Buying a dream car - using a timeline to set a goal

About seven years ago I was part of one of a handful of teams that were approached by the car maker xxxx to bid for the launch of a new car they were building. Being a petrolhead, this was a dream come true – who wouldn’t want to bid to work with one of the finest car manufacturers in the world. My research for the bid meant I had access to information that the general public would never see. This was dangerous as it sowed a seed for a future plan that I had no hope of achieving. Sadly my bid came second, but a photo of the car was stuck on my fridge just in case I got that all important lottery win, but until then it was a ‘one day’ car. Then came NLP.

Part of my NLP course with i2l was a goal setting exercise. Put on the spot I had to think of something and as usual cars popped into my head. I jokingly suggested that my goal could be to own an xxx by the time I’m 40, which is 18 months away. Goal setting opened my eyes a little and got me thinking about what, until then, was a pipe dream. Then we were introduced to timelines. I wasn’t keen on the tool, if I’m honest, as I could not see how I could use it at work without being laughed out the room. But I tried it – that’s where it got dangerous. The exercise helped me to imagine ownership, the buying process and even how I was going to locate the car. Everything started to fall into place and I could see my dream becoming a reality if I set my mind to it.

The timeline had a huge impact on me. I went away feeling really positive about the future and how if I tried hard enough I could achieve a huge life goal. I left the course with a head full of dreams and decided to put a plan into action. The tools enabled me to be very focused on the task in hand and work out all the steps I need to follow to achieve my dream, and away I went. I researched the car, I joined an internet forum and visited a dealership. I always felt too uncomfortable to visit that kind of showroom as I’m certainly not wealthy and all their new cars are well out of my reach. But I was able to purchase second-hand and felt reassured by the manufacturer website that was proud to announce that used car customers would receive the same level of attention to that of used car customers.

To cut a very long story short, NLP gave me the courage as well as the organizational skills to sell my current sports car privately and haggle to get the deal I wanted. My to do list also included locating a private plate, sorting insurance and of course finding a car. My goal became so important to me I even traveled to the other side of London to see a car – something I would never have done before. On Friday 15th May 2011 at 3pm my dreams came true. I collected a gorgeous car that ticked all my boxes and fitted a deal I could afford. My husband said he had never seen me so focused and said I completed the task with swift precise precision to the point where I scared him!

I have learnt that by using the appropriate tools you really can set achievable goals, but not only set them – reach them. The 2 tools that really helped me were the goal setting and the timeline. I used the well formed outcome and SMART objectives to set the initial goal. The timeline tool where I went forward in time really helped me to visualise the buying process and the ownership experience – obviously a very powerful tool that works only too well.

I would never have dreamed that the goal I jokingly set myself on a course in March was achieved within 4 weeks. It’s amazing what you can achieve if you put your NLP mind to it!

Submitted by Clare Smale, Trainer Member

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