Why This is The Best Time?

Upgrading and Training in troubled time

Recently we have been hit by the corono-virus outbreak and we have all but avoided almost all activities except what is essential to our daily lives. From all quarters we were bombarded by advisory to stay away from unnecessary events.

Some things slowed to what seemed like a grinding halt and we found ourselves falling into a trap of sorts. All of us are just waiting.



The Drudgery of it all

I will admit that for about 2 months since COVID-19 arrived on our shore, I found myself in victim mode. As sign-up of courses and sessions start to taper off to a few unproductive enquiries, I start to distract myself bingeing on Netflix and Udemy courses online. The more screen-time I engage myself in, the more disengaged I am with what is important.

Waiting….and watching out for updates on new reported cases of the infected and reading with rapt attention at dry and boring MOH website. Studying links between different cases of infection as if they were a matter of life and death!

Waiting….and ranting at behaviours of some people out there….herd mentality, hoarding and mild hysteria popping up all over the place.

The Question

And I wonder….what am I doing to put myself ahead when things start to return to the way it was before? How should we do things if COVID-19 is here to stay in the long run? 

The Attempt to Break Out

Well I did some online courses

Some are on topics I am very familiar with like NLP, coaching and hypnosis. Others in areas that I am currently developing like energy works and neuroplasticity. The more I did these courses online, I find a brooding sense of dissociation beginning to take hold of me. Suddenly it occurred to me that for me to fully understand the material that was presented in those courses I need to apply it on real people in real situations…otherwise what the trainers are saying are just blah blah blah and nothing substantial.

The Epiphany

My client, Madam Dee (not her real name) said something that hit a chord with me while we were wrapping up a session. She thanked me for being willing to see her in the time when everyone is avoiding contact. To her, working on her issue is essential and not something that should wait. She said that all that we needed to do was to be personally accountable to our own hygiene and we will all be fine. She didn’t want to play catch up ONLY after everything is OK because she figured she was behind the curve when she had allowed her depressive thoughts to manifest itself into a psycho-somatic condition of a gastro-intestinal nature.

It was a wake-up call for me.

I gathered a few things from all these

The Lessons

  1. I am reminded of an NLP presupposition that “Knowledge is useless unless it is in the Bones” There is only so much use for “head knowledge”, unless it is ingrained into our system through Practice.
  2. Best time to get training and practice is BEFORE you need it
  3. You owe it to yourself to prepare to ride the next wave or else you will be washed away if not crushed by it. Like Mdm Dee puts it, it is even essential to do so.
  4. It is still possible to get a group together for training and practice if we are all conscientious and responsible and  adhere to strict hygiene standards.
  5. There is no need to roll over and give up self-development in light of the current situation

Prognosticating Procrastination

I wanted to write about Procrastination. You know, the big P word that people have blamed for everything and anything. So many people have written about it…the personal effectiveness people, the Getting-Things-Done camp, the procrastination busters and it makes me wonder if I can offer anything different. So I joined the union.

The Procrastinator United couldn’t take off as a collective force coz I saw the sign when I arrive:

The National Procrastination Day has been postponed…again!!
OK, OK, OK, it’s a weak attempt at a joke although some of you are like me, finding the irony of it all tickling to the bones. For the record, the funny bone has got nothing to do with this.

Dilly-dally, dawdle, drag, delay, daydream, lag, loiter, linger, laze around, mark time, running on the spot, deadlock, hitting the wall, and that looming feeling that the shit is hitting the fan.

That’s crap, yeah.

There are those who don’t start. There are those who start and got stuck. There are those who start too late. There are those who don’t have a clue. There are those who never finish what they have. There are those who get distracted easily. There are those who just don’t care until the fire is burning their collective ass (atypically reframed as “I thrive under pressure” camp). There are those who feel bad about it. There are those who would rather focus on the pleasure of doing something else. There are excuses, re-delegations, denials, and all that jazz.

There’s no stereotype as far as I can see from my coaching practice and consulting work.

The Perfectionist. The Pessimist. The Optimist. The Saboteur. The Self-Saboteur. The poor time manager. The ineffective state manager. The Over-confident. The Victim. The Overwhelmed. The Blue Housefly.

Which one are you?

The task is too big, too detailed, too boring, too exciting, too easy, too demeaning. Too too.

The reward is too small, you are too undeserving, you are too stupid and that too. What’s the big deal?

As far as coaching is concerned, I find I don’t really have to deal with the root cause of procrastination coz focusing on the problem is the problem in the first place. It looks too big for comfort. However, if we focus on generating the behaviour and the attitude required to get things done within an ecological time and space, we are on the home stretch. Go PUBLIC:

  • Presenting Cost (of not doing) and Benefit (of doing now)
  • Underlying attitude required
  • Break it down to bite size chunk (milestone targets)
  • Leveraging on resource available
  • Into Action
  • Create instant gratifications (small rewards for yourself)

Like the old Chinese saying about the element water: That which carries the vessel can also overturn it. We don’t want to slam procrastination coz it is useful. I’ll leave it to my next post for this.

For now, all we need is an awareness of our behavior and belief or value that drives it. If it isn’t useful or appropriate, change it. Non-action is a habit. Check this post out for the importance of awareness and how it can make positive habit-changing or –forming.

Watch out for my next post: Not-now to avoid Not-again.

Update: For those of you who must get a quick-fix to your procrastination. Here’s a tip from your friendly neighborhood Coach: Procrastinate your procrastination!!

The Pathlight Centre will turn 10 come January 2018!!

Everywhere I look, there are stark reminders that the year is coming to an end. I am just getting used to typing “2017” and suddenly 2018 is knocking on the door already.

So we were sitting around goofing off and bantering as usual after hours to decompress and it dawned on us that come 2018, we have reached another landmark point.

The Pathlight Centre will turn 10 come January 2018!!

We would have been running our flagship 5-PATH Hypnotherapy Certification Course for the 10th year. 40 odd batches and about 220 graduates later….we are still at it.

We just got news that after spending a week in Texas with Cal Banyan…braving 30 hours travel both ways, a couple of storms and lack of familiar food, our associate Nancy Wong has passed all required tests and is now a qualified Banyan CPHI (Certified Professional Hypnotherapy Instructor).

Good things come in pairs indeed.

The addition of another trainer means that we are stretching our reach further but we have not neglected our home base, Singapore.

Since we are feeling all nostalgic and reminiscing the 10 years, we decided to go foolish and offer our flagship Hypnotherapy Certification and training at the ORIGINAL 2008 published fee!

That’s right you get the experience of 3 qualified hypnosis trainers (25 years or more altogether) at just SGD3800 just like we offered 10 years ago!!

This rate is applicable to classes we will be running in 2018 and when you do a full payment upon signing up. You have up to 31st December to enjoy a whopping $1000 off our 2018 course fee. This fee is limited to classes conducted in Singapore for 2018 only.

Limited to only first 10 sign ups before 31st December.

So hurry….give us a holler at +65 91868062(Nancy) or support@pathlightcentre.com or click here to drop us a message.

You are not getting another offer like this….hmmm…maybe our 20th Anniversary.

Coping with Stress and Anxiety

The survey “Working in Asia”, by Roffey Park, has found that not only do Singapore workers spend more hours at work relative to their Hong Kong and China peers, more than half (52 per cent of Singapore workers surveyed) say their stress level has gone up over the last six months.
— quote from S’pore workplace stress on the rise: survey

In a recent global survey of 1,000 corporations across 15 countries, commissioned by The Regus Group it was found that the levels of workplace stress have risen over the last two years. The survey found 6 in 10 workers in significant global economies experienced increased workplace stress.

Emotional Health Issues Worldwide
— source from Huge Rise in Global Employee Depression, Stress, and Anxiety Since 2012

Stress and Anxiety

These are alarming facts. Everyday great demands and responsibilities are upon us. Some people manage, but many did not, which lead to stress, thus significantly affect their wellbeing. You may be one of those people. Are you looking for ways of freeing yourself from anxiety?

Anxiety and stress can manifest differently for different people but here are the common physical signs of anxiety or stress. (source)
– Racing heartbeat
– Shortness of breath
– Chest tightness
– Dry mouth
– Butterflies in stomach
– Nausea
– Urge to pass urine/empty bowels
– Tremors
– Sweating
– Panic attacks
– Insomnia

Here are the common psychological signs of anxiety or stress. (source)
– Inner tension
– Agitation
– Fear of losing control
– Irrational dread that something catastrophic is going to happen (such as blackout, seizure, heart attack or death)
– Irritability
– Feelings of detachment
– Phobias and fears

Here are some worries that cause anxiety or stress. (source)
– fear of being around other people
– anxiety in specific social situations,
– anxiety in your relationships with particular people at home, at school or at work.

When fear is over exaggerated and out of proportion, fear becomes anxiety.
When you body/mind encountered danger, you either fight, flight or freeze.

It is a normal part of the human protection system to experience this fight-or-flight response, but only when there is real and present danger. To experience prolonged flight-or-flight creates feelings of anxiety. It is often rooted in a previous experience that triggered fear or in a general anxiety and worry about your situation at home or at work. There can also be anxiety without knowing what is causing it, a general feeling of anxiety known as “free floating” anxiety. (source)

Research shows that prolonged exposure to cortisol and other stress related hormones can cause:(source)
– Memory problems
– Weakened immune system
– Weaker bones
– Increased blood pressure
– Reduce fertility

So, how can hypnotherapy help?

Working with us, we will be using hypnosis to help you identify the root of stress or anxiety. You will gain clarity about your issues and learn to handle them more effectively, break free of negative thought patterns, and to react more positively and more confidently. As a result, you will begin to feel calmer, more balanced, and regain your ability to handle your life in a more effective manner.

Talk to us if you would like us to help you deal with your stress and anxiety issues, we can help you.
Call or whatsapp us @ +65 9856 4998 for a free initial consultation.

If you would like to know how you could help people dealing with stress and anxiety and more, come join us in our Certified Hypnotherapy Course.


image source https://morguefile.com/search/morguefile/3/stress/pop

Treat Depression with Hypnotherapy


Simply being sad is not depression, but in addition to being sad, there is a sense of emptiness, hopelessness, worthlessness, things and activities that once interest you no longer interesting …

Depression is very often triggered by a traumatic event. One example of a traumatic event is when an individual loses their love ones through death or divorce. He or she has to deal with the belongings and the responsibilities left behind. And in the process if the individual did not have enough or proper time to grieve and manage the loss, depression may set in.

Another example of depression is losing a job, or any major financial changes. The sudden lost of a main income, the not knowing of what tomorrow will become.

Here are some of the typical signs of depression. (source)

Symptom #1
“Now, I can’t get out of bed in the morning. I just don’t have the same interest in things that I used to.”

Symptom #2
“I have body pains and I’m worried that I may have (fibromyalgia, cancer, arthritis, diabetes, etc.).”

Symptom #3
“I can’t seem to stop overeating and I gained 40 pounds.” Or “I have gone back to drinking, smoking cigarettes or pot, etc.”

Symptom #4
“I’m having trouble sleeping at night and I’m exhausted.”

Symptom #5
“I cry at the drop of a pin, but mostly I feel numb.”

Medically, the doctor could help with the above symptoms with some drugs like anti-depressants, sleep medication, etc, but they are only a temporary relief, they are not fixing the underlying root cause.

1. It helps you enter the subconscious:
First, we drop down from the conscious mind, which is only 10% of the mind into the subconscious mind. Now we are addressing the whole person, 100% of the mind rather than just treating the symptoms.

2. It helps you identify the “unfinished business”.
People often have what Dr. Fritz Perls called “unfinished business” with whatever has been lost, be it a loved one, a job, or a home. These unresolved feelings, such as resentments, regrets, blame, anger, guilt, jealousy, and fear are stored in the body and must be released as soon after the triggering event as possible. Otherwise they become deeply buried beneath the numbness created by the anti-depressant drugs, the addictive behavior, and the concurrent repression that occurs when trauma and grief go untreated. Clinical hypnotherapy works for depression because it removes the underlying basis of depression and completes the unfinished business that otherwise continues to recycle as self-sabotaging thoughts and behaviors.

3. It helps you “finish” the “unfinished business” and release the stored emotions/experiences.
With hypnotherapy, we can go down to the deepest level of these traumatic experiences, memories and stored emotions to release them from the mind and body. When this hypnotherapy process is completed, the client reports that their depression has lifted, that they have stopped the compulsive thoughts or behavior, and that they are ready to resume living their lives again.

4. It helps you replace the trauma with positivity.
With each healing session of clinical hypnotherapy, we can replace the fearful repetitive thoughts that often haunt people following a traumatic experience. Positive affirmations now work because the underlying emotional release has been accomplished.

5. It helps you use the power of hypnotic suggestion to create long-term improvement.
Hypnotherapy provides an effective way to access the individual’s ability to affect the physical body. Once self-sabotaging thoughts and behaviors have been resolved, the individual can begin to use hypnotic suggestibility to improve the body’s functioning. Hypnotherapy can be very helpful in correcting patterns of restless sleep, low energy or libido, headaches or chronic pain. And one can use hypnotherapy to increase motivation to exercise and eat properly.

Consistent research and methodology refinement has allowed hypnotherapy to progress as an advanced form of therapy to the point where clinical hypnotherapy is now regularly considered as a treatment option for depression. Working in tandem with a group of powerful psychotherapy techniques, hypnotherapy can be a highly successful form of treatment for individuals with depression.


Talk to us if you are want to overcome depression, we can help you.
Call or whatsapp us @ +65 9856 4998 for a free initial consultation.

If you would like to know how you could help people dealing with depression and more, come join us in our Certified Hypnotherapy Course.




Source from http://web.wellness-institute.org/blog/bid/266024/five-ways-to-treat-depression-with-hypnotherapy
Image source from https://morguefile.com/search/morguefile/3/depressed/pop

You Can Be Your Own Hypnotist!!

Reap the benefits of Self-Hypnosis

Hypnosis: A Naturally-occurring State
Forget about what you might have thought hypnosis is! It is more than just the Hollywood-touted staring at a dangling pocket watch or a sparkling trinket of any sort.

In fact, hypnosis is a natural occurring state of mind we all experience many times in the course of the day:

  • When you are not aware of the passage of time when you watch a good movie or read a good book.
  • When you walk into a room and not able to put your finger on why you are there in the first place.
  • When you are ‘in the zone’ during a ball game and only notice you got some bruises and bumps after.

That’s right, the hypnotic state occurs when we are in a focused state of attention. When properly harnessed, it is a valuable tool that you can use to alleviate stress, manage your thoughts and drive your goals.

Challenge of Modern Day Living

reflection These days, we see more and more people turning to hypnotherapy to help them get over past emotional issues, deal with stress and overcome undesirable behaviour habits or patterns.

Let’s face the fact: if they can deal with all of those challenges consciously, logically they would have mustered all the resource they think they can get their hands on and be done with it.

There is a growing awareness that a lot of internal resources are left untapped and therefore under-ultilised. And speaking of the internal aspect, these people are also projecting their fear, anger, guilt and sadness from the numerous programming of experience from the past.

Untapped internal resources and past emotional baggage are like balls and chains, slowing or even pegging them to the spot from moving ahead effectively. Unresolved emotions have been found to be linked with ailments like allergy, skin disease and even cancer.

Hypnosis helps
So seeing a hypnotist can help you unlock unrealized potentials giving you an edge moving ahead. It can also lighten your load by freeing you from old emotions that are not relevant anymore. Imagine what more you can achieve and the peace of mind you can have!

To book a session for assessment, please contact: Nancy at +65 91868062

You can be your own Hypnotist
Many will not ever consider seeing a hypnotherapist simply because they do not want to be in therapy. They are not comfortable with revealing their deepest feelings with a relative stranger. Even more so, they are not aware that they need to deal with some of the issues they have.

For the former, Self-hypnosis does not require the presence of another person, you are entirely on your own and working through your issues in the comfort and privacy of your own mind.

For the latter, ask yourself: “Will the ability to relieve stress and achieve deep relaxation be something I can benefit from?” You bet!!

Along cometh 7th Path Self-Hypnosis
At The Pathlight Centre, we run a series of workshop for autohypnosis.

Self Hypnosis gives you benefits almost akin to that of working with an actual hypnotherapist with the added advantage of total privacy. It can help with and not limited to:

  • Stress Relief
  • Deep Relaxation
  • Increase Focus and Attention Span
  • Deal with Toxic Emotions
  • Improve Sleep Quality
  • Change behavioural patterns that have been hindering your success
  • Manage childhood issues leading to low self-esteem and relationship challenges
  • Realise untapped potentials
  • Align your belief to who you really are

The 7th Path Advantage
A renowned master hypnotherapist, Calvin D Banyan, developed 7th Path Self-hypnosis from his hypnotherapy methodology 5-PATH (5-phase Advanced Transformational Hypnosis).

It is unique and sets itself apart from other self-hypnosis techniques, often just Direct Drive or visualization. It employs emotional resonance and contemplative tendencies of the mind to achieve holistic benefits for the practitioner that goes beyond what traditional self-hypnosis can attain. It has four big advantages:

  • Mind-Body-Spirit
  • Insight Therapy
  • Affect (or Emotion)-based
  • Deprogramming (of old unuseful and irrelevant patterns)

Enrolment for Basic Class
Date: 18 Nov 2016 (Friday) 7.15 pm to 10 pm and 19 Nov 2016 (Saturday) 10 am to 6 pm
Duration: 1.5 days
Workshop Fee: SGD 480

Click here to sign up today!



Feeling bored? Craving for a smoke constantly? Drinking excessively?
Excessive or compulsive gaming or snacking or shopping?
Trouble getting yourself out of these compulsive activities?

When you can’t seem to stop doing a compulsive act and it is affecting your daily life, you could have an addiction.
It could all begins with the feel bad & distract cycle.

You feel bad and hence you start distracting yourself by doing something else (smoking, gaming, shopping, etc) to relieve that bad feelings. There is nothing wrong with distraction but if the distraction gets out of hand, and you start losing control of your normal daily life, then yes, it has become a problem. It is difficult to break out of an addiction but it is not impossible, you just need a little help.

So, how can hypnotherapy help?

Working with us, we will be using hypnosis work to help you resolve the negative and distracting patterns so that you could regain control of your feelings. During which, you gain clarity about your addiction issues and learn to handle them more effectively. As a result, you will begin to feel more balanced, and regain your ability to handle your life in a more effective manner.

  • Take control of your feelings.
  • Resolve the root cause to your addiction issues
  • Imagine a life, feeling in healthy, in charged and control of yourself

Let us help you through proven methods of Hypnosis, Hypnotherapy, NLP and our years of coaching experience. Talk/Whatsapp us now at 9856 4998 to find out more!


Do you have an uncontrollable need or desire to scream, yell or even lash out at someone or something or even yourself?

Stressed business woman

Anger can be manifested in many different situations. Sometimes it begins with a relatively minor event which goes round and round in your head, followed by additional little things that irritate. It builds, slowly, until anger erupts. You may arrive home stressed from work (or has had a stressful day looking after your children), and everything gets on your nerves.

You are not alone.

Anger is always the symptom of a problem, ranging from mild to wild. Sometimes, there seems to be no particular trigger that sets off anger.

Anger is an expression for displeasure, unfairness, injustice or even antagonism for some people in extreme cases. The feeling of anger is a natural way for our body to respond to unfair treatment received. If this feeling is not dealt with, in a long run, this unresolved anger can create a downward spiral, bringing about mental health problems such as depression, as well as physical health issues such as elevated blood pressure. Anger can turn into rage; a violent uncontrollable anger.

So, how can hypnotherapy help you?

  • Gain clarity to the source of your anger problem.
  • Resolve the root cause to your anger issues
  • Regain control over anger
  • Imagine your life, feeling in charged and in control of yourself

Our hypnotherapists will first help you to establish the underlying issues that may be the source of your temper problems. Working at a conscious, unconscious and subconscious level with you, in order to help you change the negative thought processes. Strengthening your mind by widening perspectives about how to handle anger triggers. And regain your ability to handle situations in more appropriate manners. As a result, helping you to feel calmer and more relaxed, consider forgiveness and non-judgement to the person(s) whom you think has wronged you.

Let us help you through proven methods of Hypnosis, Hypnotherapy, NLP and our years of coaching experiences. Talk to us now – Call/Whatsapp us at 9856 4998!

Samsung Battery or Normal Battery? How Words Matter

While I was shopping for a replacement cell phone battery at a neighbourhood joint, the shop keeper politely asked me, “You want the Samsung battery or normal battery?”

Earlier in the day I had spent time researching ways to spot a counterfeit battery. I viewed videos and read about subtle differences in the print, label and material of a fake. I scanned images upon images on Google to encase in my mind what a fake, low quality, risky counterfeit looks like so that I would be able to reject it if ever a dishonest seller offers it to me.

“You want the Samsung battery or normal battery?”

Normal battery. We both know what normal refers to, but the mere sound of normal made it seem, well, normal. Counterfeit, fake? Bah! It is all normal. Suddenly, my extensive research did not matter so much anymore. Admit it or not, the mere difference in wording subconsciously lessened my defences.

This happens to us all the time. The best marketers carefully pick words to suit a diligently framed context to influence thoughts, feelings and actions of buyers. Good leaders elicit actions by wordsmith-ing. Gifted speakers and conversationalists may do it without realising it. We at the receiving end sometimes accept these influences without ever realising it too, as the subconscious process of words, thoughts, feelings and actions influence one another.

Interconnection of thoughts, feelings, words and actionsLet us do an experiment. Imagine that a person is saying the statement below to you. Be aware of what you are feeling as you receive the statement.

“The cost of this phone is only $300. How would you like to buy it?”

Now rewind the scenario and imagine that the same person is instead saying the following statement to you. Again, be aware of what you feel.

“The total investment of this phone is only $300. How would like to own it?”

Which statement do you feel better about? The only difference is in the words. The person could take it further:

“The total investment to enjoying long-lasting, instant connection with your loved ones is only $300. You may be pleasantly surprised by the benefits of owning it. If it is O.K. with you, I will help you acquire this experience. All you have to do is to pen this paperwork.”

What if the person had said this:

“The cost of this phone is only $300. You may be surprised by the benefits of buying it. If it is O.K. with you, I will get you started with the initial payments. All you have to do is to sign this contract.”

Vocabulary makes a difference. “Cost”, “payment”, “buying”, “sign contract” are words with connotations that understandably put us on alert mode, heighten our defences, and perhaps remind us of unpleasant experience in the past. Compare the feelings that they elicit to alternatives such as “investment”, “owning”, “acquiring experience” and “pen the paperwork”.

Beyond our feelings and actions, words affect even our abilities. There is an exercise that is always demonstrated during the NLP Practitioner* training at The Pathlight Centre. It illustrates how one word – that is common in everyday conversation – affects your bodily reactions, and how easily you can empower yourself by replacing the word with a more resourceful one.

Consider what adults sometimes say to children: “You can’t do this”, whatever this is. I once met a 7-year old who had a habit of expressing “I can’t….” Her sibling had a habit of asserting to her: “You can’t…”

These are innocent little voices. At the same time, they also reflect the earnest beliefs of these young ones and the self-talk they probably engage in. What if the voice internalizes and repeats until adulthood? Whenever the child said “I can’t…,” I replied with several alternative statements:

“And what if you can…? How can you…?”
“In what ways can you…?”
“When you figure out how… then you can …”

I never did meet the child again, and only hope that she replaces her habitual expression to a more resourceful one.

I am glad the shopkeeper was honest to present me a Samsung battery and a normal on.e. Without knowing it, she gave me an invitation – an invitation to look at a battery as a battery; inferior in make to the other one, yes, but a battery nonetheless. With that, she gave me a choice – a choice to think of it as “fake” or “normal”. I extend the invitation and choice in whatever ways they apply to you.

* NLP or Neuro-Linguistic Programming is a human development technology pertaining to, as its name implies, the interaction between mental processes (“neuro”) and language structures (“linguistic”), and both their natural and deliberate construction (“programming”). NLP has applications across broad areas in sales, therapy, health, education, business, leadership and more – basically, in any field involving human beings. You may learn more about our NLP Practitioner and Master NLP Practitioner trainings here and here.

Why Your Goals Fail and Six Steps to Ensuring They Last

Have you ever watched a plant grow? Even if you have not, you may imagine that in the growth of a seedling, the roots are the first to develop. Only when the young plant has firmly taken root would the shoot start to sprout. The roots play a very important role in plant development. They sustain the structure of the plant while providing it with nutrients from the soil.

It is the same with our goals. Goals are plants that we nurture whether for personal or professional reasons. Unfortunately, most goals turned out poorly or simply failed because in the first place, they were growing on shabby roots. If you repeatedly fail to achieve your goals, you could have set them on weak roots.

The “roots” refer to the initial process of setting a goal. This process is so important that when done right, not only will you have built a firm foundation from which to move, your goal will become as sure a destination to you as the sun is to the shoots that grow towards it.


To know clearly what you want and move in that direction – now, wouldn’t that be useful? That clarity has a name. It is termed “well-formedness”. Well-formed goals last and push you to achieve them. Here are the six steps to creating a well-formed goal that lasts:

1. State your goal in the positive and present tense

Always state your goal positively. State it in the positive and the mind will focus on the positive. State it in the negative and not only is the attention set otherwise, there is also no focus on what you want. Here is a test: do not think of green pigs. Never, ever, think of green pigs getting bombarded by a catapulted angry bird. What did you just think of?

So, instead of “I don’t want to increase my debt”, go with “I spend wisely”.

Also state your goal in the present tense: it signifies that you have already achieved it rather than a spot in the future that you have to get to. Instead of “I will be a power presenter”, use “I am a power presenter”.

2. Ensure that the goal is self-initiated and self-maintained

Have you ever met someone whose goal is to create world peace? It really makes you wonder how this person would achieve it true to his word. He may need to start by acquiring control over the entire world!

Let us bring it closer to home. What about “I want my boss to like me”? Or “I want my other half to love me more”? Or “I want my child to score straight A’s”? Do we really have control over those? These goals are dependent on the behaviours of others which are not within our control.

Goals are achievable only when they are within your control, and the only factor you can truly control is your own choices and actions. If the goal is within your control, then it can be self-maintained.

In a similar vein, always have a goal that is self-initiated, never one that is initiated by external factors like: “I want to be a doctor because that is what my parents would want for me”. This is your goal. Not your parents’, society’s, nor anyone else’s. Make it self-initiated and self-maintained.

Mke sure your goal is self-maintained.

Make sure your goal is self-maintained.

3. Know when, where, and who you are with having achieved the goal

These define the context for your goal. Imagine having achieved your goal. When and where is that, and who are you with? Suppose if you want to acquire more analytical thinking abilities. It helps to define the context in which you would apply that ability. Is it while you are advising your clients as a technology consultant? Is it while you are researching financial statements of companies in your role as an investor?

Defining a context makes your goal specific and clear to the mind. It also prevents generalization to areas where the goal may not be appropriate. For example, you would not want to be all analytical about scientific accuracy while watching a sci-fi movie!

4. Experience having achieved the goal

Now that you have a positive, self-initiated, self-maintained, and specific goal, how would you know when you have achieved it? Well, indulge in the experience now! Visualize in your mind that you have attained your goal. Utilize your senses. See, feel, and hear – even taste and smell if you like – what you would experience having achieved your goal.

5. Check that the goal you want is ecological

The word “ecological” refers to an interdependence and balance of living organisms. In our context, you want to ensure that the changes brought on by your goal will not cause any internal conflicts. Ask yourself these:

  • What are the benefits of having this goal?
  • What are the disadvantages of having this goal?
  • What are the benefits of not having this goal?
  • What are the disadvantages of not having this goal?

If you discover conflicts answering these questions, you may want to resolve them before proceeding with your goal. Otherwise, revise your goal.

6. Ask, “Is it worthwhile?”

Finally, be honest to yourself and ask: “Is it worthwhile?”

You may need to spend considerable time and energy in your goal. Only you can tell why the goal is important to you, and whether it is worth your investment. At this final step, you want to know that the goal you have set is aligned with what you truly want.

The concept of a well-formed outcome is a tool in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), a human development technology that can only truly be appreciated when you experience it yourself. In addition to learning other personal and interpersonal development tools, get the opportunity to set and revise your goal/outcome in our NLP Practitioner course and be certified as an NLP Practitioner in the process.