PREPARE FOR TRANSFORMATIVE RESULTS: USE THE WOOP TECHNIQUE (Part 4)



This is the last part of this 4 part series on using the WOOP technique to deliver transformative results.


The first three part of the process is all about mental contrasting. Mental contrasting is an approach to positive thinking that combines both fantasy and reality.

The WOOP Technique is a balanced method of identifying our goal ( WISH) while using positive expectations ( OUTCOMES) and realistically facing negative ones ( OBSTACLES we face).

Mental contrasting is the coupling of wishful thinking with an elaboration of the current reality. Why this works is because positive fantasies lower your blood pressure and make you feel less energized and motivated. You need the jolting of the obstacles to get you energized and propelled into action.


“Positive thinking fools our minds into perceiving that we’ve already attained our goal, slackening our readiness to pursue it.” — Gabriele Oettingen (2014)

The last part of this process is all about implementation intentions — PLANNING for the obstacles. Planning for obstacles involve creating an “If … then…” strategy to face whatever hindrance may come your way.


Planning for the obstacles means thinking of what you can do to help you get through your challenges. Psychologist, Peter Gollwitzer, who introduced implementation intentions, identified this preloading as anticipating how to react to certain situations. His research shows that when advanced mental commitments are made -”if X happens then I will do Y” people are more likely to act in support of their goals than those who did not do any mental planning.


In planning for obstacles, think of your answers to the following question:


  • What effective action or thought can you use to surmount the possible obstacles that might come your way?


Now let's try it out!

Wish: to write everyday


Outcome: at the end of 2018 I will have a collection of short articles/essays


Obstacles: not enough time to do it, not motivated to finish it or continue with it, get easily distracted by social media


Plan: If I feel demotivated to write a post, then I will listen to a guided meditation on focus.”


DON’T FORGET to repeat this plan to yourself out loud or write it somewhere that you can see it.


WOOP is an excellent method that you can apply in work, study, attending to challenges, and for changing habits. Try this technique out in setting your goals, creating habits, or in decision making and see how it can give you transformative results.
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