WOOP It Away!
Let’s keep building off of last month’s blog post to address the seemingly common and continued theme I have been hearing from many of my clients regarding a lack of “omph” or a petering out when it comes to aggressively pursuing their more challenging aspirations.
Unfortunately, many of us are under the impression that we have to feel highly motivated in order to achieve what we want but the truth is motivation is more powerfully derived once we cultivate habits that support it. It’s like a fire that needs to be stoke-motivation, inspiration, resolve, however you want to refer to it as won’t appear out of thin air. We need to create an atmosphere that fuels it. Life is way too distracting and consuming. That is why last month I highlighted the value of knowing and having a strong “why” behind our pursuits as a critical component in keeping a fire under our ass even when the going gets tough.
Let’s face it, it’s a given that their will be hurdles we will encounter zapping our energy reserves required to make our goals come to fruition. In fact, research proves we can better secure higher levels of motivation and reach our goals if we take a more realistic approach before setting out to attain them. To actually consider all the possible obstacles we may encounter along the way. This way we are not caught off guard and can have a plan in place to work through most challenges and lessen the likelihood of losing our tenacity to push through.
Gabrielle Oettingen, a leading researcher on motivation refers to this as mentally contrasting, where we examine what about ourselves or our circumstances might specifically prevent us from making our goals come to fruition. Could that be a lack of time, skill, emotional support, or knowledge? What’s your “kryptonite” so to say weakening your motivation level? Maybe it’s distractions due to familial responsibilities, poor sleep, or digital consumption. If so how can you better manage these obstacles more effectively so you can create the greatest likelihood for success.
Using a simple yet powerful four step process, Gabrielle Oettingen, suggest applying a technique called WOOP, it’s an acronym that stands for Wish + Outcome + Obstacle + Plan and works like this:
Step 1– Name your Wish, what you aspire for.
Step 2– Identify how you will benefit from the Outcome of this goal, your “WHY”
Step 3-What about you or your circumstances may create Obstacles in achieving this goal.
Step 4– Write down your if-then Plan to get around any and all obstacles you foresee.
So for example if you know you’re prone to procrastination and likely inclined to get sucked into a social media rabbit hole, wasting valuable time you can be using towards goal driven tasks, it would make sense to create clear boundaries on its usage or just unplug from your digital devices for a time being. Or possibly, if you find yourself questioning your emotional or intellectual capability in accomplishing what you desire most, then finding support via coaching or mentoring might be the right plan to put into place to help bust through those self-doubting obstacles.
The great thing about the WOOP technique is that it is super practical and can be used for everything and anything, from an interaction with a loved one, optimizing our daily eating and moving, or a presentation/project at work. It’s where the science of visualization and effective goal setting help us maintain our motivation in the process because we’re not only creating excitement and buy-in but being realistic by considering what may get in the way so we can then make a solid plan to actualize our aspirations. So WOOP away!
Wishing You Always The Best Of Success