What’s Missing From S.M.A.R.T. Goals: Practical NLP Podcast 73

Practical NLP PodcastThis week’s podcast exposes the missing piece from the SMART goals model, and gives you a better model that takes account of your motivations and how you feel about the goal. Forget SMART, meet SYDER!


  • Why you don’t have to achieve every goal entirely by your own efforts
  • Why you need to put a date on your goal, and what will happen if you don’t
  • What the Treaty of Versailles has to do with goal setting, and why you need to know about it
  • Why you need a rich sensory representation of your goal
  • A quick and easy way to find the route to your goal

… and much more!

Show Notes – The SYDER Model For Well-Formed Outcomes

S – Stated positively

Always set goals in the positive sense.
That is, what do you want, rather than what you don’t want.

Y – You own it

“What can you do to bring this about by your own actions?” “What can you do to influence the outcome?”
“What do you need to do to achieve this goal?”

D – Defined in sensory specific terms

(a) “What date do you intend to have this outcome by?”

(b) “Put yourself in the situation of having it. What do you see/hear/feel when you have it?” Make sure that your image of the goal is sensory- rich, vivid and compelling.

E – “Ecology” (Effects on every area of your life)

This is a ‘risk assessment’ on how the goal will affect every area of your life.

(a)  “What will happen when you have it?” “What won’t happen when you have it?” “Are there any downsides to achieving it?”

(b)  “How would having this outcome affect each area of your life?” “Who else would be affected by you having this outcome?” “How would you having this outcome affect the planet?”

(c)  Congruence check:
“How do you feel about this goal?”
“Do you want it 100%?”
“Does your energy increase when you think about it?” If not, adjust the goal until you feel enthusiastic about it!

R – Resources and Route

What resources do you have that will help you reach your goal? What additional resources do you need?

It’s much easier to work out how to get to your goal once you’ve got there!

Put yourself in the position of having achieved the goal. What had to be in place immediately before to allow your goal to happen? And what had to be in place before that? Continue all the way back to the very first step.

How to listen to Practical NLP Podcast Episode 73: What’s Missing From S.M.A.R.T Goals

Listen and/or subscribe to this podcast via Apple Podcasts here – and if you like the podcast, please leave a review!

If you want to subscribe using something other than Apple Podcasts (e.g. if you have an Android phone), here’s the feed:  https://nlppod.com/feed/podcast/

Or, simply listen online using the player embedded in this post, or download the episode.

Duration: 11m 44s

If you like the podcast, please review it on Apple Podcasts. Even if you’re not an Apple Podcasts subscriber yourself, that’s where most people still find their podcasts, so that’s where your review will make the most difference.

Practical NLP Podcast Collection Vol 11Note: Only the most recent 10 episodes of the Practical NLP Podcast are available free on Apple Podcasts. You can still listen to this episode as part of the Practical NLP Podcast Collection Volume 11, which you can get here.

© 2016 – 2019, Andy Smith. All rights reserved.

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