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Use the Miracle Question

Think about your goals for the future

The new year is a time when many of us look toward the future and set ourselves new goals.

To help think about your goals, why not try the miracle question?

Imagine you go to sleep tonight and you wake tomorrow morning. During the night a miracle happened and, when you wake up, your most positive dreams for your future have come true. Remember, a miracle has occurred, so you are waking up to your life as you would ideally like it to be. At this point, you may have only quite hazy visions of your ideal future, so to help you be specific about what the real world changes would be for you, think about your answers to the following questions:

A How do you feel when you wake?

B What is the first thing you will do?

C Your best friend arrives. Immediately, they notice that things have improved. What is that they will have noticed?

D What happens next in your day?

Give a blow-by-blow account of the whole day of your ideal life when everything is just as you would ideally want it to be.

Would that be a typical day?

What would you be doing on the same day a week later?

This exercise is called the miracle question. It is a question that coaches often ask their clients in order to help them think about what they want to change about themselves [i]. Your answers to the questions will have helped you begin to think about this, but even so the questions are not always easy to answer. Often, people will immediately talk about having more money, a larger and more luxurious home, but when pushed to say more they may struggle to know how they would actually spend their time. Forced by the questions to go deeper within themselves, they begin to sharpen their focus for what their ideal life would be like.

[i] Adapted from De Shazer, S. (1988, p. 78), Clues: Investigating solutions in brief therapy, New York: Norton