Goal Setting 101 - Counseling & Therapy Services - The Juniper Center

goal setting new year resolutions

Was goal setting on your mind at midnight on December 31? If so, you are among 44% of USAmercians who made new year resolutions. Will you keep those resolutions? Actually, according to data, the odds are good. For 2016, 68% of those who made a resolution said they kept at least part of it (although that is down from 72% in 2013). (See the New Year Resolutions Marist Poll results here.)


Dr. Louis Dvorkin, a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with The Juniper Center, shares a process that can help you on your way to positive outcomes for your resolutions in 2017.


A Goal Setting Process that Works


Gabrielle Oettingen, NYU Psychologist, developed goal-setting process, “WOOP”. This is an acronym that stands for “Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, Plan”. Aka, “mental contrasting with implementation intentions.”


In this regard, the WOOP strategy assists people in setting goals, as well as to identify and overcome any potential roadblocks: Now, here are the recommended steps:


(1) Wish

Identify a specific, important wish that is challenging but can be fulfilled.


(2) Outcome

Determine the best outcome. Think about how you will feel after achieving the desired outcome.


(3) Obstacle

Make careful inventory of potential obstacles. Try to determine what might hold you back from wish fulfillment. Might it be an emotion, bad habit or irrational belief?


(4) Plan

Now, create your plan of action. Use “if-then” thinking model (e.g., If this happens, then I will do this.).


In the words of Dr. Dvorkin, “Try it, you’ll really like it.”


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