Becoming motivated takes planning first

How well I remember a very motivated little boy who grew up in Edmonton, Alta. A little boy who happened to live on a city street that had no other children close to his age.
So he often had to play by himself, and somehow he didn’t seem to mind. He was always occupied.
At two years old, he was always secure in our fenced back yard with a gate he couldn’t open.
Obviously, I frequently checked on him from the kitchen window—and one day he was gone!
By the time I got to the street, he was nowhere in sight.
But I was pretty sure he was heading to the library where we often went, which was five city blocks away in a shopping mall. And the worst thing was that he would have to cross a roundabout with four lanes of fast city traffic.
So I walked as fast as I could and fortunately saw him before he turned the next corner.
There he was, taking his teddy bear to the library in his stroller.
When we came home, I opened the gate and he began playing. But the question remained: how did he get out?
For the rest of the morning, I kept a close eye on him. And sure enough, he went to the gate again.
This time I saw him lie down and slowly, slowly wiggle himself through the five inches between the gate and the sidewalk. Then he got up and was free again!
Now that’s motivation!
Motivation is knowing what you want and making it happen. The dictionary says motivation is the activation of goal-oriented behaviour.
It’s easy to be motivated when you’re young. There are so many things to see and explore and get involved in.
But what about now? After you’re retired, you don’t even have to get up in the morning unless you want to.
A book like Steve Chandler’s “100 Ways to Motivate Yourself: Change Your Life Forever” can help.
Just imagine, 100 ways to become motivated! From Laugh for No Reason to Choose the Happy Few.
And that last one is important, according to Chandler. You have to be able to walk away from negative people.
“The people you spend time with will change your life in one way or another,” he says. So it’s up to you to choose happy, positive people.
Keep your Eyes on the Prize is another way to motivate yourself. “When you focus on what you want, it will come into your life,” Chandler writes.
In another chapter, Chandler quotes Walt Disney who once said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” And Disney did just that.
Definitely Plan Your Work, says the author. Take some time every morning to plan your day.
“It is impossible to work with a definite sense of purpose and be depressed at the same time,” says Chandler. “Carefully planned work will motivate you to do more and worry less.”
Remember that every accomplishment starts with the decision to try, so plan your day today.
It takes thought and planning to become motivated. And sometimes it even takes wiggling through where there is no space!
Marie Snider is an award-winning health care writer and syndicated columnist. Write her at or visit

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