Welcome to Day 54!
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WOOP Example #2
Here’s our next scenario.
This snag point is about how you want to run three miles twice a week, but you’re only doing it once a week.
Let’s figure out this snag point together. You can download your own worksheet here.
Snag Point Scenario 2--WOOP
First we’ll do the WOO part of the WOOP.
W--wish--I want to run three miles on Tuesday and Thursday nights.
O--outcome--This outcome would allow me get in shape for the 5Ks that I enjoy doing with my husband.
O--obstacle--But, I only ran on Tuesday this week. I felt mad at myself.
Now we’re going to find out the Root cause or why this snag happened in the first place.
Now write down the obstacle again: I only ran one time this week.
Why? Because I was tired when I came home from work.
Why? Because it had been a long day, and I didn’t feel motivated enough to go.
So if I look back at the 13 snags I find that the Root Cause is Lack of Motivation or Willpower.
P is for Plan
Now we’re onto the P of WOOP. P is for plan so you can find out “What could I do differently in the future so I don’t get snagged?”
To come up with your plan, you need to use the reflective questions.
These questions will help you figure out what solution will help you to actually fix the snag point.
The first question is about Attitude.
(What was my underlying thoughts or attitude that led to this scenario? What would be a more helpful attitude or thought to have? )
I was thinking that I have to feel motivated to work out. But, motivation or willpower is not a reliable way to get myself to do something over the long term. Also, it doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing. I don’t have to run three miles. I could go on a small walk with my dog every evening instead.
The next question is about your Preferences.
(Am I trying to do something that works with my preferences? If the behavior isn’t aligned with my preferences, how can I better align it with my likes or dislikes?)
This is not aligned with my preferences. I prefer to jog in the morning rather than in the evening when I get home. I could change my running to the weekends when I have more time.
The next question is about your Physiology.
(Am I trying to do something that works with my body--metabolism, energy levels, hormones, or chronic diseases? If the behavior isn’t aligned with how my body works, how can I better align it with my physiology? )
This is not aligned with my body. I was wanting to run three miles after work. That isn’t a realistic amount for me. I’m still building my mileage up. Maybe a two mile run is more appropriate.
Also, If I think about it, after work is a low energy time for me. Instead, I might go on a 20 minute walk after dinner. This would help to bring down my blood sugar, and if I invite my husband, we could talk and connect as well.
The next reflective question is about your Lifestyle.
(Am I trying to do something that works with my lifestyle--job, family, schedule, responsibilities, or hobbies? If the behavior isn’t aligned with my lifestyle, how can I better align it to make sense for my life?)
This is aligned with my lifestyle. I do have time in the evenings to run, but not the energy to do it. I do have time to run on weekend mornings instead. Maybe that’s a more sensible option for my lifestyle.
The next question is about changing your Environment.
(Is there a way to change my environment--Make the healthy choice the lazy choice, and the unhealthy choice harder?)
One way I could change the environment, so that I run right after work, is I could change into my running clothes before I leave work. That way, I stop at the running trail on my way home and don’t get trapped at home.
The final question is about your Systems.
(Do I need to add something to my system-- a plan, a habit, a rule, a strategy, a skill, or a mantra?)
I need a better workout schedule that works with my preferences and physiology, so I need to figure this out. I need to have a system for this.
I will make a new habit-- I will run two miles first thing every Saturday and Sunday before breakfast.
I will make an Instant Habit--If dinner is done, then I will take the dog for a walk.
Now we’ll just review by writing up a summary that takes into account the important things you uncovered from the planning questions.
When I get home from work, I feel unmotivated to go on a three mile run. In the past, I just try and willpower myself through it, which only works ½ the time.
Willpower or motivation is not an effective strategy to make myself do something consistently.
I prefer running in the mornings when it’s cool.
I have more energy to run in the mornings. I have enough energy to go on a walk after dinner, but not to run.
I have time to run in the mornings on weekends. I have time to walk in the evenings. Plus, it would be a good way to get the dog exercise and connect with my husband.
I could change my clothes at work to make running after work easier. But, I think I will run on the weekends instead.
I will add two new habits to my system. I will walk after dinner every night. I will run two miles on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
I’m not going to pretend that the WOOPing process is easy. It takes practice. It takes brain power. But, it is super effective, and it will get easier with time.
Pick One Snag
If you discover five different snag points in one week, it would be overwhelming to act on all five of them at once. Pick the one that would make the biggest impact, and then just work on one.
Over time you’ll notice that you have less and less snag points. Eventually, they’ll peeter out.
Use it for All Your Goals
The other amazingly cool thing about this process is it can be used for any goal in life you have. Use it for your business goals. Use it for family goals. Because this is brain science, this process can be transferred to anything you’re working on.
Work on It Together
Let’s work through your first snag point together at our next appointment.
Make sure that at the beginning of the appointment you tell me that you’d like to work through a snag point together.
In the future, don’t hesitate to reach out to me and let me know what you’ve discovered or when you get stuck. Sometimes it’s hard “to see the forest for the trees” in your own head. That’s why having a coach is so beneficial--I’m not you!
But more than that, I have worked with hundreds of clients. That means not only do I understand the research on this stuff, I also have experience seeing what happens in real life with real people.
I can’t wait to see all the progress you make when you put the snag point process into play.