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Making wishes come true is hard. Changing our unwanted habits and replacing them with ones we really want takes lots of practice, commitment and dedication. But there are lots of tools and techniques to give us a helping hand, and one of my absolute favourites is WOOP, created by Gabriele Oettingen, professor of psychology at New York University.

It's easy to use, you can do it on your own, it fits comfortably into a 10-minute morning coffee break routine and it makes a lot of sense.

I've had great results every time. I use it for my personal and professional life. In fact I've just come back from a beautiful run I would never have done today without my WOOP. Thank you Gabriele!


That's what WOOP stands for. There are some interesting explanatory videos, and a free toolkit you can use on the website. There's an app too if you're that way inclined.

In a nutshell, this is what you need to do:

  1. Write down a wish. Give it some thought and make it specific, clear and concise.

  2. Write down the outcomes. Let yourself go imagining all the benefits it would bring about. Keep writing till you run out of ideas.

  3. Write down the obstacles. What could prevent this from happening? Be honest and keep going. It's easy to stop at the first obvious barrier, but dig deep, you'll find more.

  4. Write down your plan. For every obstacle, plan your strategy. This can be an action you'll take or a thought you'll have if that obstacle shows up.

It seems that paying attention to the outcomes before the obstacles increases our motivation and creating an implementation plan increases the likelihood of success.

The wishes can be small ones with a day's timeframe, like "I want to have that difficult conversation I've been putting off". They can also be bigger ones like " I want to write a book". Those wishes will need a longer timeframe. You can break them down into steps and WOOP one step at a time till you get there.

From my own experience, I can see how the benefits of this practice go far beyond the individual wish fulfilment you can get. It can encourage us to wish and be brave and help us get closer to the life of our dreams.

Check out the website for more details, and why not give it a go?

Happy WOOPing and may your wishes come true.

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