WOOP, WOOP towards your goal

A simple strategy that helps you move from wishful thinking to goal achieving

What is WOOP?

Apart from having a cool name, WOOP is a scientifically proven method that helps us achieve goals. It’s based on 20 years of research on neuroscience theories of motivation and goal attainment by psychology professor Gabriele Oettingen. It stands for Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, Plan.

How does it work?

WOOP takes you through the highs and lows and makes you come up with the plan. Research indicates that positive thinking only isn’t enough, because as our brain goes through the process, it can’t distinguish if this in fact happened or it didn’t. In comes a concept of mental contrasting which suggests that we need to think about what can obstruct us in reaching our goal. In other words, we need to let our inner critic have a say as well.

The final and crucial step, after being dreamy and critical, is to create an action to overcome those inner obstacles. This mental strategy is called implementation intentions and it’s there to help us set a plan. Here are two examples to help me illustrate that:

Example of my WOOP I Making content for Playground

Wish: I wish to publish 1 useful blog post per week

Outcome: I feel pride as readers like the articles and sign up for Playground

Obstacle: Self-doubt

Plan: If I start to self-doubt, I will remind myself how the topics which I am writing about helped me.

Another example of my WOOP I Doing a 40-day yoga practice

Wish: Do a challenge of 40 days of yoga

Outcome: I will feel energized& balanced

Obstacle: What if I feel lazy or don’t have the time

Plan: I will see the yoga practice as a reward and do it right before or right after work.

Benefits of WOOP

I personally enjoy WOOP because of its simplicity and how widely I can apply it. When it comes to other people, research shows that these are all the areas where it has helped:

• Improved social behaviours – people became more tolerant, find new solutions etc.

• Helped people become healthier – eat better, exercise, better mental health

• Improved academic performance – improved time management and grades.

WOOP instructs us to dream, but also to imagine what obstacles inside ourselves prevent us from achieving these dreams. If you would like to try it out now, here is a link to the official WOOP website. If you do try it and want to share how it was for you, we have this section called comments below 🤗.