WOOP Is A Research-Backed Method For Working Toward And Achieving Your Goals

Brilliance | Dec. 16, 2017

Sorry to burst your Pinterest-fueled dreams, but a vision board isn't a magic wand. You have to put in more work than that if you really want to get anywhere. What you can do instead is WOOP, the goofy acronym for a very serious method to reach lofty goals. Achieving your dreams? WOOP, there it is.

Time To WOOP Your Life Into Shape

WOOP stands for wish, outcome, obstacle, plan. These four words make up what is a four-step mental strategy is realizing and achieving your wishes, or goals. In studies, this method is described as "mental contrasting." This essentially means picturing yourself achieving your goals (yes, a little vision board-y, but stick with us) and compare it against where you are in your present life. By contrasting the two, you can start to identify the obstacles preventing your present life from becoming your dream life.

On WOOP My Life, the method is broken down into four clear, easy-to-follow steps:

WOOP Your Way Out Of It

As you can tell from the examples above, WOOP doesn't have to just be reserved for big, life-changing events. As the website describes, 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." And, no, this isn't all empty promises — the research gives WOOP a thumbs up:

If you want to learn more about how to motivate yourself and achieve your goals, check out "Rethinking Positive Thinking: Inside the New Science of Motivation" by Gabriele Oettingen, one of the originators of WOOP. The audiobook is free with a trial of Audible.

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