Have you been dreaming lately? Maybe about a new job, a promotion, losing weight, a new relationship or completing a marathon?  How is it going? If you are like most, the dream sounds great but finding the path and motivation can be a real challenge. Katherine Paterson said it well when she said “a dream without a plan is just a wish.” Scientific studies have shown that we can actually end up feeling worse about ourselves and our performance can decrease when we do not achieve our dreams. When we only dream about our positive outcomes and do not plan, the outcomes include:

1.    Sapped energy to reach our positive future
2.    Low physical and mental health
3.    Diminished well being

Yuck…what can do?

I recently read a great book I highly recommend from a colleague of mine, Alan Schlechter. The book is called UThrive and it is by Daniel Lerner and Alan. The book is based on learnings from a class they teach called The Science of Happiness which happens to be the most popular elective class at NYU. One of the tools Alan and Dan discuss is mental contrasting thinking. The tool they recommend to achieve this thinking is called WOOP.  Below is an overview of the framework.

Wish- What is the challenging goal you are aiming to achieve, whether today, next week, in a     month, or in a year?

Outcome- How would you feel if this goal were accomplished?

Obstacle- What is standing in your way? What assumptions or habits are holding you back?

Plan- What is one thing you can do to overcome your obstacle? Not just generally, specifically, in this very moment? If x (obstacle) happens, then I will do y (healthy alternative).  More information on pages 115-116 of UThrive!!! 

Here is what happens when you use WOOP. By clarifying each of the steps in WOOP, you:

Strengthen Mental Association….which leads to
Increased Energy…which leads to
Better Performance

By succeeding on your wish, this will also create a belief that you are capable of achieving future dreams. This reinforcing cycle gives you confidence to overcome setbacks and future barriers. This self-confidence also allows you to dream bigger dreams and not hold back. This confidence will help you reach your full potential and watch out for the places you will go!

So ask yourself, what is holding you back from fulfilling your wish? Find a place to write, follow the WOOP model and see where you can go!  Good luck and let me know what you achieve!



The speed with which we lead, the way we show up, and how we seize opportunities and conquer obstacles:  these three elements hold the key to our success.  Our pace, our presence and our plan will define our impact.

Our decisions around these three elements have tremendous consequences on the direction we travel and the destinations we reach in life.

Your pace is the speed with which you live and learn.  Our pace includes our mental speed, our emotional momentum, and our physical swiftness.

Your presence is the quality of your interactions with others and the character you carry with you whenever you show up.

Your plan is your roadmap of choices about what you do and don’t do.  It is a series of decisions of “Yes” and “No” and “I-don’t-know” that guide the content of your days.

The awareness you have about these three elements of your life, and the thoughtful intention you apply to each of these elements, will design your life.

With or without our awareness or intention, these three elements have already shaped both the reality of our lives and our reputations.  With or without our awareness or intention, these three elements have an impact on every person we will meet today.  With or without our awareness or intention, these three elements are allowing or impeding the very existence of our accomplishments and aspirations.


Our time is limited.  We have a beginning and an end.  And in the time we have to live, each person, young or old, rich or poor, energized or exhausted, has exactly 168 hours each week in which we can accomplish all we hope for in this life.

Not one of us gets more hours than the person next to us.  If we choose to be well rested, as the research indicates the most productive people are, then we have 112 hours in which to act.

That is all the time any of us have.

The pace we apply to those hours matters.  The speed with which we live and lead will determine how well we navigate our opportunities and obstacles.

The presence we bring when we show up, the quality of our characters, will impact and oftentimes determine the existence or obliteration on the relationships in our lives.

Our plan is essential because our yeses and noes and I don’t knows determine the quality and scope of our experience.

Here are some questions to consider as you look back over the first half of 2016:

·       At what pace are you living?

·       Is that pace serving you?

·       Does it allow you time to think?

·       Does it afford you enough space that you keep your commitments and execute your work well?

·       If not, what pace would better serve you, and how can you go about increasing or decreasing your speed so that your momentum gets you where you want to go.