Goal Setting & the WOOP Framework

by Karen Kondor

Whenever we want to create some change in our lives, we cannot expect that it will happen by magic. We need to take action to create the change we want to see. And, we must understand that the path from A to B will not go smoothly. There will be obstacles. The question then becomes: do we use those obstacles to halt progress, or do we use those obstacles to create opportunities for learning that hold us in good stead moving forward? In order to create learning opportunities and action, a helpful exercise might be to use the WOOP Framework.

Wish - what do you want to see happen?

Outcome - what does the end state look like?

Obstacles - what kinds of barriers or setbacks might you meet up with along the way? Will you encounter criticism from self &/or others? Spend a lot of time here brainstorming - no possible obstacle is off limits or silly. Lean into the discomfort. The more details you have the better prepared you can be.

Planning - Next to the Obstacles piece, this is really the meat & potatoes part of creating change. Look at your Obstacles, & spend some time reflecting on what you will do when you meet up with those obstacles.

For each Obstacle, ask, “IF this happens…THEN I will do XYZ.” Get very specific with your plans - the more specific we are, the more likely we will be to follow through on the plans & see success.

Think, “Who, what, when, where, why, how?”

  • Who might I need to reach out to for help? Who might be involved in the obstacle? Is that person or group of people regularly around when obstacles come up?
  • What will help from others look like? What things do I need to have at hand now, just in case this obstacle happens?
  • When might the obstacle pop up? When will I do XYZ in order to get past my obstacle? Do I need to time block it into my schedule? Do I need to practice the solution even though I haven’t encountered the obstacle yet?
  • Where might I be when this obstacle pops up? Are there things in that location that I can gather together to help me get through the obstacle?
  • Why might the obstacle occur? Are there things I can do to prevent the obstacle from happening to begin with?
  • How will I react if the obstacle happens? Will I panic, or will I go in knowing that I have a plan in place, and things may not be perfect, but I will come out the other side relatively unscathed?

As you ask yourself these questions, be sure to consider your identity, your values, & your priorities. What stories do you regularly tell yourself, & what character do you play in those stories? Are there other characters in those stories who are supporting or thwarting your progress toward your wish and outcome? Who are you now, & who do you want to become? What rules govern your life that support your wish & outcome? Are some of your values not in alignment with who you want to become? Where do your priorities lie? Do you need to shift some priorities in order to see your wish & outcome come to fruition?

If your XYZ plan is not in alignment with your identity, your values, & your priorities, the friction involved to accomplish your wish and outcome will be much higher than if your identity, values, & priorities are in alignment.

So, get your pen and paper out, and start with the W. Move on to the first O. Then, the second O…spending lots of time here. Finish with really thorough thoughts about the P. WOOP it up!

Keep coming forward - Coach K


Stay connected with news and updates!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.