How's your New Year resolution going?

Creating Value With People

Perhaps it’s time to reset your goals to make them more achievable?

Many of us will have started off 2018 with New Year’s resolutions. For me I’ve decided that 2018 is the year of the piano. By the end of this year I want to have significantly raised my level of playing, having spent many years where it’s been way down my list of priorities. Whatever you’ve decided perhaps by the time you read this you are wondering if you can stick to your resolution? The feeling of  imminent failure can then be a drain on your energy and motivation levels. In some ways it’s almost better never to have set a resolution than to aim too high and fail.

In Coaching we talk about Well Formed Outcomes as being key to personal change and sticking with our plans. They’re a bit like the foundations for a house; if they’re not good enough they’re in danger of crumbling and failing.

So what do we mean by Well Formed Outcomes and how can we use this idea to coach ourselves as well as others. Here are some guidelines developed by my colleague Marian Hubbell  and included in her  excellent NLP Practitioner Programme. Ask these questions of yourself to help you reset your goals and be more likely to stay focused, or perhaps ask a colleague or friend to coach you.

“POSERS” – Questions to Ask Yourself:


– Express your outcomes in the positive, what you want to achieve, what you want instead, not what you want to avoid. As an example I want to reach grade 4 level of piano playing by the end of 2018.


– The outcome needs to be within your control. What will you do, including to persuade others to help you. Do you need a buddy, perhaps you need to delegate a task?


– Goals need to be specific, including why you want to achieve it. If you understand the purpose of the goal, including how it relates to your values, beliefs and any bigger goals it will enhance your commitment. Thinking about the who, what, how and when of your goal, i.e. creating a rich picture, will also help boost your commitment and motivation.


– This is about the consequences for ourselves and those around us. When the goal is  achieved what are you prepared to leave behind and what do you want to keep, e.g. a client decided to give up a volunteering role to create space for her goal, which had an impact on fellow volunteers.


– Do you have the resources to initiate and sustain action? If not how will you get them?


– What will you see, hear, feel etc that will confirm you’ve achieved your outcome, as well as the milestones along the way to sustain you?

Once you’ve gone through these questions ask yourself:

  • What’s the 1st, 2nd and 3rd thing I am going to do to make it happen? Now write those down and review and revise them regularly until your goal is achieved.

Read more about Marian’s work on our About Us page.

Very best wishes for 2018 and the achievement of your Well Formed Outcomes.

Diane Rance