Goal Setting and Staying Motivated During Lockdown

Maybe you are finding lockdown to be an incredibly difficult time. Many families are faced with the prospect of working from home for the first time, homeschooling their kids, or a combination of them both. This, paired with being unable to see friends or other family members can mean that it’s harder to set goals, stay motivated and do the work you need to. I’m here to help you set goals and stay on track even during the lockdown.

The WOOP goal setting method

The WOOP method is based on more than 20 years of scientific research into motivation and can help with lots of different goals. Whether your goal is to do more exercise, write a book, or improve your language skills this method can help. It can even be used to improve your social behaviour. But what does WOOP stand for and how can you use it to set goals? 

WOOP stands for wish, outcome, obstacles and plan. To set a goal using the WOOP method, think about each step and what your answers are to the following questions:

  • Wish: What is your goal?

  • Outcome: What is the best, desirable outcome?

  • Obstacles: What are the potential obstacles?

  • Plan: What can you do to overcome the obstacles that you’re facing?

When you’re thinking about your goals and what they should be, look at different areas of your life and where there is room for improvement. What can you set as a goal which will help you to improve that area of your life? 

Tip: Make sure that the goal is challenging enough, but isn’t so big that it’s overwhelming. Keep it realistic!

This method of goal setting works because you are thinking about the obstacles before you’ve started and what you can do to make a plan to overcome those hurdles.

What’s your motivation style?

Once you’ve gone through the steps, you need to figure out your motivation style. Are you motivated by the things you want to have or the things you don’t want to have? Put into context: when you have a deadline, does it motivate you to think about finishing it and making it great, or does it motivate you to think about the risk of missing the deadline and getting into trouble? Or a little bit of both?

Use this information you have about yourself as a way to keep yourself motivated. If you know you’re going to be motivated by thinking about something that you want to avoid, or the thing you want to achieve, whenever your motivation is struggling, use it consciously.

Be kind to yourself

During this time, it is ESPECIALLY important to be kind to yourself. Setting goals that are too big can be setting yourself up for failure. Often a big goal can be broken down into smaller goals that are easier to reach. Maybe there are obstacles you hadn’t thought of that you needed to plan for. Maybe there is another way around it. Maybe something else got in the way. Whatever the reason, don’t beat yourself up about it if you’re already having a hard time. 

Join my goal setting workshop

If you want to get more in-depth with your goals and want to get clarity on what you need to do to get there, take a look at my workshop coming up on the 25th April 2020 at 10 am. The workshop includes a free workbook, personal guidance by an NLP Master Practitioner and INEMLA qualified coach in a group setting, email contact for up to one month after the class finishes to keep you accountable and the opportunity to meet new people and share in a safe, judgement-free zone.

The class will take between 1-2 hours and the price is €25 per person (I am English based in Amsterdam, your location doesn’t matter!) Spots are limited to a maximum of 5 people and the workshop will take place via a video conference call.

Ashley Howe is a certified life coach, motivational coach and social and emotional development coach. You can follow her on Facebook.