Well Formedness Conditions

In NLP the Well Formedness Conditions allow us to specify outcomes that are more achievable, because the language conforms to certain rules.

“A Well-formed outcome is a term originating in Neuro-Linguistic Programming for an outcome one wishes to achieve, that meets certain conditions designed to avoid unintended costs or consequences and resistance to achieving the goal resulting from internal conflicting feelings or thoughts about the outcome. Thus, a high quality outcome is more than a vague wish or goal. It is an objective or goal that is integrated with all aspects of one’s life (morals, ethics, relationships, finances, health, body, etc.) and has a process of accomplishment that respects and supports the current desirable circumstances in one’s life.
A high quality outcome is (in a sense) consistent with forward-thinking action as well, or alternatively have been clearly and well enough defined to be prima facie free of common “muddy thinking”. By applying all of the well-formedness conditions to a goal or outcome, and adjusting the outcome specifications accordingly in the process, you create a Well-formed outcome.”

1.         Stated in positive terms.

2.         Initiated and maintained by client.

3.         Specific sensory-based description of outcome and the steps needed to get there.

4.         Ecological.

5.         More than one way to get the outcome.

6.         First step is specified and achievable.

7.         Does it increase choice?

Advanced Goal Setting

Many years ago, I used to employ a certain structure to goal setting that I learned from various self-development organisations, plus my NLP training. Those consisted of making pictures, with sounds and feelings involved and planting those visions into the future on a timeline or simply seeing it happen into the future.

The book and film The Secret, made goal setting more popular with the same (or similar) idea of projecting decent thoughts forwards, including the feelings and sounds if possible.

Yet, when I’m working with clients, the notion of a bright future can only resonate inside somebody if the past also concurs with the future.

advanced goal setting

If you can image an wave form which represents the past and a wave form that represents the future; these two merge at the point of The Present Tense and create the reality of now. Of course, just the same as if they were waves of the sea, two colliding wave forms have to be in harmony to create a strong flowing directional force.

Therefore there is no point trying to create a future if the past is not consistent with your created vision.