Strong willed woman

How To Add OOMPH To Your Outcomes


Many people spend this time reflecting on the past 12 months and begin planning for the next year.

Sure, accomplishments and milestones are great.

And it’s important to take the time to celebrate. 

But the real work happens every day.

Getting up early to meditate and exercise.

Developing the discipline to eat the right foods.

And carving out time to do the deep work required to build something meaningful.

What interests me is not so much the goals you set but the ones that you actually went after.

Which goals inspired you to take action? To do the real work each and every day.

These goals have an elusive quality that I like to refer to as OOMPH.

OOMPH is the energy behind the goals that you actually accomplish.

It’s the hidden power that transforms a regular ho-hum goal into an obsessive passion.

And once you learn how to access this source of energy, you become unstoppable.

Let’s explore what it takes to add OOMPH to our goals.

O - Outcome 

The first step is to get clear on your outcome.

I like to use a simple what, why, who, how, and when.

  • What do you want to accomplish?
  • Why do you want it? 
  • Who needs to be involved?
  • How will you know when you are done?
  • And when do you want to achieve it?

Keep things positive during this first step.

Focus on what you want, not what you don’t want. 

It’s important to list all of the positive benefits that you would gain with the achievement of this outcome.

Go as deep as you can and include both primary and secondary benefits. 

O - Obstacles

The next step is to determine what’s stopping you.

These are the challenges that stand between you and your goal. 

As a hero, these are the dragons that require slaying.

Take a moment to list out all of the obstacles, roadblocks, and challenges that stand between you and your outcome.

Looking at this list can seem overwhelming.

But not to fret, we are using something from positive psychology called mental contrasting.

Mental contrasting refers to the process of comparing and contrasting the positive aspects of our outcome against the negative aspects of the obstacles.

Our brains automatically start working on solutions to these problems.

Note: It’s okay to let go of a specific goal if the obstacles are too great. If necessary, go back to step one and reshape your outcome.

M - Mindshift

We all have existing habits of thinking, relating and doing.

And it’s these existing patterns that are keeping us stuck.

As Albert Einstein is famous for saying, we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used to create them.

We often become so stuck within our challenges that we never make any progress toward our goals.

When we mindshift, we consciously turn our attention away from our challenges and look at our strengths.

Developing our strengths is the key to unlocking our potential. 

Our strengths include ...

  • Skills we want to master.
  • Virtues that we want to embody. 
  • Talents we want to nurture.
  • Knowledge we want to gain.
  • Strategies we want to develop.  

The third step to adding OOMPH to our outcomes is to identify the strengths that we require to achieve them.

Take a moment to list out all your current skills, virtues, talents, knowledge and strategies that you can leverage in order to achieve your goal.

As a bonus, identify 1 to 3 strengths that you want to improve as you progress toward this goal.

P - Plan

Now it’s time to start crafting your plan.

On a blank piece of paper, starting in the lower left corner, identify your current starting position.

Next, moving toward the upper right side of the page, start sketching out the 5 to 7 tasks required to achieve your goal.

If you have more than eight steps between you and your goal, you might consider splitting your outcome into more manageable chunks.

H - Habits

And the final step is habits.

We don’t do habits for the sake of habits.

We develop habits to build up the strengths required to overcome the challenges that are preventing us from achieving our goals.

Habits might include …

  • Habits you need to start.
  • Habits you need to stop.
  • Habits you should continue.
  • Habits you should do more of.
  • Habits you should do less of.

With this framing in mind, identify all the habits that will enhance the strengths that you listed in step three.

Now it’s time to get to work.

The place to start is looking for ways to implement 1 to 3 of these habits into your life.

When you put all your focus on developing these few habits, you will have the OOMPH required to achieve your goals.