go to bed at night I ask myself; what did I do today towards my goal? What did I learn? – 2 simple questions that allow me to reflect for a few moments as I close my eyes and drift off to the land of nod  …. (and if you’re the type of person who likes to beat themselves up mentally during this type of exercise the next bullet point is particularly for you!)
  • There is no failure, only feedback: none of us are perfect – and in my model of the world there is no such thing as failure, there is only feedback – which we can learn from. Many people make the mistake of thinking that they’ve ‘failed’ and therefore abandon their goal the first time they get feedback that perhaps they simply need to learn from or reflect upon. TOP TIP: once you’ve set your goal, and you’re out of the starting blocks, be flexible if things aren’t working out in the way you had hoped – if what you’re doing isn’t working, tweak something, do some thing else – simples!

I hope these few tips help you set better goals this year – remember you can set goals any time you like …..

The 5 principles to Success

Finally, you may like to watch this short YouTube Video I created about the 5 principles to success which also help in goal setting …








Laura is passionate about helping people realise their potential, and achieve the results they deserve. If you’d like to find out more about Unleash Your Potential, you can check out our NLP courses here, coaching options here, and link up with us via our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter or link up with Laura via LinkedIn. You can of course also email us at: