What is the Only Scientifically Proven Method of Goal Setting?


Have you ever wondered if there has ever been a scientific method of goal setting created? And how it relates to the NLP way of goal setting?

Global NLP Training teaches NLP infused with a lot of science. Though NLP itself is based on a study of people who are happy and successful, it hasn’t been created inside a lab. There is only one way of goal setting that has been scientifically proven: the WOOP method, or what is known as Mental Contrasting with Implementation Intentions. A technique created by Dr. Gabrielle Oettingen during a 20-year study, completed across different areas of people’s lives, across cultures, and ages. In essence, it applies to all areas of the life wheel, NLP values, levels of change, and all previous concepts covered inside this Global NLP Training Happiness Series.

You can view a page of previous articles and videos here.

You can obtain the Global NLP Training Happiness Guidebook that belongs with this series by contacting us here.

We created a video (shown below) explaining what WOOP stands for, and some other scientific facts about what types of goals are better to set.

Steps to Goal Setting Using WOOP

WOOP stands for:

W – Specifying a wish
O – Specifying an outcome
O – Specifying any obstacles
P – Forming a plan for these obstacles

Step 1:
Find a quiet place where you can be undisturbed for 5-10 minutes, as it is essential you take your time.

Step 2:
What’s your wish or your goal? A goal or milestone you can complete in, let’s say one month.

Step 3:
What is the outcome? How would this make you feel, or improve your life?

Step 4:
Sit for a moment and imagine reaching this outcome.
Note: To infuse NLP, imagine it associated (looking through your own eyes). What would you see, hear, and feel? Even smell and taste?

Step 5:
What is stopping you or could stop you from fulfilling this outcome? Any inner obstacles?

Step 6:
Spend time imagining these obstacle(s) fully.
Note: Using NLP, I would imagine this dissociated (looking at yourself, as an observer).

Step 7:
What, specifically, can you do to overcome this obstacle? How can you make an if-then plan? Meaning what action will you take if this obstacle occurs.

Step 8:
Create a “if-then” statement. Example: “If I get demotivated, I will work on this obstacle with a life coach.” Repeat the statement a few times in your mind slowly.

I am sure you noticed that the NLP way of goal setting mostly overlaps with the scientific WOOP method, however it offers more steps to “light up” the brain. As an NLP trainer, I always find it good news when science is finally catching up to discover things we have already known for a much longer time.

If you want to know more about Global NLP Training and how we use science inside our training, download this white paper.