Two Questions:

  1. Why are you rarely as motivated to follow through as you are when you’re planning?
  2. Why do you still ALWAYS believe that this time you will be as motivated to do the thing as you are when you’re making plans?

Those questions may have sounded rhetorical, but they aren’t.

 Planning vs. Doing

The first question can be answered with science. The human brain’s design is such that we are better equipped to plan than we are to consciously execute our plans. We can even get a dopamine hit from planning, as big a hit as from having completed the activity.

Many professional procrastinators are hardcore addicts of this planning dopamine.

But here’s the thing: motivation is a feeling and you can’t reply on a feeling to show up as needed based on your planning.

You can’t schedule motivation.

The Certainty of Motivation

To answer the second question, it’s not just blind optimism. Most of us subconsciously believe that we can hold on to motivation if we just try hard enough. But it doesn’t work that way. It surprises us that we can’t hold on to motivation because when we are feeling motivated, the feeling itself is rooted in a sense of certainty and determination.

Don’t Waste Time with the B.S.

There are millions of articles and videos on the internet on “how to get motivated”, and some of the tactics will work in the short term, but most of the tactical advice isn’t practical in everyday life. Here are some of the suggestions at a glance;

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

Some days you’re going to feel unmotivated and you won’t have time to spend time getting motivated.  Not to mention, if you’re not motivated, you won’t be motivated to do the things 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)

You can’t rely on motivation.

The Answer: Building Self-Discipline

But don’t worry, you don’t need to wait for motivation to kick in if you have this other thing.

Self-Discipline is about following through on doing stuff whether or not you are motivated. Regardless of how tired you are or whether you can justify “deserving” a break.

Discipline is not as shiny and fun as motivation, but it’s WAY more reliable. The best part is that you can work on it and build it so that it gets easier.

The most annoying part is that you can’t build it overnight. You have to start off small even if that seems a little bit boring or if you’re impatient. But it’s a total game-changer. Imagine if you knew, with absolute certainty, that you were going to do it even if you weren’t in the mood?

Ironically, you might need to find the motivation to begin training your self-discipline muscle, but that’s a whole other thing.

P.S. Want to get started right away? You can book a free coaching assessment call to find out everything you need to know about working together. Let's do this!

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