Really Achieve Your Goals! 2

Part Two 

For Part One click here

So if visualisation doesn’t help us achieve our goals, what does?

Well, the research shows that we can use a method that is only slightly more complicated but has a proven, much higher level of success – one that actually helps you! It will also help you know if you are really doing the right thing or whether you should be aiming at some other goal.

The method is called ‘WOOP’. It’s a four stage process, and ironically begins with the usual visualisation of what we want to achieve. But it then addresses the things that can get in the way. Here are the four stages:

1. WISH: Close your eyes and picture something that you would like to achieve. You might imagine that you are exercising more often, you have just got that promotion at work, or whatever else you would like to do.




2. OUTCOME: Let your imagination take over as you think about what the best outcome would be – you get fitter, or you have now got a more interesting job, for instance.




3. OBSTACLE: Now think of what could get in the way (this needs to be something you think you could influence or even control). It might be, for example, that you would feel too comfortable sitting at home to go out jogging. Or that your boss has doubts about your level of commitment to the company (and you think you might be able to influence him.)




4. PLAN: What could you do about this? Could you leave your running gear out so it's easy to get to - making you more likely to put it on when you get home? Or could you dump the TV? And with the promotion, could you have a chat with your boss to make him realise that you really are committed to the company?

Then just put this in an ‘If…. then…’ format. So it might be something like:

‘If I find myself sitting watching the TV when I haven’t done enough exercise, then I shall watch to the end of the programme, and then go jogging.’



That’s it. Research shows that this dramatically increases your chances of success. But if it doesn’t work? Well, maybe there are other obstacles you need to WOOP. Maybe you need to do more – perhaps asking your better-half to turn the TV off until you do go out and jog!


And the interesting thing is that you may find that you are less motivated after doing this. Why? There are things we would do better to drop and try something else –we're just not motivated enough, or we just don’t have what it takes. Oettingen’s research shows that our subconscious expresses this when we WOOP – our mind says ‘I still don’t want to do this – even with the barriers gone.’ So it can help you put your energy into something more rewarding.

So, drop the usual visualisation process, and try having a WOOP!