The Pegasus NLP PECSAW* method

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‘Qualifying’ your goals

PECSAW is the Pegasus NLP adaptation of the traditional NLP method for goals or outcomes more readily achievable – you can read about it here Well-Formed Outcomes along with a description of the PECSAW model.

There are six steps in the process and when you use it with goals, either your own or when coaching someone else, it requires you to ensure the goals are realistic and are self-achievable.

This later point is very important. If a goal requires someone else to change their behaviour it isn’t a goal – it’s an aspiration or a dream. Wishing to get along better with a work colleague may be admirable and something to work towards. But it requires them to change their attitude and behaviour, too. So it’s an aspiration – not a goal.

(There is a list of articles on NLP & goals below)

The 6 PECSAW Qualifying Questions

The PECSAW method can be used on your own goals or used to assist others in designing their goals.


The goal must be stated in the positive i.e. you decide what you (do) want rather than what you don’t want e.g.

What do you want?

What do you wish to achieve?


Decide what is the evidence which will indicate that you have successfully achieved your goal. This evidence needs to be objective i.e. it’s what you or somebody else would recognise – not what you will feel, since feelings are too subjective and cannot be measured e.g.

How will I recognise when you have this?

What will you see and hear that will you know when you have achieved this?


Some of the qualities or skills that you might like to have in your working life could be inappropriate in your personal life. Let’s say your goal is to become more authoritative in your role as shop-floor manager. That’s a skill which you might not want to have running when you’re at home in the evening playing with your two-year-old child. This step enables you to be very clear on which areas you wish to apply this goal e.g.

Where and when do you want to have this?

Where and when do you not want this?

Self achievable

It is very important that the your goals or outcomes are within their own realm of influence i.e. they are things over which you have control. You can develop the skill of being in charge of your own moods – you cannot be in charge of the moods of others. So I want my partner to treat me better is an aspiration but it cannot be a goal.

What resources do you need to be able to achieve this?

What do you need to do to achieve this?

Is this something which you, yourself, can achieve?

In this goal dependant on other people changing their behaviour?

Advantages & Disadvantages

Any change we make in our lives will have advantages and disadvantages. This step requires up to weigh up the pros and the cons regarding our goal before committing time and energy to it.

What are the advantages of making this change?

What are the disadvantages of making this change?

What will achieving this lose you? Become?


Knowing what the goal will help you to feel and to avoid feeling links your motivation to your goal-pursuing actions and keeps you on track. This step enables you to recognise how your personal values will be affected by the goal.

What’s important to you about getting this?

What will this outcome help you avoid feeling?

What is the benefit of this outcome?

The PECSAW outcome-qualifying method is included in a hands-on exploration in our NLP Practitioner Part 1 (NLP Core Skills) course.  At this course you are able to use it on a specific goal which you wish to achieve in your life – and to then discuss your experience with the trainer and compare your experience in using the technique with that of other participants.

(* ‘PECSAW’ is the Pegasus NLP version of the original NLP Well-Formed Outcome model – as part of our drive to make NLP more thorough and less jargon-ridden, and therefore more accessible, we have re-named the model and added an extra question to the original NLP model.)

More articles on NLP and Goals or Outcomes

The NLP goal-designing method

The Pegasus NLP PECSAW method

NLP Goals or Dreams (1)

NLP Goals or Dreams (2)

NLP Goals and how to avoid regret

The ‘future on wheels’ pattern

NLP Goals and archery

NLP and the need to focus on what you DO want!



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