This mental strategy can help you achieve your goals and improve productivity.

Having trouble achieving your goals? It seems you’re trying your best, yet you’re not achieving your goals. You have to put in more work than that if you really want to get anywhere. So what can you do instead? You better WOOP your goals into reality. This “goofy” acronym is a thinking strategy that helps you focus on what’s preventing you from achieving your goals, tackle them, and make the best out of your productivity. Let’s WOOP!


Related media: What Is WOOP?


It’s Time To WOOP Your Life

The WOOP acronym stands for Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, and Plan. These four words make up the four-step thinking strategy you need to tackle and achieve your goals. Several studies have described this strategy as “mental contrasting.” What this means is that you have to essentially picture yourself achieving your goals — yes, a little bit of imagination might help you get there — in comparison with your present life. By contrast, the two scenarios can help you identify the obstacles preventing you from achieving your dream life.



How Do I WOOP?

Here’s a hypothetical situation to help you WOOP your life and achieve your goals:

  1. Identify your Wish: This could be a bigger career goal or even a small personal goal, like starting to work out or starting a healthy diet. Just WOOP it all!
  2. Identify the best possible Outcome of that wish coming true: How would you feel if you could achieve your goal? If it’s exercising, maybe you would feel more productive. If it’s eating healthy, maybe you will feel healthier than you use to.
  3. Identify the Obstacles keeping you from fulfilling your wish: What stops you from attaining your goals? In the workout situation, maybe you’re just too lazy or you have the perception it’s too hard. With the healthy diet dilemma, maybe you’re just craving junk food too often.
  4. Identify a Plan to fulfill your wish: What do you need to do to start overcoming those obstacles? To tackle your workouts, you can join a keep-fit club or register with a local gym and start working out daily — you could also commit to doing push-ups or stretching. To keep a healthy diet plan, you just have to keep in mind that junk foods contain a lot of calories that would ruin your workout as well.


WOOPing Your Way Out

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Image: Shutterstock / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Considering the hypothetical case above, you’d notice that WOOP isn’t reserved for the perplexing life challenges. Just as the website suggests;

“[WOOP] can support all areas of behavior change. It is for people who feel stuck and don’t know what to do. It is also for people whose lives seem just fine but who feel they can do better. And it is for people who face a particular challenge or transition.”

These are not just mere words. Here are the results of the WOOP research that saw a significant difference:

  • Dating: WOOP helped study participants reduce insecurity-based behaviors (like looking through a partner’s phone) and increase their commitment to romantic relationships.
  • Education: WOOP increased high school students’ efforts to prepare for standardized tests by 60 percent.
  • Fitness: WOOP helped study participants double the amount of exercise they performed over a four-month period. Bonus: It helped participants increase fruit and vegetable intake by 30 percent over two years, too.
  • Health: WOOP helped patients suffering from Type II Diabetes improve their self-care.
  • Sociology: WOOP helped study participants increase tolerance and social responsibility towards people of prejudiced groups.

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Written by: Nana Kwadwo, Sat, Mar 16, 2019.

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