Oh… Really?  An Article on Planning… Ugh Fine!  (Part 1 of 3.  Really? 3 Parts!)


Look, I hate reading them too.  Before I’ve lost your attention really take a moment and answer three questions about anything you are trying to accomplish (fitness, career, and relationships, whatever).  If you can answer all three as “Hell Yes!” then good for you… take a lap and hit the showers.

  • Do you have a plan?
  • Can you show it to me?
  • Can you show me your progress?

So why am I asking those questions.  Let unpack this one questions at a time.

  • Do you have a plan?

Most people are quick to say I want this, need that, or that would be really nice.  Others can say I like to do this, or I’m good at that, or I need to work on something.  These are not plans.  These are parts of plans… mostly the goal and the journey.  There are one million billion articles on how to plan and guess what here’s one more.  Also, they all have one thing in common.  You need to have a fucking plan!

So here’s my method (not saying it’s better than any else’s but it may strike a chord with you)

A plan breaks down into three parts.  The conflict, the journey, the prize.

The Conflict: I want to lose weight.  I want to make more money (or the more common… I motherfucking need more money!).  I want to stop doing this bad behavior or get better at this good behavior.

Conflict is inherently an unfulfilled desire.  (See my thoughts on Conflict)  What is that unfulfilled desire?

That’s where you start.  Most people tell you to start with the prize and work backwards.  This does not work in my opinion because it puts the ever important “WHY” off in the future.

Example:  Jack has to walk to the bus stop and take an hour bus ride to work.  Weather is problem, he is limited in what he can carry, and he hates wasting the extra time.  Jack wants a car.  Jack could think about the shorter drive, carrying more stuff, the ease and convenience of being a driver.

Is that motivational?  No.  That’s a far off happy fluffy warming idea.  He needs to start with the real concrete conflict in front of him.

He needs to save money, get his credit straight, etc. and what’s going to motivate him to do it?  The ethereal happy thoughts in future?  Or the oh so real rain, smell, and horrors of being a bus rider?


(Oh the horror!)

Start with the conflict.  The prize is off in the future and won’t motivate you to take all the tiny steps and every day choices you need to make.  The conflict will.  It will be there every day; in your face and taunting you.


The Journey:   It’s what you do.  It’s how you address the conflict.  Let’s be blunt…  It’s how you fight back.  So many people have no fight in them.  They become one with their conflicts.

You know who I’m talking about.  The people that define themselves by how much life has taken them out back and fucked them into submission.  They complain to the point that it’s like breathing to them.  They have lost the ability to fight.  They become blobs that not only can’t fight their own fights but glob on and drag you down.  They call your efforts crazy, or pointless, or some other bullshit.  AVOID THESE PEOPLE!  You cannot help them and they will only weigh you down.  Identify and delete them.

NOTE: Some people have had truly terrible lives and deserve sympathy of course. Then some people are just fuck ups and you know the difference so don’t come at me with that “be understanding shit”, like my understanding is going to work where SELF INTEREST has failed and on wings forged out of pure empathy they are going to fly to a magic island that makes them stop being fuck ups… Really?  I didn’t think so…  Let’s just move on.

The journey starts with that first step on a PATH.  Every great journey has a path, right?


(If you need a visual)

Dorothy had the yellow brick road.

Frodo had a guide to Mordor.

Luke had Obi Wan to teach him.

Whether it’s a guide, a map, or a physical trail… every Hero has a path.  That path is heart of your plan.  There are signs, turns, up hills and downhills…  But it’s a real thing!  It’s not just a loose idea to “do better”.

This is where almost everyone fucks it up.  I don’t need the yellow brick road…  I know the way.  Then you show up to fight the Witch and missed the companions that you didn’t even know where on the road and the Witch fucking eats you and steals your shoes.  Why?  Because you knew better.

Write out your journey.  Take it out of the realm of fantasy in your head where you have a million dollars from a 20 hour a week job where you do nothing but work on your abs and screw hot people.  Make it real and put in front you.

Make it a real thing that sits in front of you and tells you walk the path, do the heavy (force) lifting, and get through the temptation.    I’ll expand on this in a minute when we talk about the 2nd question.


The Prize:  Simply put, it’s what you get.  It’s the first AND last thing you think about in making a plan.  Here is how this might play out if you don’t about it last…


First Thought: I want more money!

Second Thought: You will need to spend a lot of time and money first, go to school, give up social obligations, sacrifice fun, and work hard!


If the thought process stops there then you run off and quickly lose momentum.  Let’s try that again.


First Thought: I want more money!

Second Thought: You will need to spend a lot of time and money first, go to school, give up social obligations, sacrifice fun, and work hard!

Last Thought: Hmmm…  I have invest time, energy, and money to make “more money”.  I need to be super deluxe careful then.  Let me make good choices and plan this out carefully.  After I spend so much how much more money will I have?  What’s the return on my investment?  Why do I need more money?


If you follow this reasoning you will develop a plan much slower but it will be a stronger more dedicated plan.  Think about it like this… One shot… one kill.



Digest this… really think about it.  Don’t say to yourself “That’s what other people need for success, I don’t need to do this.  That’s for losers.”  You just called the Wizard of Oz, Yoda, and Obi-Wan losers.  Think about that.       






One thought on “Oh… Really?  An Article on Planning… Ugh Fine!  (Part 1 of 3.  Really? 3 Parts!)

  1. Pingback: Planning Part 2! The Revenge! (Almost there) | Insomniac Gorilla

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