In therapy and life, it is always important to review and revise the goals that you are currently working toward or would like to start working toward. Sometimes we get lost or sidetracked along the way and we get caught up in whatever else life throws our way. This is going to happen! The important thing is to have a tool to help you get back on track as soon as possible. One such tool is the WDEP system stemming from Reality Therapy and Choice Therapy, created by Dr. William Glasser and expanded upon by Dr. Robert E. Wubbolding.
What is WDEP?
The “W” stands for Want. To be specific, what it is that you Want? This may be the hardest part of setting goals, defining them. Sometimes we can become so stuck in our day to day routines (morning, travel to work, work, travel home, cook, clean, maybe relax, sleep, repeat) that we forget what it is that gives us that drive to follow these routines. It is important to identify and define what that goal is and what it means to you. For example, a goal might be to lose weight. Determine how much weight you want to lose and define what it would mean for you to achieve this goal. So, you “Want” to lose 10 lbs. on average each month because you want to become healthier. That is an example of a goal that is clearly defined and an example of a “Want”.
The “D” stands for Doing. What is it that you are Doing to achieve your Want? Using the example of Wanting to lose weight, the “Doing” can be incorporating exercise, focusing on nutrition and diet, resting or sleeping more, or medication. These are things that you are doing to lose weight. This “Doing” is where the stagnation can occur. The things you are “Doing” may not be helping you along in achieving your goals and can discourage you and cause you to lose sight of the goal itself. Sometimes even If what you are “Doing” is working and you are seeing results, we can also lose sight of the goal and eventually gets put on the backburner or off completely.
The “E” stands for Evaluation. Evaluate what it is that you are Doing to get what you Want. Is it working for you? If it isn’t working for you Evaluate why it isn’t getting you the results that you Want. Continuing with the example of Wanting to lose weight, Evaluate if the amount of exercise you have been incorporating has achieved any difference. Evaluate if the things you are eating are geared toward weight loss. Evaluate all aspects of the things that you are Doing and anything that affects it. Also, Evaluate your goal itself. Do you still Want what is it is that you set out to accomplish? If so, review the reasons why and what it means to you. If you don’t Want it, review why it is that you don’t Want it anymore. Do you Want to accomplish something different? The “Evaluation” should be all-encompassing.
The “P’ stands for Plan. What do you Plan on Doing now that you have Evaluated what you have done so far in getting what you Want? After you have Evaluated, it’s time to come up with a Plan to work around the hurdles that have been keeping you back. Even if things are working out, refine your plan because there is always room for improvement. Is there a concurrent goal or something related that you would like to incorporate into the current plan?
No matter what you are working toward, tools like the WDEP system were created with one ultimate purpose in mind, and that is to help people. Use this tool and the many others that your counselors provide and the many others out there that you have found to work for you. Finally, this system can be used across all issues, problems, and situations in life, not just goals. Try it out and let us know how it worked for you!
For more information about the WDEP system please visit The Center for Reality Therapy