four question reason why goal writing

This post was written by DoctorJay on January 4, 2010
Posted Under: goal achievement,good questions

Next point about writing your goals is to have them for yourself.

Thus if you want to become a non-smoker because it bothers your spouse, your doctor told you to stop or you’ll die, or you promised your child you would stop, your chances of success are much lower than if you want to become a non-smoker for your own reasons such as improving your health so you can golf better(assuming you love golf), smelling better, getting your taste buds back and a thousand other internal reasons.

There are times when your reason starts as an external reason motivation, but in order to have it as your goal you must internalize it. How would you do this. Using smoking cessation as the example and having your main reason being that your spouse and children want you to stop, how would you change this to produce a well written goal?

Start with your internal motivation such as the fact that you love your spouse and children. Next add all the other reasons you would like to become a non-smoker.This is different from “I don’t want my wife to nag when I smoke.” Remember also you want to write your reasons in the positive like, “I love to see the approving look on my wife’s face when she sees me a non-smoker.” Now the external reason has become internalized and a positive gain.


When you know why you want  goal and why unconsciously you may sabotage yourself you will be able to achieve your goals. The stronger your reasons why you must achieve your goals the easier you’ll achieve them.

Four excellent questions to ask to improve your chances of achieving any goals are:

  • “What will I gain when I achieve my goal?”
  • “What will I lose if I do not achieve my goal?”
  • “What will I lose when I achieve my goal?”
  • “What will I gain if I do not achieve my goal?”

Write as many answers to the above questions as you can. The more answers you give the more the goal will be your own.
Also note that the wording of the two questions are such that they help you achieve your goal since they presuppose that you will achieve your goal.

Thus for smoking cessation the questions become:
“What will I gain when I become a non-smoker?”
“What will I lose when I become a non-smoker?”
“What will I gain if I do not become a non-smoker?”
“What will I lose if I do not become a non-smoker?”

I recently did a smoking cessation with a client. I normally give them the four questions as a homework to do. My client did not answer enough of the questions. Typically I send the client home to work more on the above questions.

This client was an out of town client who had been referred to me by a friend. So I asked the questions myself and guided my client by keep asking the question over and over again. My client ended up filling four pages with answers to my four questions and by the time we got to the hypnosis his desire for smoking had diminished so much that the hypnosis was a breeze.

All your goals and wishes should be passed through these four questions. When you know the reason why you will discover the way how.

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