Dabble vs. Practice

There is something I’ve been working on quite intensely this year. That being the application of WOOP which to recap stands for Wish, Outcome, Obstacle and Plan. The original research on this is Mental Contrasting with Implementation Intentions (MCII) and links with a lot of positive outcomes including increased academic performance.

Up until the start of this year I’d researched and written about WOOP but had never really dived in to its application head on.

More of a dabbler.

To this point I’d been quite academic about it, all theory and no real implementation.

They I asked this question.

How can I really immerse myself in the practice of WOOP?

They I asked myself – what would it take to do 1000 woops personally?


In January I set a goal to complete 1000 self-reflective woops!

I’m close to finishing that process now and at the time of writing this we are just over 6 months into the year.

Like the introduction of any new practice or habit, it was tempting to go all or nothing on it rather than steady, incremental and consistent.

I tried paper based, online versions, written versions, pencil, pen…you name it I tried it!

The main aim though was to keep a continuous thread running.

I’ve had a lot of fun developing that ‘Woop’ muscle because what it has allowed for is a greater level of solution focused thinking when obstacles do arise.

I’ll be writing about this in more detail at a later stage and some key insights learnt but the point for now is…

Setting personal growth goals that you can measure or quantify or track in some way are just as important as setting other types of goals.

This was definitely a ‘WAG’ for me…a wildly ambitious goal that became very manageable simply by applying Alden Mills 3D Planning approach…that is Define it, Divide it and Do it Daily.

So here is how that looked in the 1000 woop personal challenge - 3D planning style:

Define it – To complete 1000 woops

Divide it – To complete 150 woops every month (on average)

Do it daily – To complete an average of 5 Woops per day

You see that? Chunking it down into monthly, weekly and even daily metrics made it all the more easier.

As I got good at this it took on average about a minute or so to complete one woop.

More on this again.

Q. Have you got something to WOOP today? It will literally take you a minute or two.

Check out or search for some of the previous blogs on Woop.



p.s. You’ll find more details + templates on but essentially its literally taking a page and writing the letters W, O, O, P down the side of the page and then identifying the wish (or goal), the outcome of that, the obstacle currently and then the plan to overcome the obstacle.

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