I don't know about you, but when I travel, I usually have a goal to see or do something on my trip.
On my 2008 trip to S.E. Asia, my main goal was to see Angkor Wat and I fixated on that forever! Slowly, as I started to build my trip itinerary, I started to add more and more things to goals but I never forgot the main reason I went on that trip. It was an added bonus that I got to travel my way from Bangkok, Thailand to Singapore then fry to Cambodia and catch a bus to Vietnam and back.
My list of goals kept on growing even as I was on my trip with my goal of Angkor Wat in mind.
I had a great time traveling and I met my goal
I now make it a priority to come up with a goal with each of my trips, whether it's a day trip out of town, around the state or during a conference :P You have to have something to look forward to while you're ON your trip.
For this trip, one of my goals is to visit Kansai and Hokkaido during the Summer. Very broad, very simple and do able, especially now that we just received the JR Railpasses to travel unlimitedly throughout Japan.
Now build upon that.