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Goal achievement on turbo (DW#622)

There is another, subtler reason why pausing and expressing gratitude in the midst of a project can help us get further along the path of goal achievement.

According to researchers Francesca Gino and Bradley Staats, our brains release dopamine (the feel-good hormone) when we achieve goals. Makes sense that we feel good about our achievements, right?

Now, since dopamine improves attention, memory, and motivation(to get more of the feel good sensation), even achieving a small goal can result in a positive feedback loop that makes you more motivated to work harder going forward. When we pause to give gratitude for the achievement, this good-feeling is magnified: first through achieving the goal and secondly by savouring the win through recalling it with gratitude.

This is why we need to stop and give thanks in the pursuit of a goal. If we acknowledge the small wins and milestones along the way, the winning feeling of achievement is deepened and magnified. And it will continue to propel...

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Worship at night (DW#595)

And during a part of the night, say the night prayer beyond what is incumbent on you; perhaps your Lord will raise you to a praiseworthy position. Quran 17:79

Reflection: These verses from Sura Israa (The Night Journey) are addressed in the first instance to the Holy Prophet (saw) advising him that the best means of closeness to his Beloved Lord is to stay up and worship in the night when the rest of mankind is sleeping comfortably,

It is said that the fastest means of transportation towards Allah is to worship at night. During the day so many things occupy our time and mind. We are distracted and it is challenging to find silence, solitude and peace to communicate with the Divine. It is easier to connect spiritually with Allah during the stillness of night when the demands of work and family are on hold for the moment. It is also easier to be free of the ego-drives of looking good that can sometimes creep into our worship, especially when they draw praise from others.

There is much...

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Implementation intentions for parenting (DW#586)

We have been exploring examples for implementation intentions for different areas of our lives in order to give ourselves the best chance of reaching our goals in these areas. 

Here are some examples of implementation intentions for common obstacles in parenting. 

·     If my child drops something, I will help them clean it up without drama
·     If my child wants to tell me something, I will stop what I am doing and listen
·     If my child makes a mistake, I will take the time to give them feedback 
·     If my child wants to learn a new skill, I will train them
·     If my child asks a difficult question that makes me feel uncomfortable, I will be brave and engage in the conversation
·     If my children are fighting I will not join the chaos
·     If...

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Implementation intentions for your marriage (DW#585)

Have you tried WOOPing your marriage goals? Here are some examples of implementation intentions for your marriage:

· If I come home and my spouse is home, I will go and greet them and engage in a 6-second kiss
· If it is afternoon at work, I will call or text my spouse to check in
· If we are in bed at the end of the day, I will put my phone out of reach
· If we are arguing, I will not engage in toxic talk
· If we are in the middle of conflict, I will breathe and stay engaged and not shut down
. If I am tempted to have a conversation with someone who could be a threat to my marriage, I will end the conversation immediately and speak to my spouse about it
· If my spouse wants to talk about something important, I will make time and bring it up
· If my spouse wants time alone I will not give them a hard time about it
· If my spouse asks me what is wrong I will be brave and tell them

 

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Implementation Intentions to stop procrastinating (DW#584)

· If I get up in the morning, then I immediately drink a glass of water, say my prayers and then start my morning routine.

· If I’m getting on my laptop for the first time in the morning, then I immediately start working on my most important task without checking email or Facebook, or anything else.

· If I feel myself procrastinating, then I immediately mentally contrast, feel motivated, and get started with the necessary task right afterwards.

· If it’s 2pm, then I do deep work without distractions for another 2 hours.

· If I don’t feel like doing what needs to get done, then I do it anyway

· If I am working on something important, then I turn notifications off on my computer and leave my phone in another room

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Implementation Intentions for health (DW#583)

Here are some examples of implantation examples for health and fitness goals


·  If I get up in the morning, then I immediately put on my sneakers and go for a 20 minute run
. If I go for groceries this week, I will buy at least 5 types of vegetables
. If I get home from work, then I immediately cook myself a healthy meal (even if I don’t feel like it).
. If someone offers me an unhealthy snack, then I stay resolute and decline the offer.
.  If I am still struggling after two weeks to maintain a healthy lifestyle, I will look for group or individual support
. If I feel like giving up, then I call an accountability buddy or my coach.
. If it is 9pm then I shut off my devices and start my nighttime winding down routine so I can get a good night’s sleep
 
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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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