Act on Your Wishes with WOOPGabriele Oettingen

Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, Plan (WOOP) is a science-based mental strategy that people can use to find and fulfill their wishes, set preferences, and change their habits. WOOP presents a unique and surprising idea: the obstacles that we think most impede us from fulfilling our wishes can actually help us to realize them. 

WOOP instructs us to dream our future dreams but then to imagine what obstacles inside ourselves prevent us from achieving these dreams. WOOP can help you do better in school, reduce stress, improve relationships, and achieve goals. 

The WOOP process requires that you go through four steps:

1 . Wish - What’s the most important wish you would like to accomplish over a set time? This wish should be possible for you to attain, but also challenging!

2. Outcome - What is the best outcome of achieving your wish? How would you feel? 

3. Obstacle - What is the critical obstacle within you that is preventing you from attaining this wish? Imagine that obstacle in you occurring.

4. Plan - Create a plan to overcome the obstacle and achieve your wish.
People who use this framework to fulfil their wishes and accomplish their goals see amazing results! 
Now that you know the basics, we want you to practice the WOOP for yourself.

Guiding Activity

Step 1: Wish

First, think about a wish you’d like to fulfill in completing the Challenge — make sure that your wish is both challenging and feasible for you. Once you have your wish in mind, write it down in 3-6 words.

Step 2: Outcome

What would be the best outcome from fulfilling your wish? How would it make you feel? Write this best outcome down in 3-6 words as well. Now take a moment and imagine it fully! 

Step 3: Obstacle

What is it within you that holds you back from fulfilling your wish? What is it in you that stands in the way of fulfilling it? Write this obstacle down in 3-6 words. Take a moment and imagine the inner obstacle occurring. 

Step 4: Plan

Now that you have identified your inner obstacle, can you think of effective ways to overcome it? Name one specific action you can take or one thought you can think to overcome your obstacle. Write this down in 3-6 words.

Fill in the following if-then plan using your obstacle and your action:

“If [obstacle], then I will [action to overcome obstacle].”

Once you have filled this in, repeat the if-then plan slowly in your mind and imagine the obstacle and the action.

Congratulations, you have completed what is likely your first WOOP! Feel free to go through this exercise as many times as you want if you found it helpful. 

Resources & Expert Lessons