Motivation Can’t be Planned and Scheduled

The motivation you feel when you’re planning often disappears when it’s time for execution. Following through is harder but you can plan for that by taking it into account that you cannot schedule motivation.

Should you be doing something else right now? Is reading this really the thing that you will thank yourself for later? Actually, it could be if you are a chronic procrastinator and this changes your approach.

Read more:

Procrastination logic: How to catch it and correct yourself

Why you keep procrastinating

Why a lack of motivation isn’t the problem


The motivation assumption:

  1. People are almost universally more motivated when making plans than when it’s time to follow through.
  2. When people are planning they almost always believe that when the time comes they will be able to summon up the same motivation. Spoiler alert, usually they aren’t.

Motivation and Science:

There is a reason it’s easier to plan than follow through. The human brain’s design is such that we are better equipped to plan than we are to consciously execute on our plans. In fact, we can even get a dopamine hit from planning, as big a hit as from having completed the activity. This dopamine hot is addictive, it makes us feel productive, even though we aren’t getting anything done beyond planning.

Many professional procrastinators are hardcore addicts of this planning dopamine.

The catch is that motivation is a feeling. You can’t plan feelings and then rely on them to get stuff done. They don’t show up on demand.

Casually Coaching Strangers Podcast:

Chatting with a caller about his chronic procrastinating and discussing a completely new approach.

Assuming Motivation Will Stay

Isn’t it weird that most of us subconsciously believe that we can control and predict motivation if we just try hard? But it doesn’t work that way. Motivation is a strong emotion and it’s rooted in determination, desire, and commitment. That’s why it surprises us so much that we can’t hold on to it.

Bad internet advice…

There are so many articles and videos on the internet on “how to get motivated”, and of course, some things work sometimes, but the advice isn’t practical in real life. Here are some of the tactics  you can find with a quick Google search for “how to get motivated”:

  • Get a massage
  • Watch a Ted Talk
  • Call a friend
  • Connect to your “why”
  • Reward yourself…

Look, often when you’re unmotivated and consider it a problem it’s because you don’t have time, so you’re not going to want to spend even more time getting motivated.

And if you’re not motivated to do whatever it is you’re avoiding, there’s a pretty big chance that you’re not going to be motivated to do the work to get motivated (*connecting to WHY is critical and effective but some days it’s really difficult to find the emotional connection needed to stir motivation)

Motivation is unreliable

But there is a trick. You don’t need to wait for motivation if you have this other thing:


Discipline is about following through whether or not you are motivated or in the mood to do so. Even if you are tired or if you can justify taking a break. Discipline is nowhere near as shiny and fun as motivation, but you can count on it. And even if you are reading this and you are thinking that you have no discipline, the best part is that you can build it like a muscle. 

The thing to keep in mind when building self-discipline is that you can’t build it on demand immediately. You have to start small even if you feel like you don’t have time to build it gradually. But it’s a game-changer.

Imagine if you knew, with absolute certainty, that you were going to follow through with your plans. Ironically, you might initially need to find the motivation, as a catalyst, to begin training your discipline muscle. Pro-tip, try the 3:33 alarm for building self-discipline.

If you’re committed to yourself, you can figure this out. Just remember that change is never linear and never a straight line. You’ve got this. 

Building self-discipline is built into the Kickstartology Coaching Alignment Framework so that you don’t need to rely on motivation to keep moving forward. Book. a call to find out about the online group coaching for women program or personal coaching.


P.S. Getting started and getting results can happen fast once you decide to commit to yourself.
Get out of your own way and get aligned with who you want to be and how you want to live with the support, guidance, and tools of Alignment Coaching.

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