7 tips for effective goal setting

The New Year means it’s time to set new goals. These goal-setting tips are based on neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) to help make your goals more lively, fun, and effective!

1. The size of your success is determined by the size of your belief

Make sure you’re focusing on what you want, not on what you don’t want. As Sydney Smith said, "Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goals."

And remember that any limiting beliefs you have about yourself or your abilities will only hinder your ability to reach your goals, so get rid of them quick smart!

2. Link your goals to both your past and your present

Before you set goals for your future, take some time to reflect on your past goals and what you’ve achieved.

Often we don’t recognise how far we’ve actually come. Track back even a year, and you may be surprised at how much you’ve achieved, and are achieving right now.

Get into a nice warm and fuzzy zone by reflecting on your recent successes before you start to set your future goals.

I find that writing out what I’m proud of and grateful for is a great way to get into the warm and fuzzy zone, and it becomes an anchor for me. Every time I read through my list of successes, I get into a state of mind that's automatically positive, motivated and proactive.

3. Discover the pictures, sounds and feelings of your goals

This is perhaps one of the most important steps to goal setting with NLP. Use your senses to make your goals become truly alive in your mind. When you decide the goal and write it down, take time to make it real in terms of its Visual (picture), Auditory (sound) and Kinaesthetic (feeling) elements.

Take yourself out there into the future and really see, hear and feel what it is like to have achieved that goal. I call this 'VAK-ing' your goals.

4. Include the reasons behind your goals

When you write out your goals, make sure you include the reasons behind wanting or needing to hit them. This gives them relevance and perspective.

5. Write them down

In terms of actually putting your goals to paper, I'm sure you've heard of the famous study conducted in the 1950's in which only 3% of students graduating from Yale had written goals for their future. By 1973, those 3% were worth more than the other 97% put together. Enough said.

6. Create alignment

When deciding on your goals, think of your conscious mind as your 'goal-setter', and your unconscious mind as your 'goal-getter'. The two need to be aligned, because if they're not, you may find you get inconsistent results.

7. Be SMART

SMART is an acronym to help you structure your goals in a way that makes them Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. Keep that in mind, but aim high, too. As Donald Trump would say, "You’re going to think anyway, so you may as well think big!"

The whole session appeared to be a waste of time.... nothing appeared to be working properly. I didn't lose consciousness. I didn't go into a trance, or at least I didn't think I did, and yet after that session, not only did I stop smoking but I actually enjoyed the process. Allen Carr (an extract from Easy Way to Stop Smoking).

Hi there

It has been almost a year since I underwent a hypnosis session at your centre and I just wanted to let you know that it was very successful, I have not smoked since then.

Thanks for your help, I will highly recommend your centre to anyone trying to give up smoking.

Tess A

Hi Phil,

I just wanted to drop you a line to thank you for truly liberating me from the hell I have been living in all my life. I can't begin to tell you how amazed I am at the difference in me since undergoing hypnosis. I am no longer food obsessed. I'm eating only when I'm hungry but even more importantly I am stopping when I am satisfied!

I am actually learning to hear what my stomach has been telling me all along! I can feel the difference between appetite and hunger. I am eating breakfast and enjoying the taste of everything I am eating, savouring each mouthful and chewing my food properly. I leave food on my plate now which I NEVER did before. My husband noticed immediately that there was a difference to my usual eating habits of woofing down my dinner because on the first night I actually (without even thinking about it) put my knife and fork down between mouthfuls. I was the last one finished at the table and that is an absolute first!!! I hadn't told him I was going to see you so he was quite worried and thought there was something wrong with me.

I feel so positive about this and I have to tell you I was completely sceptical that it would work but the change in me is remarkable and has transformed my life and will transform my health and my body. That's a fact!
I am listening to the CD every day and often fall asleep listening to it. Whenever I feel stressed or upset instead of using food to quash my feelings an image pops into my head of the thread and the scissors in my hand cutting the thread and the urge to eat goes away completely.

It is absolutely miraculous and I am completely astounded at my complete and utter faith that this is the answer to my weight issues and the key to unlocking the emotional cage that I have been locked up in. I already feel like a different person, more confident and self possessed.

I am telling all and sundry how amazing this experience is and I know you will be getting some phone calls.

I will also be back to see you to work on public speaking, nail biting and my phobia of cockroaches. My husband also wants to do this to gain confidence so I have given him your website too. He'll be in touch as soon as possible.

Thank you Thank you Thank you

Warmest regards



Tracy N