It’s a cold, dark, rainy January 11th and you’ve had a particularly long day. You’ve been working out consistently for the past 11 days, but you haven’t seen any tangible progress. The cookies on the counter and that next Netflix episode start calling your name. But you look at your calendar and see the date of your half marathon race circled. What do you do?
Wanting something is easy. Even starting to work towards a goal is easy. The tricky part of goals is sticking to them through unanticipated challenges and discomfort.
That’s where WOOP comes in.
WOOP stands for Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, Plan. In WOOP goal setting, you think and feel through each of the stages. Set aside 15 or 20 minutes to follow the four steps of WOOP and create goals and plans to achieve success!
A wish is a realistic but challenging goal that you can reach in about a month. You are excited about this goal and it’s important to you. It’s challenging but achievable.
Example – Right now, I can run a mile in 8:20. By the end of the month, I want to run a mile under 8:00.
Imagine the outcome and everything you will feel when you achieve your wish! This is the part of the process where you really get to dream.
Sit with your wish for a few minutes. How will you feel? What will you say? What does achieving this wish look like? How will you celebrate? What emotions will it bring up in you?
Example – I will feel confident and accomplished. I will be fit. I will enjoy the feeling of being fast!
Obstacles are inner challenges that keep you from achieving your wish. These can be emotions, misconceptions, self-defeating thoughts or bad habits.
Obstacles must come from within you so they cannot be blamed on anything or anyone else. Part of the WOOP process is taking ownership of the obstacles that will arise on your way to achieving your goal.
Thinking through the obstacles, challenges, and discomforts you’ll face allows you to be prepared on those unmotivating, cold, rainy, dark days in January.
Example – I have a bad habit of choosing not to run when I feel lazy after a long day or when it is raining.
A plan is an if-then statement to overcome your obstacle. It can be a thought or action you take.
When you feel unmotivated on those cold, dark, rainy January days, your plan will tell you what to do to. Overcoming obstacles becomes much easier with a plan that’s set from the beginning.
Example – If I feel lazy and don’t feel like running, then I will put on my running clothes and start by going for a walk. If it’s raining, then I will run on my treadmill while watching my favorite TV show.
In Fit with Friends, after setting the WOOP goal we share them with teammates and friends to hold ourselves accountable. Dreaming up a goal that we really want, creating a plan, and being held accountable by friends makes our goals attainable!
Some of the things Fit with Friends users accomplished with WOOP goals include increasing flexibility, learning how to do a pull up, running regularly, eating healthy when eating out, running a faster mile and packing lunch!
And WOOP, there it is!