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Tired of SMART Goals? Try WOOP!

Updated: Mar 1, 2022

Who doesn’t want to do the smart thing? The opposite would be to do the dumb thing, so of course we all aspire to do the smart thing. Like setting SMART goals.

SMART is an acronym and stands for:

  1. Specific

  2. Measurable

  3. Attainable (or Achievable)

  4. Relevant (or Realistic)

  5. Timely

The idea is that when you set a goal, you want it to have all of these characteristics to be a SMART Goal. Otherwise, it is said, that you will probably never achieve it.

But here’s the thing. Setting SMART goals is no guarantee of success. I’ve set supposedly SMART goals but only afterwards learned why they weren’t attainable or relevant. I’ve set more specific goals then I should have been when embarking on a new project. Both scenarios can make one feel rather dejected and frustrated by the SMART goal setting process.

The SMART acronym, while catchy and cute, can cause more of a robotic approach to planning that leaves very little room for creativity. All of the elements of SMART goals start to feel cumbersome. This is especially true when you’re planning personal or professional goals for yourself. It’s hard for a SMART goal to sound inspirational (the mathematical and data driven mind possibly being the exception). They can start to drone on and on and on as you strive to hit all the elements at once.

So, yes having a SMART goal makes sense in theory. But in practice, it is better to have an inspiring goal that you are driven to aspire to and enables you to play with the give and take of a creative endeavor then to have a smart goal that makes you roll your eyes.

Luckily, there is a new goal setting technique that goes beyond smart; it’s pure genius. It’s called WOOP and was developed by psychologist Gabriele Oettingen. This technique has been proven to help students achieve greater levels of academic success. And is totally relevant to the Misfit Entrepreneur too.

WOOP stands for Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, and Plan. Each section has a corresponding question to help you set a WOOP Goal. An important part of WOOP goal setting is to practice imagining yourself accomplishing the results you seek as well as imagining yourself overcoming obstacles to make it happen. I personally prefer imaginative WOOP goals over robotic SMART goals.

Your journal is a great place for writing such reflections and doing WOOP goal setting!

  1. Wish – What is an important wish you want to accomplish in _______ (time period)?

  2. Outcome – What will be the result of accomplishing your wish? How will you feel?

  3. Obstacle – What is the main obstacle inside you that might prevent you from accomplishing it?

  4. Plan – What is your plan of action for overcoming potential obstacles?

What’s your WOOP goal?

What’s Rosabella Consulting up To?

Last week we hosted a successful Open House and 6 Year Anniversary Celebration with friends, colleagues and clients! New connections were made. Long lost friends were re-acquainted and a good time was had by all.

It’s hard to believe that we are six years strong into this journey. This anniversary provided a great opportunity to reflect on all that we’ve done at Rosabella Consulting since our beginnings. And the celebration illuminated all that we are so grateful for; the community we serve and the support from many that makes it all possible.

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