Mental contrasting intervention - Deepstash

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The strategy that turns daydreams into reality

Mental contrasting intervention

Mental contrasting is engaging in a positive fantasy, followed by thinking about the obstacles that might stop you from achieving that goal.

Mental contrasting is a versatile and valuable tool. It is particularly effective when it is combined with implementation intentions ("if-then" plans).

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Go from Dreamer to Do-er

Use the WOOP strategy for achieving goals:

  • Wish: What do you dream of achieving in the future?
  • Outcome: What form will that result take?
Wish (But Don’t Stop There)

Everything starts with a wish. But don't transform that into fantasy.

When you fantasize, your brain thinks you’ve actually achieved your goal. So rather than ramping up, motivation dials back.

See A Specific Outcome

Be specific about the form your wish should take.

For example: If a "better work-life balance" is your wish, your outcome  could be “No work on weekends."

Mental attainment

There is a correlation between positive thinking and ineffective performance, because expectations of a successful outcome demonstrably relaxes a person so much that they lack the energy to achi...

Mental contrasting

It involves attaching positive thinking to realistic goals

This approach also connects positive thinking to a realistic assessment of one’s possibilities, an awareness of obstacles is inevitable, and that leads to a second aspect of successful mental contrasting.

Implementation intentions

It involves developing if-then strategies for things that may not go as well as hoped as you work to achieve your goals. 

With these in place, you’re ready to “improvise” — in quotes because you’ve actually planned out your response in advance — as need be and keep moving forward.

SMART Resolutions
SMART Resolutions

Pick a goal that is meaningful and doable, making sure it's coming from inside you, not imposed by others.

Make specific, realistic plans for your New Year Goal using the time-tested SMART Te...

Creating a Plan

Chances are you won't just wake up one day and suddenly change your life. To go where you want to go, you have to chart out a plan.

Quitting Bad Habits
If you want to quit a bad habit, start by identifying its 3 main parts: the cue, the routine, and the reward. After you check the cue and your routine that follows it, you can swap the routine with something good (or less bad) to do.

For example: If you feel the cue of smoking, replace the smoking with some other activity like having a cup of coffee.