In my last post, I shared with you how to set S.M.A.R.T. goals. Now it’s time for another acrostic that I like to use. This one I heard about from the podcast, Chasing Excellence by Ben Bergeron. It’s called Whoopie. Let me explain…
Setting W.H.O.O.P.I.E. Goals…
The W and the H stand for Wishing and Hoping. Science shows that by wishing and hoping, your brain gets excited. And when you share those wishes and hopes with others, it gives your brain another high, basically. So if you are at a party or get-together and you start talking about all these things you wish and hope to do, you will be feeling pretty good about it all. But honestly, most people never get past this point of wishing and hoping to reach their goals. How many times have you heard people say, “I’m going to lose weight this year.” or “I’m going to run a marathon.”, etc. and then you never see them do it. Unfortunately, most people just get stuck here.
**Studies also show that by writing down your goal (just writing it down on paper), one has a MUCH better chance at actually working towards it and reaching that goal. So – go ahead, right now, and write down your goal if you already have one. Write it down somewhere, and meet me back here. I’ll wait…
So, now let’s move on to the O of the word W.H.O.O.P.I.E. The first O stands for Outcome. This is basically looking at the big picture and what your “results” and “end goal” will be before you even start working on them. So, with losing weight as an example, it might be… for my clothes to fit me better, to have more energy, to start seeing some muscle-tone, etc. This part is exciting too, and some people make it to this step of the process as well. We like thinking about what the end goal will be and how nice it will be once we’ve completed our goal!
The next O stands for Obstacles. This is where most people get tripped up. Many people see obstacles as excuses. And they use these excuses as a reason to not meet their goals, and the whole process ends here. Boom. Over. Done. Well, that’s unfortunate.
Maybe they didn’t think about the obstacles before they started so when they came up, they weren’t prepared for them and how to overcome them. I know, for me, in the past, it was hard to make myself get to the gym if my kids were sick. It was a huge obstacle for me, and yes, I used it as an excuse to just stop all together even trying to go. I would be three weeks into establishing my habit, and then one of my children would run a fever so I couldn’t take them out. But with my goal of “three classes per week”, I knew that I still have opportunities to reach that task for that goal, even if I couldn’t go on Monday. Or maybe I could do a home workout that day instead. I had a plan in place for overcoming the obstacles, a Plan B – if you will. I wasn’t going to let it be an excuse anymore for me to fail. And this is a very important step.
P actually stands for the Planning & Process. It’s not only planning for how to overcome the obstacles, but maybe it’s writing a training plan for yourself if you are working to lose weight or writing out a meal plan. It’s the process of “gym 3x/week”. I know that my process included nursing the baby or pumping a bottle of milk before we went to the gym, grabbing a snack for the boys, and bringing the stroller for the baby. It was a lot of work to get to the gym, but I now had a process and a plan, and it worked.
The I in W.H.O.O.P.I.E. stands for Identity…. attach your identity to your goal. Finish this sentence with something that is relevant to your goal.
I am someone who….
wakes up early to get my workout in.
wakes up early to spend time with God.
cleans the kitchen before I go to bed.
plans out my day the night before.
It can be anything, and your goal then just becomes part of who you are. People come to expect it from you. I’m thinking of all the times that we’ve gone out of town, whether to my parents’ house or even further away – almost every time we do – my husband looks ahead and plans to attend one or more classes at the nearest CrossFit gym. We’ve all come to expect it, because it’s a part of who he is. And that’s definitely not a bad thing.
The E and final letter stands for Execute. Take your plan, and put it into action. Make it happen. Reach that goal. I use my planner for this, whatever my goal might be, and it helps me tremendously. I’ll be showing you how I do that soon.