How do you set your goals?

Last week we talked about choosing to be proactive, rather than reactive, in improving our health. One of the best ways to be proactive is to set goals and then work toward those goals. This week I want to share a goal setting technique that I have been using recently that has been very helpful.

We have all heard of the SMART goal-setting technique. This method of goal setting states that our goals need to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Bound. This approach has been around seemingly forever. Just because it has been around forever does not mean that it is the best approach. The strategy that I have been using recently is based on the acronym WOOP.

The steps for this process are:

Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, Plan


 What are you trying to make happen? This wish needs to be HUGE and it needs to be important to you. It needs to be something that will motivate you.


This is the "Why". Why does this wish matter for you? If that wish were to come true, what would happen? What is the actual result of reaching the WISH goal? Close your eyes and imagine in vivid detail what that would mean for you. What would it mean for your family? 


 Ask yourself - What are the possible things that could prevent you from reaching that goal? Focus on the internal obstacles first, before even considering how the world could possibly conspire against you. Remember that the only thing that you can control is yourself. The Stoics have taught us that! (Also if you remember our friend Ryan Holiday, he wrote a great book a couple of years ago entitled The Obstacle is the Way that is filled with stories about how obstacles often show us the path to success. )


What do we need to do to make this all happen? What specific steps do we need to take to make sure that we are able to reach our goals? What needs to change in order to reach that goal? Do you need to read more and watch Netflix less?  Do you need to make exercise a priority? Do you need to put down the chips and pick up an apple? What do you need to do to make that wish come true? 

The next time you are looking at goal setting. Give this approach a chance. This is especially beneficial for setting long-term goals. As you look at your life, and what you want out of it, over the next 5, 10, 15, or 20 years take a moment and WOOP it up!


Movement is my medicine,


Dr. William "Chip" Bleam

Dr. William "Chip" Bleam


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