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WOOP It Up By Making New Year's Resolutions You Can Keep

Young family holding sparklers

At the beginning of each new year, people often think about resolutions. Many of us want to live healthier lives, accomplish more, learn more, and become better people in some way.

But new year’s resolutions are famously hard to keep. Very few people stick to their resolutions until the end of January, let alone all year. Why?

We often set unrealistic goals or goals that we aren’t really excited about, or we fail to prepare and create specific plans to reach our goals.

WOOP: Your Key to Successful Change

If you want to change something about your lifestyle, you can use a simple technique called WOOP to help you succeed. WOOP is a research-based tool that helps people achieve goals in many areas of their lives, including health, careers, hobbies, or relationships. For example, it has helped people eat more fruits and vegetables, exercise more, stay active while recovering from chronic pain, and improve diabetes self-care.

  • Wish: What is your most important wish for your life in the next four weeks or so?
  • Outcome: If your wish came true, what would be the outcome? How would it improve your life?
  • Obstacle: What is it within you that holds you back from getting your wish?
  • Plan: What can you do to overcome your obstacle?

A Real-Life Scenario

Let’s imagine you are a busy parent who would like to learn how to cook more vegetarian meals. If your wish came true, your family would be healthier, you would save money, and you would help reduce your carbon footprint by eating less meat.

Your obstacle might be fear that your partner and children will not like the food and won’t have enough to eat. To overcome this obstacle, you could plan to buy a vegetarian cookbook and ask your family members to pick the meals you try first.

Give it a try! Using WOOP can help you set and reach health goals that will lead to a longer and happier life.


author name

Brenda Buescher, MPH

Brenda Buescher, MPH, is a Health Promotion Specialist in Community Health and Wellness. Brenda coordinates community initiatives to promote healthy eating and physical activity. She holds a master’s degree in health behavior from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Call: 717-544-3138

About LG Health Hub

The LG Health Hub features breaking medical news and straightforward advice to help individuals of all ages make healthy choices and reach their wellness goals. The blog puts articles by trusted Lancaster General Health clinical experts, good 'n healthy recipes, videos, patient stories, and health risk assessments at your fingertips.


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