Planning for Motivation


For a motivated, inspired and accomplished life, the idea of planning can be a difficult balancing act. We don’t want to limit our potential or our connection to our spirit by planning too rigidly, and we don’t want to jump into tasks without a sense of purpose or direction.

Having a plan helps build patience, tolerance and confidence in ourselves by avoiding unexpected setbacks or slow progress due to lack of focus. A plan helps to maintain a consistent level of motivation rather than a huge rush of enthusiasm in the beginning followed by a crash when disappointment arises.

Three General Planning Steps

  1. Determine the purpose and direction that motivates us.
  2. Imagine the world with our desired outcome.
  3. Determine how to get there.

The scope and complexity of our goal will determine the depth of planning necessary. For most simple projects we’re interested in, a scribbled plan on a piece of paper may be enough. More elaborate projects, such as starting a new business or a major website redesign may require a more elaborate planning system.

Struggling With Balance

I sometimes struggle with the planning balancing act. I am still learning to stabilize my stagger between hard planning with my mind and heart set on a fixed goal and loose planning which can have me drifting aimlessly from task to task.

It is easy to recognize those moment when I have found the right balance. My work is focused and productive and fun. I don’t find myself worrying about whether I’m forgetting something or not spending my time in the most effective way. I have real free time to spend with family and friends that is free of guilt. My motivation level is consistent rather than fluctuating between manic enthusiasm and thoughts of giving up. And, my goals feel realistic, obtainable and flexible.

Daily Action – Generate a Plan

Use the three general planning steps above as a guide to plan a goal that you have.

For example, you may choose to generate a plan to develop a habit of exercise every morning. Your purpose and direction might be to improve your physical health and feel and look better. Imagine what your life would be like once this habit has been established. Perhaps your weight would be different, your mind will be clearer and more focused, you will have more energy and fewer cramps, etc. Finally, the tasks necessary to accomplish your goal might be to wake up 15 minutes earlier every few days until you are getting up an hour earlier. Begin taking the dog for a walk every other day and light aerobics the other days. Then gradually work up to running and kick boxing.

That’s just one example of a plan, yours may look completely different. Whatever the scope, the plan should have a purpose that resonates with you, a goal that is clear but flexible and tasks to get you there.

This post is part two of a series: Motivation to Complete Your Goals.

Continue on to the next article on the motivation building process:

  1. Self Confidence For Motivation
  2. Planning For Motivation (currently reading)
  3. Organization & Motivation
  4. Breaking Tasks Down for Motivation
  5. Celebrating Milestones
  6. Enjoying the Journey
  7. Following Through For Motivation
  8. Facing Fears for Motivation

One response to “Planning for Motivation”

  1. Bob Avatar

    I needed this advice today. Thank you!