How to Set Goals Using the WOOP Method

   There is a line of research that suggests that setting a goal is as important as considering what may prevent the goal from becoming a reality.

   This s a method called mental contrast, where you begin by visualizing what you want, followed by the obstacles.

   An evidence-based goal-setting model called WOOP, which stands for wish, outcome, obstacle, plan, developed in the field of positive psychology, appears to be an effective way to set goals.

   The wonderful thing about WOOP is that you can use it for small daily goals or for larger longer-term goals. Its straightforward and can be used on demand anytime.

Here is a six-step process to achieve the WOOP method.

  • Find five minutes of quiet.

Before beginning, be mindful, slow down, clear your mind, and relax. The goal of this step is to find some calm.

  • Wish.

What do you want to achieve? Think about something in your life that you want to achieve. For example, say you want to write a book or part of a book by a certain date.

  • Outcome.

What is the most desirable outcome? If you achieve this goal, visualize how it will help you and what the benefit will be to you. Think about what you expect this outcome will do for your overall sense of well-being and happiness.

  • Obstacle.

What are some obstacles to achieving this goal? Think about the things that could make this goal hard to achieve, and then what options you must work around them. If obstacles arise, what would you do? Picture yourself working through these obstacles to your goal.

  • Plan.

Plan as to how and when you’ll begin to achieve your goal. Think about what you can do to get from point A to point B. consider the different what-if situations so that in the event you face some challenges, you are prepared.

  • Write out your plan and how you’ll measure success.

Once you plan your goal, write it down.  Putting a goal on paper helps to reinforce it and increases your accountability. You can add a daily measurement of progress toward your goal in your journal. Increase your accountability by telling y\any trusted friends or family members what you’re trying to achieve. Often when we make things public, it increases our accountability to others and ourselves.

The sooner you become comfortable with goal setting, the better. This is a much laxer kind of goal setting. If your life is complicated now, like mine is, this is the ticket to getting things done.

Good luck and let me know how you do!

Irene S. Roth