WOOP…….How to turn dreams and your imagination into action

In a recent book by Gabriele Oettingen, titled, Rethinking Positive Thinking, she discusses new research based concepts related to motivational principles for change. Her notion is to focus on change, visualization along with obstacles that may get in your way of achieving your goals.Oettingen applies mental contrasting to three key areas of personal change— becoming healthier, nurturing personal and professional relationships, and performing better at work. She introduces readers to the key phases of mental contrasting using a proven four-step process called WOOP—Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, Plan—and offers advice and exercises on how to best apply this method to daily life. “Through mental contrasting, people in Oettingen’s studies have become significantly more motivated to quit smoking, lose weight, get better grades, sustain fulfilling relationships, and negotiate more effectively in business situations. Whether you are unhappy and struggling with serious problems or you just want to improve, discover, and explore new opportunities, this book will deepen your ideas about human motivation and help you boldly chart a new path ahead.” Whatever your endeavor, imagination, visualization, expectations all matter, however, you have to create the structure, discipline and do the work. Imagination without effort is insufficient to achieve success. 

With additional studies, Oettingen came up with a strategy for turning dreams into action or, when appropriate, new dreams. It goes by the acronym WOOP, standing for:

• Wish: Let yourself dream about a specific wish for your life.
• Outcome: Think about the best thing that could happen as a result.
• Obstacles: Think about the thoughts, behaviors, habits and preconceived notions that might hold you back.
• Plan: Think about when and where an obstacle will occur and make an “if-then” plan: “If obstacle x occurs, then I will perform behavior y.” Just click on the WOOP App link to go download it.

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Dr. Mike Klaybor

Dr. Mike Klaybor

Dr. Mike Klaybor brings thirty years of experience in practicing counseling psychology with individuals and couples. His approach is cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT. Specific specialties include; anxiety and stress management, chronic pain & chronic illness management, depression, substance abuse evaluations, employee assistance and executive coaching for workplace performance and leadership.