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Examples of implantation intentions (DW#582)

For the rest of this week, let’s practice coming up implementation intentions for various areas of our lives. 

Here are some general examples to get us going: 

  • If I feel like hitting the snooze button, then I immediately jump out of bed as fast as I can.
  • If I feel tempted to eat a chocolate, then I put it away and go brush my teeth.
  • If I catch myself wasting time on Facebook, then I immediately close it and get back to what I was doing.
 

Simple, right? So now think of something you are struggling with and come up with an implementation intention. 

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Implementation intentions (DW#581)

Last week we introduced the powerful practice of mental contrasting or WOOPing your goals. Have you tried it yet?

Peter Gollwitzer, a psychologist and leading researcher on the science of goal achievement (who happens to be Gabrielle Oettingen’s husband – love it when spouses team up to work at self growth <3 ), came up with the idea of implementation intentions for the Plan part of WOOP.

Once again, the idea is simple but brilliant:

IF x happens, THEN I will do y.

That’s it. This is how we plan and prepare for the obstacles that will definitely come in the way of realizing our goals and dreams.

If x (obstacle) happens or shows up

Then

I will do y (my plan for dealing with the obstacle).

This works because when we mentally rehearse something, we are preparing our minds to think of this as routine and we already have a plan in place to deal with it. And so we are not derailed or blindsided by it.


IF _________________________.

THEN ______________________.

GO!

...

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Four reasons why WOOPing works (DW#580)

There are some of us who are really really tied to the idea of visualizing success as the be-all and end-all to achieving their dreams.

Here’s the thing: if it is working for you, then please keep doing it and don’t change a thing.

For those of us who are finding that visualizing by itself is not helping us achieve our dreams (been dreaming of that dress size for a long long time – even have my old jeans hanging in the closet), we are not alone.

Here are some reasons why mental contrasting or WOOPing works better than visualizing by itself:

1) You have an insight and into why your current reality doesn’t match your ideal future

When you perform mental contrasting, it is common to experience some sort of "aha moment", an insight, or a revelation about why your goals haven’t materialized yet.

You become aware of obstacles that you’ve never even thought about before. And when you become aware of these obstacles you can prepare for them.

Here’s...

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An unexpected benefit of WOOPing (DW#579)

Let’s face it. We have goals that are in our comfort zone (they don’t stretch us at all), outside our comfort zone (the stretch zone – this is where the magic happens) or in the delusional zone.

Let’s take an example for someone like myself. I like the idea of health and fitness. Enjoy the process of eating clean and what it feels like. And I struggle with having a consistent fitness regime.

A stretch goal for me might be to consistently do an intermittent training workout 5 days a week for 6 months. It will be challenging and will require lots of motivation, consistency and will power but it is doable (though scary).

A delusional goal (fantasy) might be to run a 25Km marathon next week or to become a dress size 2 by summer.

Gabriele Oettingen’s dozens of studies have consistently shown that mental contrasting (the technical term for WOOPing) results in MORE motivation and a HIGHER chance of achieving our desired goals and outcomes when the goals are in...

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WOOP your dreams (DW#578)

Gabrielle Oettingen is a brilliant researcher who has spent her career studying the science of making your goals and dreams come to life.

She has come up with a simple but powerful way to manifest your dreams.

In her book Rethinking Positive Thinking, she also reminds us that it’s simply not enough to visualize our ideal life. Although it’s very important to start with a vision of our ideal lives, in order to make it happen, we need to "rub this dream up against reality."

Here is her WOOP formula for applying this idea in our lives.

W is for Wish - What do you want? At this point dream BIG. Imagine you have a magic wand. If you could have anything at all, what would it look like?
O is for Outcome - Why do you want it? What would it do for you if this dream became a reality? See it, feel it. REALLY feel it. Get excited.
O is for Obstacles - What’s in the way? What may stop you from getting what you want? Embrace the reality that there will be obstacles so that you...

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Mental rehearsal (DW#577)

Yesterday we talked about how it is not enough to simply dream of an exciting future. 

Let me repeat that. 

It is not that dreaming of an ideal future is not important to manifest your dreams. 

It is. 

Very. 


However, it is not enough. So what’s missing?

You also need to visualize and plan for the work involved in achieving that goal or manifesting that dream.

Dr. Joe Dispenza in his book You are the Placebo, talks about how you can determine your future. One of the key ways, he explains, is through "mental rehearsing". 

[Controlling your destiny] "is possible through mental rehearsal. This technique is basically closing your eyes and repeatedly imagining performing an action, and mentally reviewing the future you want, all the while reminding yourself of who you no longer want to be (the old self) and who you do want to be. This process involves thinking about your future actions, mentally planning your choices,...

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Visualizing success is great except for this (DW#576)

Do you remember the sensation created by the book The Secret? After it came out, many many people started visualizing what they wanted and what success looked like for them, on a regular basis, believing that it was the key to success.

Here’s the thing: it is important to dream. It is also valuable to allow yourself to dream big and let your imagination come up with what wild success looks like. And to feel the good feelings that come from dreaming about these successes.

But you should know one big caveat.

Research shows that when you indulge in this type of day dreaming, it releases all sorts of feel good chemicals and hormones in your brain and in your body. And your brain and body are tricked into feeling that you have already achieved this ….. which in turn dampens your motivation to take action towards your goal!

WHAT???

Yes. Your strategy for success may actually be holding you back from the very thing that you are chasing. (I have been down this rabbit hole many...

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Just get started (DW#575)

Now that you are clear on your why, it is time to take action.

Please do not wait until you can see the whole staircase before you take the first step. You do NOT need to figure out how you will finish before you take start.

Start by walking 100 steps
Start by eating one vegetable
Start by saying one kind thing to your spouse
Start by being grateful for one tiny thing
Start by writing 100 words
Start by reading one page
Start by calling one friend
Start by listening to your child for 1 minute
Start by putting away your phone for 5 minutes
Start by clearing clutter from a single chair

Don’t worry about finishing yet.
Just get started. Now.

 

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The art of taking action (DW#574)

As we said yesterday, keeping busy is different from being engaged in meaningful work.

Gregg Krech puts it well in The Art of Taking Action.

He says: "The Art of Taking Action isn’t simply about keeping busy or checking things off your to-do list. It’s about choosing what to do, how to do it, and the development of character."

So come on. It is time to come clean. At least to yourself. Answer these two questions:

What are you procrastinating on? And
Why does it matter? In other words:
What is the cost of procrastination for you? Why is this a problem?
What would it do for you if you get this task/project done? How would it impact your life in a positive way if this task or project would be done?

Getting crystal clear on your WHY is really really important to push through the times when your inspiration leaves you.

 

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Productive procrastination (DW#573)

Can I share a secret?

When I am working on a creative project, such as writing, planning or working on a presentation, I get very productive. I clean out closets, cook up a storm, get my filing done, find great deals on Amazon, clean out more closets and drawers, organize the pantry . .

Anything to keep busy and stop feeling the anxiety that comes from producing meaningful work. . . .

I call it productive procrastination. A lot of stuff gets done.

Except what really matters.

Let’s not fool ourselves. Just because we are busy, it does not mean that we not procrastinating.

We need to make sure that we are doing work that really matters rather than merely busy work.

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