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WOOP, there it is, mama! Okay, no, this isn’t a 90’s rap song or an annoying thing people yell out when they’re excited. Developed by psychology professor Gabriele Oettingen of NYU, the WOOP strategy is a simple mental exercise that will help you reach your life goals so you can start feeling empowered to live your best life, baby. WOOP stands for Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, Plan.
WHY is it that so often when we face the first setback in accomplishing our goals, we throw in the towel, run the other way, and hang our heads in failure? We have alllll been there. How many diets have you started, how many projects have you thrown yourself into, or how many classes have you started, only to quit, maybe not even halfway through? How horrible is that feeling!? So often we give up on our goals because we do not have a specific plan in place to help us conquer them. We become overwhelmed, we beat ourselves up, and we say we aren’t worth it any way. But you know what? You ARE worth it, mama. You just gotta WOOP yourself through it! With this strategy, you are more likely to feel prepared to take on the challenges associated with getting to that goal, whatever it may be.
First, you need to start off by identifying your wish or your goal. With the WOOP strategy, your wish does NOT have to be life changing. Don’t beat yourself up if your goal isn’t to get your master’s degree in the next eighteen months. Your wish can be as simple as striving to get the laundry done once a week to avoid it literally piling up on you and stressing you out. Or, do you want to spend more time with your kids without being distracted by your phone? Do you want to practice self love and feel more comfortable in your own body? Do you want to stop that horrible habit of procrastinating on your projects, or do you need to kick that toxic person out of your life once and for all? Big or small, everyone needs goals and wishes in life, mama. Check out this post all about what leads to true happiness!
Once you have your wish identified, then you focus on the outcome of that wish. Literally envision yourself reaching your goal or wish. How do you feel? Do you feel happier and more fulfilled having spent the day, fully present with your kids, phone free? Do you feel healthier and sexier having meditated on your self worth and how amazing your body truly is? Do you feel calmer and more in control getting a task like laundry or grocery shopping done for the week, instead of turning a blind eye to it? This is the outcome of your wish. Just envisioning yourself reaching your wish can feel incredibly empowering.
Okay, so we have our wish, we have envisioned the blissful, empowering outcome of achieving that wish, but then reality comes crashing in and we know we are going to face obstacles in achieving our goal. Often times though, identifying those obstacles is half the battle. If you have a wish of eating breakfast each morning, an obstacle may be that you don’t have enough time in the morning to make it happen before heading to work. Or, if your wish is practicing self love and strengthening your body image, an obstacle might be scrolling through Instagram and seeing gobs of fitness models that plague you with self doubt. Try identifying the obstacles that have stopped you in the past from reaching your goals. Be honest with yourself!
Once you have identified those obstacles, come up with a plan. Your plan is what you will do in response to those obstacles you previously identified. If you find yourself heading to McDonald’s after you scroll through your Instagram feed, make a plan to unfollow the bullshit IG fitness model accounts. If you have zero time in the morning to eat breakfast, hard boil some eggs the night before and make sure to stock up on some yogurt so you can grab and go.
When we work towards our goals day in, day out, we can accomplish amazing things. It doesn’t come from innate talent or luck. Goals are achieved through perseverance and grit. Try out the WOOP strategy and let me know what you think! If you think another bad ass mama would benefit from this message, please share. Thank you for reading!