The Everyday Confidence Podcast-3

003 – Setting Goals with WOOP

Goal Setting
Goal Setting
003 - Setting Goals with WOOP
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Goal setting with WOOP

In today’s episode, I talk about a system with three decades of studies behind it. It’s from Professor of Psychology, Gabriele Oettengen.

The process is known as WOOP, which is an acronym for ‘WISH’, ‘OUTCOME’, ‘OBSTACLES and PLAN.

Gabriele’s was investigating how people think and act when they’re thinking about the future. She discovered that again and again, people who used visualization, lost much of their motivation.

WOOP - Mind's EyeThe unconscious mind sees something that is vividly imagined and something that actually occurred as the same thing. So, in many cases, the mind thinks you’ve already achieved your goal, so why should it feel energized or motivated?

Once that had happened, motivation was lost.

This process uses two different systems of psychology to change that. The first is a Visualization technique known as ‘Mental Contrasting‘.

It works by firstly visualizing the ideal future, that achieving this goal will bring. Then, by visualizing all the of the problems, or ‘Obstacles’ that might come up,

This mitigates the issues caused by just seeing the positive benefits.

The second system was devised by her Husband, Peter Gollwitzer. He is also a Professor of Psychology,

His research was how goals and plans affect cognition, emotion, and behavior. The system he developed is called ‘Implementation Intentions

This means that you must fully commit to your intentions. Then take the necessary action, to make it happen. The process uses IF… THEN questions. eg. If (this obstacle) happens. Then I will do (this action) instead.

Together, these two systems give us WOOP.



You can read my post on the subject HERE.

CLICK HERE, to read a full explanation of Mental Contrasting, on the NJ Life Hacks website.

And you can read a full explanation of Implementation Intentions HERE.

You can buy Gabriele Oettengen’s book, ‘Rethinking Positive Thinking: Inside the New Science of Motivation’, by CLICKING HERE.

Or, visit the official WOOP website HERE.

If you’d like to download the free WOOP Worksheet, you can do that by CLICKING HERE.




Podcast music: Is ‘Sweet Life’ by Twisterium.
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