Back to Blog

The WOOP Model

#highperformance #personaldevelopment Jan 23, 2024

In my last blogpost about The Wisdom of Negative Thinking, I wrote about balancing optimism and positive thinking with a dose of negative visualization, a tool used by ancient stoics and currently, by behavioral therapists.

The practice helps you to visualize your success, while being mentally prepared for setbacks, and equipping yourself with strategies to overcome them.

Recently, I learned about the WOOP model as a practical method for achieving goals, which recognizes the importance of balanced visualization, and I wanted to share it with you.

WOOP stands for Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, Plan

  1. Visualize a goal that is challenging, yet achievable.
  2. Imagine the best outcome if your wish came true. How would it feel?
  3. Consider the internal obstacles that may stand in the way of your wish: is it emotion, habit, mindset? Reflect on the obstacle.
  4. Create an action plan. If the obstacle arises, what can you do to overcome it.  Prepare an “if…then” scenario.


Let’s say your goal is to learn a new language – French – in anticipation of a trip you have planned for later in the year. 

Imagine yourself carrying on conversations in French as you visit hotels, restaurants, and stores in Paris. When people congratulate you on your vocabulary, and even on your accent, it feels great. You even picture yourself giving directions to other travelers who are French!

You realize that, to meet your goal will require disciplined study each and every day for 15-30 minutes, and you know you have a tendency to get distracted with social media, email, and other interruptions, and this may prevent you from keeping on your schedule.

You resolve that you will put in your practice time first thing each day before opening email or social media.  You establish a buddy system with a friend to send a text reminder each morning within 15-30 minutes of your wake-up time to help keep you on schedule. You may want to post a picture of the Eiffel Tower somewhere you will see it upon waking up each day and before you go to sleep at night, for extra inspiration and motivation.

This is a simple example, but the idea is to anticipate your challenges and obstacles in advance and know how you will react and respond whenever they arise.  By having a solution ready, it will be so much easier to stay on track.

I encourage you to try to WOOP method for one or more of your goals. Let me know how it works!

And if you are interested in learning how to perform above standard norms over the long term, while maintaining your well-being and your important relationships, it’s time for high performance group coaching.  Learn more here:



Schedule a Discovery Session with Cheryl

Click to book your call