December 30, 2020
At the beginning of each new year, people often think about resolutions. Many of us want to live healthier lives, accomplish more, learn more, and become better people in some way.
For most people, 2020 has been a completely different experience from our normal lives. You may have faced fear, grief, and stress. You may have also experienced joy, love, and gratitude. Take a few moments to reflect on the last year and your experiences during COVID-19. What challenges did you face? What are you grateful for? How have you grown, and what have you learned?
Moving into 2021, this is a good opportunity to imagine what we want in the new year and create a plan to reach those goals.
WOOP: Your Key to Successful Change
If you want to change something about your lifestyle, you can use a simple technique called WOOP to help you succeed. WOOP is a research-based tool that helps people achieve goals in many areas of their lives, including health, careers, hobbies, or relationships. For example, it has helped people eat more fruits and vegetables, exercise more, stay active while recovering from chronic pain, and improve diabetes self-care.
- Wish: What is your most important wish for your life in the next four weeks or so?
- Outcome: If your wish came true, what would be the outcome? How would it improve your life?
- Obstacle: What is it within you that holds you back from getting your wish?
- Plan: What can you do to overcome your obstacle?
As you work through this exercise, remember to focus on things you can control. We are still in a global pandemic, so it is important to plan how you can get your wish in COVID-safe ways.
A Real-Life Scenario
Let’s imagine you are a busy parent who would like to eat more vegetarian meals. If your wish came true, your family would be healthier, you would save money, and you would help reduce your carbon footprint by eating less meat.
Your obstacle might be fear that your partner and children will not like the food and won’t have enough to eat. To overcome this obstacle, you could plan to buy a vegetarian cookbook and ask your family members to pick the meals you try first. You could also order several vegetarian entrees from a restaurant that offers take-out and encourage family members to sample a little of each.
Give it a try! Using WOOP can help you set and reach health goals that will lead to a longer and happier life.