Reviewer: Dr Jeremy Steinberg, GP
Date of review: April 2018
Comments: This app is most useful for anyone struggling to reach their health or other life goals. This simple app facilitates an evidence-based method of goal setting called “mental contrasting with implementation intentions.
The acronym WOOP describes the technique and stands for the steps of the exercise: Wish, Outcome, Obstacle and Plan. First generate a Wish, then think of the best Outcome and the positive associated benefits, a relevant Obstacle and a Plan to overcome this obstacle if it occurs using an “if-then” statement. By thinking of obstacles, you are reality checking and planning, thereby increasing the chance of reaching the goal.
Typical goal setting uses simple positive thinking which often fails. This is because when you verbalise a goal you feel good and your brain feels like you have already achieved it. Doing such “positive fantasising” can get in the way of your goals and can result in greater dissatisfaction and distress and get in the way of goals. In other words, the power of simple “positive thinking” It is a bit of a myth. Mental contrasting is more useful as it connects your goals with reality.
Overall, I would recommend this type of tool for anyone struggling with achieving their goals. It can be used for health related and other life goals for both adults and older children.
As it stands, the app is very simple and could do with more extensive explanation of the technique and some examples.
Safety concerns: None
New Zealand relevance: No concerns