Goal setting is prominent in everyone’s life and is why we educate ourselves, keep ourselves healthy, and find people we love. Everybody has goals in life, but nobody knows the best way to set and achieve goals. On New Years, we all set resolutions for ourselves, but do we ever follow through with each goal we create? A practical goal-setting tool called WOOP stands for Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, and Plan. An app on any mobile device called “WOOP” walks you through the steps necessary to set goals that you can achieve and navigate obstacles that may prevent them from coming true.

Wish stands for the need for you to identify a meaningful and attainable wish. This step refers to coming up with the goals that you want to achieve for yourself. You have to make sure that the goals are specific, measurable, assignable, realistic, and time created. We have all set incredibly difficult goals that solely end in defeat discouraging yourself. A specific goal requires a clear outcome, like buying a house. A measurable goal is what you can see progress with overtime to continue to motivate you forward. An assignable goal has tasks you designate someone to accomplish (for personal ones, it will almost always be you). A realistic goal is one that you can achieve (do not mistake this for not wanting to work hard enough). Depending on the target, it may require more or less time, but it is essential to do something you have enough time to complete. 

When choosing goals, there are a few different types that you can choose. There are why goals (purpose of your actions) and what goals (what steps are you going to take to achieve the goals). There are also “get better goals” (enjoying the journey and gradually getting closer to perfection) and “be good goals” (focuses on the end goal instead of the progress and can be more demoralizing if you cannot succeed). Another form of a goal is prevention (anxious when fail and focus on not failing) and promotion (happy when you succeed and does not result in negative emotions). A tip from professionals is to choose goals that lead to a new activity rather than something to improve our circumstances. A new activity leads to a unique experience (and possibly new friends), but a new item can only last so long. On top of that, choose flexible and appropriate goals that encourage you to better yourself. With these various tips, you should be able to set more goals that enhance your well-being and motivate you because you can achieve them.

The outcome wants you to think of the result and being in the moment. Doing this motivates you to push towards your goal even if events in life attempt to stop you. Most people do this when they are daydreaming of an event, but the bad thing about this is that you feel terrible when it does not become true. Although, if you learn how to do this thinking to help you feel happy and not be disheartened when it does not come true, it is incredibly powerful. A few questions to help yourself see the outcomes more are to ask yourself how great you would feel if this wish came true or how amazing your life would be if you accomplish the goal. Make sure that you close your eyes and solely imagine the outcome.

For obstacles, a better way to daydream is to think of the internal and external barriers. When you reach obstacles, you will not be as surprised because you thought of them. This results in you becoming more observant and a problem solver for any situation. Make sure to identify the most significant obstacle that can come your way so that it is easier to reach that fantastic outcome that you imagined. Obstacles can come from your inner self (in the form of a lack of motivation or negative emotion) or an external obstacle (someone is mean to you on that day, or your car broke down). Please focus on the barrier that is more extreme to prevent delays in your goals. 

The planning step is just as important as setting appropriate goals. It refers to what you will do when you see an obstacle. If you imagine the outcome, see possible barriers, and plan on dealing with the challenges, you will be an unstoppable force that can achieve anything. The best way to do this is to create this if-then statement in your head. For example, if I begin to feel less motivated, I will remember how great my life will be once I reach it. Once you have a plan, there will be almost nothing stopping you from achieving your goals because you prepare yourself.

I am hoping with the new knowledge of goal setting and a process to help you achieve goals can help you be more successful in your life. Using the “WOOP” app is a great way to begin this process and train yourself to be more efficient without assistance from an app. You will learn how to motivate yourself and enhance your well-being by giving yourself a drive towards finishing goals. I have found it incredibly rewarding and make sure to track my progress on goals and set any new ones that come to mind. For a refresher, I answer a few questions on the app and look at the goals I have set. I have found it useful as I feel that I can motivate myself easier and am doing all that I can to achieve short and lifetime goals slowly but surely. I recommend you educate friends and family on a distinct way to view goals and make sure you become your best self.