Here’s How To Tell If You’re On The Right Track In Under 5 Minutes

It could be the right goal, just at the wrong time. Here’s how you’ll know…

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Typically the things you want in life are achievable; however, the hard part is the how behind how you will do so. The WOOP method, which stands for Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, Plan, helps you pave the way to making your dreams a reality. One of the things I appreciate most about this strategy is that it forces you to build a contingency plan in order to prepare for your obstacles. Author and Psychology Professor Gabriele Oettingen explains how it works at Harvard Business Review:

Name a wish that is attainable or realistic for you — say, landing a new client. Then imagine for a few minutes what would happen if that wish came true, letting the images flow freely through your mind. Then change things up. Identify the main obstacle inside you that stands in the way, and imagine it for a few minutes. Now on to your plan: If faced with obstacle X, then you will take effective action Y in response.

I began using this strategy roughly 6 weeks ago and since, have been able to shift a few goals to the side in order to make room for the more immediately feasible. The reorganization of these goals has allowed for further clarity. My “WOOP” outline took roughly 5 minutes and looked a bit like this:

Wish — My wish is to educate others on the dangers of sex trafficking and ultimately eradicate the reality its potential going forward.

Outcome — I will start a non-profit that provides formal training and educational seminars that elaborate on the warning signs and preventative measures for those who are at risk while out in public.

Obstacles — A meeting location has not been determined and finding educated individuals to lead the training is still to be done. I anticipate there will be a cost associated to the start-up process that needs to be calculated and allotted for.

Plan — A non-profit in full fruition might not be feasible in the immediate future, but perhaps local meetups in the meantime will suffice. If I am able to find men and women who are equally as passionate about the issue and driven to seeing these improvements through, then we can cohere our efforts and identify an appropriate timeline. What I will do for the next 6 months is to educate myself, determine any certifications required to provide these lectures, and begin the process of locating like-minded individuals.

The Meaning Behind The Exercise

While my goal is justified and upstanding, it does not have a timeline that supports immediate success so instead, it is necessary that I outline what is feasible and shift any more instantaneous missions. By compartmentalizing the time I spend on each, I will be able to better equipped to devote quality time filled with intent, rather than aimless efforts.

While this exercise can be done in just a few minutes, its impact can last far greater lengths of time. Much of the reason why we never see our wishes come true is that we either stop thinking about how to make a reality of it or we begin acting on it at the wrong time in our lives. It’s okay to say, “This is a goal I will see through, but the majority of my efforts are best spent in this other area of my life’s mission.”

In doing so, we are able to amplify the intent behind our efforts and will likely see a more promising end result to all wishes. It isn’t about having the goal, planning for the goal, or seeing the goal through — but about where you are currently and how you are prepared to address and overcome the obstacles you will face along the way. If any of these anticipated obstacles will have impacts of detriment, halted progress, or self-sabotaging emotion, then it might not be the right time until you have been able to formulate a defined way of moving past each.

Written by

Writer. Poet. Philomath. Dog Mom. Traveler. Creator. Wanderer. Teacher. Empath. Author of “Unapologetically Human” - available on Amazon

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