Motion vs Action aka Planning vs Progress on goals

I just read an article on Medium called . It was one of those things where I stumbled across the article at just the right time for where my head is at.

I’ve been updating my bucket list lately, planning to try and tackle a few more things, doing research into how/where/how much. The article calls this “motion”:

Motion is when you’re busy doing something, but that task will never produce an outcome by itself. Action, on the other hand, is the type of behavior that will get you a result.

  • If I outline 20 ideas for articles I want to write, that’s motion. If I actually write and publish an article, that’s action.
  • If I email 10 new leads for my business and start conversations with them, that’s motion. If they actually buy something and turn into a customer, that’s action.
  • If I search for a better diet plan and read a few books on the topic, that’s motion. If I actually eat a healthy meal, that’s action.
  • If I go to the gym and ask about getting a personal trainer, that’s motion. If I actually step under the bar and start squatting, that’s action.
  • If I study for a test or prepare for a research project, that’s motion. If I actually take the test or write my research paper, that’s action.

Sometimes motion is good because it allows you to prepare and strategize and learn. But motion will never — by itself — lead to the result you are looking to achieve. It doesn’t matter how many times you go talk to the personal trainer, that motion will never get you in shape. Only the action of working out will get you the result you’re looking to achieve.

And this next bit takes a stab at just what is the crux of why so many of us often don’t get past motion and into action:

Sometimes we do it because we actually need to plan or learn more. But more often than not, we do it because motion allows us to feel like we’re making progress without running the risk of failure. Most of us are experts at avoiding 铁汇 criticism. It doesn’t feel good to fail or to be judged publicly, so we tend to avoid situations where that might happen. And that’s the biggest reason why you slip into motion rather than taking action: you want to delay failure.

What I have been doing lately is, as the article suggests, setting dates. “I plan to tackle X activity/goal on X date”. I do the research beforehand so I’m ready to go on the day of. It seems to be working fairly well so far.

It’s worth thinking about, and trying to set more specific goals, both in the actual activity itself, as well as when, where and how you’ll do it.

Care to share your thoughts?