Jan 4, 2023

Creating well-formed outcomes is an art form. It requires knowledge, skill and a well-defined process, and when you follow this process, most likely, you will be successful in achieving your outcomes.

Are successful people simply lucky to achieve their goals and outcomes? They may be fortunate as people and situations find them, but I don’t think it comes down to luck. By setting a well-formed outcome, you increase your so-called luck and being in flow potential. The different stages of the outcome create a filter in your mind. Your attention will be drawn to things supporting you in achieving your outcome.

Step 1 – What do you want?

Initiated and maintained by self: To be successful, being in charge of your achievement is essential. The outcomes you set are for you and controlled by you. Nobody else is responsible for the success or lack of it. Create outcomes where you are the instigator of the process and the catalyst at each leverage point in the outcome.

Pretty straightforward, right? Think again…

In my experience, many people I’ve coached talk about what they DON’T want. For example, how many times have you heard people say:

‘I don’t want to be sick.’

‘I don’t want to be late.’

Have you ever tried saying instead?

I want to be healthy.’

I want to be on time.’

Can you hear the difference? Say it aloud, and pay attention to how different you feel when you say the latter.

When you focus on what you want instead of what you don’t, you give yourself the correct instructions.

Here’s something for you to think about:

Have you ever bought a new car, shoes, or something else and suddenly see them wherever you go? The reason is simple: whatever you focus on is what you see, hear, feel, create and experience.

Be conscious of what you unconsciously aks for because “you get what you focus on”.

Step 2 – Have clear intentions.

Now that you know what you want rather than what you don’t want, let’s look at step two: considering intentions and consequences.

Many of us set outcomes without knowing what we want that outcome for. Let alone considering the consequences of achieving such an outcome.

Have you ever wanted something badly, and when you got it, you realized it was not what you wanted?

So the way it works is straightforward:

  1. First, you set your outcome by asking yourself a simple question: ‘What do I want?’
  2. Then, consider the intention that this outcome will be fulfilling, i.e.’ What do I want this for?’
  3. Thirdly, you consider what consequences (good and bad) will derive from you achieving your outcome.
  4. And lastly, do these consequences meet your needs?

Step 3 – How will you know you got It?

A clear idea of what you will accept as evidence for achieving your outcome is paramount. Think about it; you wouldn’t get a tent in return for buying a house, would you?

It sounds simple, and it is, but most people forget to do it…

For example, if you’re looking for ‘wealth’, how will you know when you find it?

Is there a specific sum of money you will see in your bank account, or maybe wealth means something else to you? It could be having millions in your bank account, or it could be having a family, or some people even measure wealth in knowledge or time.

What is important here is that you define what evidence you will accept.

Ask yourself, how will I know when I have achieved my outcome?

Let’s say that your outcome is to get promoted at work; what will you accept as evidence for your promotion?

Here are a few examples:

  1. You will see extra money appearing in your bank account.
  2. The bank is now willing to give you a loan to buy a house.
  3. You are now managing a group of people.
  4. You are in charge of projects.
  5. Your job title has changed.

Step 4 – Be ecological.

I’m not talking about saving an about-to-be-extinct species here. This one refers to personal ecology (the study of consequences).

You likely have formed several relationships with different people or groups. Think about your family or groups of friends, for example. We play a role in these systems, and our actions will affect the other system members. Therefore, these systems have to be handled with ecology.

Knowing how our actions can impact those systems is integral to setting our outcomes. By being aware, I mean knowing that your actions will affect the system somehow. It is up to you to assess whether it is for your benefit.

Bear in mind that in achieving an outcome, costs will be involved, not only economically but time, energy, and any other you can think of. The question is: are the costs and consequences of achieving this outcome acceptable to you?

For example, if I want to take on a course on professional development to help me improve my chances of getting a promotion, it would be helpful to be aware of how doing this course will impact areas such as my social life, my family, workload, ‘me time’ and anything else that is important.

Once you know how those areas might be affected, the next question is: am I willing to accept the costs and the consequences of achieving the outcome?

If yes, go ahead and do it. If not, it doesn’t mean abandoning the ship… All you need to do is some more exploration to create more options.

Ecology is often overlooked, resulting in negative consequences that you could’ve avoided otherwise.

Step 5 – Take inventory.

Life, like business, is about maximizing the use of resources, but to do this, you must first be aware of what resources you have and which ones you’re still to find.

So, at this stage, it’s essential to ask yourself the following questions:

What resources do I already have, and what resources, if any, do I still need to find to achieve my outcome?

Once you have identified these two, think of how you will find the ones you need and leverage the ones you already have.

These can be people, time, money, space, knowledge, beliefs, values and any other. What matters is that you’re aware of the ones you have and make yourself accountable for the ones you still want to get. By making yourself responsible for acquiring the resources you need, you’ll switch your attention to working out a way of finding them. It is essential that, at this stage, you ask yourself the ‘right’ questions. For example, let’s say you’ve started building a business and looking for ways to attract customers:

By asking questions like ‘Why are people not coming to me? ‘why is the competition getting more customers?’, ‘why is life so hard?’ you’re not likely to get engaged in a creative process.

Try instead something like ‘How do I attract new customers?’, ‘how do I earn my customers’ loyalty?’, ‘how can I uniquely satisfy my customer’s needs?’, ‘how can I offer them value?’ and the list goes on.

You get the gist. There’s a massive difference between the questions you ask yourself. After all, your mind will give you an answer to the questions you ask… Whether you like the answer or not.

So, go ahead and start asking the ‘right’ questions, and you’ll get the correct answers. In other words, put your attention on what you want, and you’ll find it everywhere; put your attention on what you don’t want, and you’ll find that everywhere, too.

However, remember that resources will vary from one situation to the next. Therefore, what’s helpful in one case is not necessarily useful in others.

Finally, taking inventory must not be underestimated, as it will give you a clear picture of where you stand regarding your outcome or target.

Step 6 – Congruency check

Now that you’ve gone through the previous five steps and have gathered more relevant information about your objective and purpose, as well as how it will affect you and those around you, it’s time to ask yourself one more question:

Do I still want it? Is it still worth pursuing?

By now, you would have probably made a few changes in your map, so this question ensures you’re still congruent about what you want.

So, if the answer is yes, go ahead and do it. If the answer is no, don’t panic; go ahead and review the areas we explored before and change whatever you need to until you’re happy your outcome meets your new criteria.

Now, go out there and try them out. Sit down with a piece of paper, think of something you want, and go through the list step by step (if you haven’t been doing it so far) – or do it inside your head. What matters is that you put it to the test and see the results for yourself. You now have some of the tools necessary to set effective outcomes and get exceptional results.

  1. What do I want? As opposed to what I don’t want to (focus on)
  2. What do I want this for? And do the consequences of me getting it match the purpose of wanting the outcome? “If the consequences match your intention, you have an outcome worth pursuing” (intent).
  3. How will I know when I have achieved this outcome (evidence)?
  4. Are the costs and consequences of achieving this outcome acceptable to you and others (ecology check)?
  5. Do I have all the resources that I need? Am I missing any? If so, how do I get them (inventory)?
  6. Knowing all this, do I still want it? Is it still worth pursuing (congruency)?

To summarise, successful people set outcomes. This outcome-setting process helps make an outcome more concrete and tests the congruency behind an outcome. As a holistic health coach, I work with my clients to help them define their outcomes congruently. The steps I take clients through help them clarify what they want and explore the congruency and ecology of an outcome.

Sometimes, limited beliefs, self-doubt or some trauma are holding people back from pursuing their outcomes. These will be addressed and resolved during the coaching sessions so you can successfully pursue your outcome.

When you set outcomes, you tend to get lucky and attract to you what you need to make the outcome a reality. So what are you waiting for? Set yourself an exciting outcome and enjoy achieving it.

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