No doubt about it. Staying motivated to hang in there with finding a dream job or crafting a more satisfying job is challenging.

Obstacles show up. Some of the obstacles like procrastination, self-doubt, skills that need updating, an unsupportive partner, time for children and extended family are real and all the positive thinking just doesn’t cut it. Motivation lags and giving up creeps in and takes over, choking any motivation remaining right out of you.

Dr. Gabriele Oettingen, author of the book, Rethinking Positive Thinking: Inside the New Science of Motivation provides a formula that WOOPs up the motivation by actually capitalizing on the obstacles that get in the way.

Are you ready to learn the WOOP 4 Step?  Put your dance shoes on…Dr. Oettingen is showing us the 4 steps…


So, what is your wish? What’s your dream? Choose something that you’d like to complete in the next month. Write it down in a few words.

Kari had a dream to become a clinical social worker. Having been a public school teacher, Kari knew she wanted to work in a setting where she could be more involved in helping clients 1:1.  She wished her husband would be 100% supportive of her plans to go to graduate school and become a clinical social worker.


Once you fulfilled your wish, what would be the best outcome? How would it feel to succeed?

Kari knew she would feel relieved, happy and fulfilled.


Here’s the time to be brutally honest with yourself. What is the main obstacle that is standing in the way of succeeding? If you  look within, what are you doing to hold yourself back from being successful? (very important  question)

Kari knew she really couldn’t do the graduate program without her husband’s support. She had to find a way to talk with him and deal with his concerns…which Kari deep down really didn’t want to admit.


What’s one action you can take to overcome your obstacle? Name it. Complete this formula 3 times: If (Obstacle) then I will (Action). Finally, imagine yourself taking the action.

Kari knew she had to get some additional help to identify steps she could take to confront vs. avoid the issues with her husband. If I avoid talking to him, then I will ask him if he would consider talking with an objective third party, like my coach. 

Dr. Ottinger tells you the WOOP app is freely available and user friendly. WOOPeeee!

So, the takeaway is that you’re leaving the dance floor with the WOOP 4 STEP well practiced. The WOOP app is installed on your phone. You’ve got this!  WISH – OUTCOME – OBSTACLE – PLAN – WISH – OUTCOME – OBSTACLE – PLAN…

So, I’m curious,

When will you take another 15 minutes to WOOP it up?

I’d love to know, what helps you stay motivated?