A Well-Formed Outcome is a goal or desired outcome, with a firm intention to reach it, and having the action necessary to achieve it.

NLP specifies the following six conditions for a goal, or other type of desired outcome, to be considered a “well-formed” outcome – that is, complete, fully congruent, and ecologically sound for the person internally as well as for his or her external relationships and environment.

The Six Criteria for Well-Formed Outcomes are:

  1. The desired outcome is stated in positive language.
  2. The desired outcome can be defined and evaluated according to sensory based evidence — including internal sensory representations.
  3. The desired outcome is initiated and maintained by the person who desires it.
  4. The desired outcome can be achieved in ways that preserve any important benefits or positive intentions of the present, pre-goal state.
  5. The desired outcome is appropriately sized within a specific context and is congruent with internal and external ecologies.
  6. The actions necessary to reach the goal are worth the effort.