Home Productivity Setting and Reaching Goals with the WOOP Technique

Setting and Reaching Goals with the WOOP Technique

When you think about it, the most enjoyable moments are when we direct ourselves to a goal, strive to reach it, and finally reach our goal. Austrian psychiatrist VE Frankl, who was tortured in the Nazi concentration camps during the Second World War, compiled what she experienced there in her book called “Man’s Search for Meaning” and observed that individuals who could not see a future goal during their time in the concentration camp let themselves collapse and struggle with thoughts about the past instead of the future. Underlying this mechanism is that humans are conscious, rational beings who seek and act towards personally defined, meaningful goals.

In this case, it can be said that everyone who is a human puts their life based on setting goals and achieving them. Each person sets personal goals in line with their or wishes and desires and strives to accomplish them uniquely. Ding to Erich Fromm, the essential personal power individuals, consider while continuing their lives and making plans for the future is gaining interest and purpose. People achieve one goal as they go about their lives and then pursue other goals for the rest of their lives. An endless cycle… Every Plan for people is to connect to life and to be motivated again. Dreams are the end states that individuals try to achieve.

However, there are certain tricks to setting goals. Can we say a plan for every request? Imagine a child who wishes he could fly. It is wrong to put this desire as a goal, as it will not come actual no matter how hard they try.

What can we pay attention to when setting goals?

Applicability needs to be clear and specific when setting the target. Our priority when selecting a target is that it is realistic and feasible. For example, this is reasonable and doable for someone who wants to read more books. The second point to note is that the target is specific. The person who wants to read more books says, “I want to read more books.” instead of “I will read two books a week.” If you set a goal like this, your chances of success are much higher. In addition to all these, the fact that the goal is meaningful for the person also provides the necessary behavioral and cognitive motivation to reach the goal.

Reaching the Goal with the WOOP Technique

Gabriele Oettingen, a professor of psychology at New York University and the University of Hamburg, studies how people think about the future. With the experience gained from all these studies, he developed a simple method to help people set the right goals.

We can say that the WOOP technique is a self-regulation tool that makes it easier for people to set appropriate goals and develop new habits. WOOP is an acronym. It consists of the initials of the words Wish (Wish/Wish), Outcomes (Outcomes/Results), Obstacles (Obstacles), and Plan. WOOP technique is applied in 4 stages; career success, health, diet, academic success, human relations, etc. It is an adaptable and efficient method for many subjects. You can apply WOOP for both small and large requests and short-term and long-term requests. The initial thinking phase can be challenging. This is a very typical situation. The more often you apply, the faster you get used to it and the more efficient you will get. Let’s move on to how to implement it now.

How is the WOOP technique applied?

Stage 1: Wish

First, create a quiet and calm environment because you will need five uninterrupted minutes. After making the right environment for you, ask yourself the following questions and reflect on the answers.

  • “What do I want?”
  • “Is this request meaningful to me?”
  • “Is my request realistic?”
  • “Is it possible for my wish to come true with my efforts?”
  • “Can I summarize this request in 3-5 words?”

After answering these questions, express your thoughts in 4-5 words and take notes.

Example: Mary, who has difficulties establishing friendships and cannot be very comfortable in social situations, enjoys dancing and wants to learn how to dance. However, his shy and not easily related nature prevents him from enrolling in the dance course. Mary thinks about the meaning of the dance for her, whether she can go to the dance, and if there is anything she can do to go to the calf. He specifically summarizes the request and takes notes in the notebook. He realizes that the goal is realistic, that dancing gives him great pleasure and comfort, and that he can go to the course for his purpose.

“I want to go to the dancing class next week.”

Phase 2: Outcomes

After summarizing your request and taking notes, it’s time for step 2. In the next step, keep asking yourself questions and looking for answers.

  • “If this wish of mine comes true, what will be the best outcome?”
  • “How will I feel when my wish comes true?”

After answering these questions and taking notes, you can close your eyes and visualize how your wish came true and how you feel.

Example: Mary thinks that the best result of learning to dance is to go dancing nights and dance freely by communicating with people comfortably. He takes note of these thoughts. When he knows the dance figures, he thinks he will exhibit the sculptures he wants in the songs he wants, making him feel very free and alive. Then she closes her eyes and imagines herself dancing comfortably in her favorite dress on a dance night, despite all the people she doesn’t know.

Stage 3: Obstacles

Continue to ask and answer the following questions after the visualization work.

  • “What can prevent me from fulfilling this request?”
  • “What is the main obstacle to fulfilling my wish?”
  • “Are the obstacles internal or external obstacles?”

Think through the questions and write down your answers.

Example: Mary thinks her shy nature may hinder her decision to enroll in a dance course. In his mind, he said, “I’m going to meet someone I don’t know very well. What if I don’t learn easily and become disgraced? If something like this happens, I can drop the course halfway through.” thoughts fly. He realizes that these thoughts are internal obstacles.

Stage 4: Plan

In the final stage, think about how you can deal with the obstacles that may come your way. A simple “If ……… happens, I ……….” make the Plan. Making a coping plan for each block prevents you from turning the road when you encounter that situation. Foreseeing overcoming obstacles to keep going will get you closer to your goal.

Example: Mark notices her inner obstacles and says, “If ……… happens, I ……….” prepares the Plan.

  • “If I can’t communicate much with the people I meet, I start the communication by asking someone I feel intimate with where they live.”
  • “If I have trouble learning the figures while dancing, I ask the dance instructor to videotape that figure for me to practice at home.”