Aristotle tells us: To flourish as human beings, we need targets. We need goals.

This week we’re reviewing some of the key lessons from Brian Johnson’s Optimize Coach course. Today’s lesson? Happy people have projects. That’s step one.  

In choosing goals, we want to aim for something just beyond our comfort zone. If it’s too easy, that’s boring. If it’s way too challenging, we lose interest. It’s the “Goldilocks” lesson: not too easy and not too hard.  

Next, we need to focus on what we control – i.e. the process, not the outcome. Most of the time in life, we don’t control the end result. People who don’t realize this reality are often frustrated and disappointed. A better strategy is to focus on what we control: our effort, our energy, our learning, our focus.

Today’s big idea is “WOOP” – another of Brian’s mnemonics. WOOP stands for:





Wish is the vision, the desired outcome. Where we want to go.  

Outcome refers to the outcomes we will experience—the “why” – the benefits of the wish.  

The second O stands for obstacles – anticipating what could go wrong. We take our goal and rub it up against reality. What’s in the way? What could derail us?

I’m a goal-setter. I’ve been setting goals and making plans for years. In the past, I neglected to consider the likely challenges I would face. Brian tells us this is a crucial step in the process.  

“P’ stands for our Plan: How we will overcome the obstacles we may face.

The research shows when we anticipate and plan for the obstacles, we get better results.   

Good stuff.

So, now we have a clear goal and our WOOP plan. Now it’s time to get busy. There’s a lesson here, too. Too often, we think we need big wins. Right away.  

Not so fast. Happiness comes from micro-wins sustained over a period of time. Set a target… Hit it… Celebrate!… Repeat…

Final lesson: Don’t skip the celebration. Why? Mindset. Again. Turns out there’s real power in pausing and saying: “That’s like me. That’s what I do. I win!”  

Because success begets success.  


Reflection: What’s my #1 goal for 2022?

Action: WOOP it.

What did you think of this post?

Write A Comment