WOOP strategy



WOOP is a strategy that combines two interventions - mental contrast and if-zen planning. Its other name is mental contrasting and implementation intentions (MCII).

Combining mental contrasting with implementation intentions (MCII) is a way to improve our health. Implementation intentions are like simple, step-by-step plans. They work by saying "if this situation happens, then I'll do that action" to make it easier to follow through with your goals. One reason for the low productivity of positive fantasies is that they do not create the energy necessary to strive for the manifestation of what is desired. The WOOP method can significantly increase the likelihood of achieving your plans.

For example, after using mental contrasting to think about your goals, you can create these simple plans to help you put those goals into action. It's like setting up a trigger that tells you it's time to act. When you encounter this trigger, you automatically do the action without having to think too much about it. These plans have been shown to work in various areas like achievement, relationships, and health based on lots of studies.


WOOP, which stands for Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, and Plan, is a mental strategy developed by psychologist Gabriele Oettingen to help individuals turn their dreams and aspirations into actionable steps. It's a practical tool for goal setting and problem-solving.

Here's how WOOP works:

1.     Wish (W): Begin by identifying a specific and meaningful wish or goal you want to achieve. This should be something important to you.

2.     Outcome (O): Envision the positive outcome or result of achieving your wish. Visualize it clearly, thinking about how it would feel to succeed. This step helps you connect with your motivation and desires.

3.     Obstacle (O): Realistically consider the potential obstacles or challenges that could stand in your way. Don't shy away from acknowledging them. It's important to be aware of what might impede your progress.

4.     Plan (P): Develop an action plan by creating "if-then" scenarios. In these scenarios, you'll determine what you will do if you encounter specific obstacles. This step involves being prepared to tackle setbacks and challenges.

WOOP is effective because it encourages both positive thinking and realistic problem-solving. It bridges the gap between dreaming and taking action, making your goals more achievable. By identifying obstacles and creating concrete plans to overcome them, you increase your chances of success.

How to use the WOOP method in Rewellme:

  1. Choose a specific goal and give it a tag.
  2. Create a set of cards for this goal using the mental contrasting approach. These cards should include your goal, potential obstacles, and triggers.
  3. Make additional cards based on if-then planning for each obstacle and trigger related to your goal.
  4. Review these cards daily, focusing on the images and engaging your emotions. This repetition helps you internalize and automate the process.
  5. Keep track of your progress and successes using memory cards.

By following these steps, you can effectively use the WOOP method within the Rewellme app to work towards your goals.




Adriaanse et al. (2010) found that when participants practiced mental contrasting and set implementation intentions in relation to eating habits, they showed a 30% improvement in diet, surpassing the control condition. Lastly, mental contrasting has been shown to have benefits in clinical interventions. Christiansen, Oettingen, Dahme, and Klinger (2010) tested a three-week intervention aimed at improving physical capacity among populations with chronic back pain.





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Self-regulation of commitment to reduce cigarette consumption: Mental contrasting of future with reality." Psychology & Health 25(8): 961 - 977.
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A Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Mental Contrasting With Implementation Intentions on Goal Attainment Front. Psychol., 12 May 2021 Sec. Personality and Social Psychology

Mental Contrasting with Implementation Intentions Increases Goal-Attainment in Individuals with Mild to Moderate DepressionCognitive Therapy and Research volume 40, pages 557–564 (2016)Cite this article

Mental contrasting instigates goal pursuit by linking obstacles of reality with instrumental behavior  https://affectivebrain.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/1-s2.0-S0022103112000145-main.pdf