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An alternative strategy to traditional goal planning is 'Reverse Goal Planning.'  This approach changes the temporal direction of traditional planning techniques by viewing tasks in reverse-chronological order, beginning with a target point (goal attainment) in the future and working back in time toward the present moment. When researchers explored the effects of planning in sequential order and reverse chronological order on motivation and perceptions of goal pursuit, compared to forward planning, reverse goal planning led to greater intrinsic motivation and improved awareness of the steps required to achieve the goal.


In addition, reverse planners are more likely to generate innovative planning insights and anticipate potential challenges than other planning strategies. Planning in reverse chronological order may also minimize the likelihood of viewing the present reality as an obstacle to achieving one’s desired end-state.


Indeed, beginning with the end in mind not only mentally prepares goal-planners for success but also gives a distinct understanding of the desired goal, a clear view of what must be overcome, and a greater comprehension of the steps required to reach it.

The Reverse Goal Planning Exercise

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