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Last Updated on August 30, 2021

Motion vs Action: Which One Is More Important for Success?

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Motion vs Action: Which One Is More Important for Success?

Like all things in life, success doesn’t have one finite answer that fits all. Success rises and falls like the tide, but if we can understand what impacts our ability to succeed, we can achieve more and stay on track. Learning about motion vs action is one crucial aspect of this.

Both motion and action play a role in our success, and the importance of each depends on the person and the situation.

We’re going to take a look at how motion and action affect the results and outcomes and how we can use both to our advantage.

Definition Of Action

An action is anything you do with a goal and certain intent in mind. Performing a deed backed by a purpose is an action.

An action is taken consciously. It requires physical or mental input. You first think of taking an action and then make the physical effort to fulfill this thought. You may or may not need to change your physical position to take an action.

Definition Of Motion

The motion itself is considered to be an action. When you move, you’re in motion. Scientifically, any object is in motion if it covers some distance or displacement with a certain speed or velocity in measured time.

In easy words, motion is related to movement even in terms of goal setting. Your physical position changes even if you end up exactly where you started. The point is, there is always some degree of physical input. As put by Meir Ezra, ‘You are as powerful as you are willing to cause motion’.

Motion Vs Action

These two terms are deeply connected yet contain important distinctions. Being in motion means that you are moving, but not necessarily in a specific direction. Maybe you are planning or strategizing or scheduling, preparing to take steps toward success.

Taking action means that you are taking concrete steps towards you goals[1]. This includes acting on all those things you planned during the “motion” stage. Because of this, action is often the direct road to success, but can we have action without motion?

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Definition Of Success

Who doesn’t want to be successful? Of course, everyone aims to reach the ultimate podium of success. But, my idea of success is different from yours. In fact, we all have a different view of what success is. It is an extremely subjective case. Does this mean there is no specific way to describe success?

Well, if a definition has to be provided, success is defined as the completion of certain expectations, reaching some goals. For some, these expectations are to earn a certain amount of money. For others, it is about achieving mental peace. Whatever your goals are, they are always the opposite of what you consider to be a failure.

Moreover, this description of success keeps changing, even for an individual. Once you’ve reached the goals you planned, you move onto new goals that define your success at that point in life. So, initially, success can mean a stable independent life but once your circumstances change, your mindset can shift too. Then, a successful life for you might mean starting a family.

Why Action Often Leads Directly to Success

In my work, I’ve helped thousands to go from average to exceptional results. In many cases, the most important aspect was action, not motion. In fact, motion, in many of these cases, was the problem, not the solution.

Motion is about something moving around. My favourite visual way to showcase this is this:

I place a pen or a glass on the table and say, “See this pen, I’m going to pick this pen up.” I then pick the pen up. That’s action.

I then fold my hands and look at the item and say, “Now I’m not going to pick up this pen.” And I stand there looking at the glass or pen. Just for good measure, I add “Notice how I’m not picking up the pen?”

“I’m now going to try and pick up this pen.” I then push the pen around with my whole hand, knocking against it, using lots of energy, but I never actually do the action that led to picking up the pen in the first instance. When you are in motion, you use a lot of energy but rarely aim at any specific result.

I love this analogy for summing up how we often keep ourselves stuck in situations and results we don’t want by “moving” in a way that isn’t helpful. When you can see that, you have to work out how to alter your motions into the actions you need to get the results you want.

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I often hear this with business owners. Business is a good place to see that no matter what you have achieved, you still have to move forward. You can’t do what you always did and get the same results. Business trends, customers needs, and even social and economic beliefs can impact your business, so you have to constantly adapt and progress. As a result, a business owner can feel like no matter what they do, it’s not enough.

Action includes planned and structured steps, whereas motion only includes planning and structuring. Action allows you to remain highly focused and accountable to your results so you can get there faster. Always be prepared to monitor what you are doing so you can see how this process effects your results.

Tips And Examples On Taking Action

In his book Rework, Jason Fried said, ‘What you do is what matters, not what you think or say or plan.’

Your enthusiasm and intention are useless unless you focus on a doable action plan. Without actions, goals can never be fulfilled. Your effort has to be directed in one way. It keeps your motivation high and more importantly, helps avoid procrastination.

Here are some tips and examples to help you formulate a practical plan to take the actions that are necessary for your goals and aims.

1. Write Down Your Goals

Your actions need to be directed towards specific outcomes to make them count. So, start by writing down what you wish to achieve. Why do you want to take an action at all?

Answer this question as elaborately as possible. Break down the outcome into smaller, achievable goals. For example, your big goal is to lose weight. But instead of focusing on losing 10 lbs at a go, aim for smaller targets of losing 1 lb per fortnight. You may start with 5 pushups and later build it up to 50.

This will make it easy for you to take small actions that will impact your big goals. You won’t feel lost because there is an easy approach to the smaller goals.

2. Set A Deadline

Procrastination keeps you from taking an action most of the time. If you limit the time factor, things can get way easier. Whether you work well under pressure or like to get things done well in time, setting a deadline will work in either of these cases.

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3. Polish Your Skills

Humans tend to hesitate to do something they don’t believe they’re good at.

You might be avoiding finishing your post-graduate application because deep down, you’re afraid you’ll struggle with it. Start by reading successful applications. Research tips to help you impress the reader. Find ways to get your message across in the most interesting way possible. Then, start practicing. Begin with a bulleted list of points you want to include in the application. Move on with several rough drafts. Take help from someone you think is better skilled.

You have to try to figure out what’s keeping you from taking a step forward. Focus on improving the skill before you move on with the rest of the plan. This not only increases your chance of success but will also give you more confidence.

4. Reward System

Actions are avoided with excuses. You don’t sleep on time at night which causes you to wake up late. This means you skip breakfast, sometimes miss your bus, get late to work, and your day always starts off with stress.

The reason why you’re unable to sleep early is your obsession with the new season of a show or a sport on your favorite channel. You can turn around the entire situation by using the reward system. Tell yourself that every day that you wake up on time, you’ll reward yourself with one episode of the show at night.

There is some restraint, some reward, but a lot of problem-solving. You’ll get the motivation to take action which is to wake up when the first alarm goes off. But this single action will end up solving numerous other issues that stem from one root cause.

When Motion Is More Important

We started this article by saying that whether you use action or motion really depends on the person and situation. In practice, sometimes motion that is what we need. It may not be obvious, but Covid-19 times are a great example of this.

We have all been experiencing something similar during the pandemic, but we get vastly different experiences and perceptions depending on whether we use action or motion. Notice how some people have gone through the motions, using the time to plan and strategize, and ultimately coming out less stressed, while others have attempted action in a time when restrictions make action nearly impossible.

Sometimes going through the motions is the best thing to do. If you’ve suffered something extremely sad or heartbreaking in your life, you will know that in the early days just getting up and brushing your teeth is a miracle. You feel like you will never feel happy again. That is the time for motion, for planning, for considering, not for action.

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People often phone me to ask if coaching would be right for them, and sometimes I tell them that right now they need a friend, someone to listen, not a coach. When life is really tough, unexplainable, or out of control, the last thing you want or need is action.

When to Use Motion and Action Together

Most situations call for both motion and action. Imagine that you are unhappy in your job and want to find another. For this to happen, you’ll have to start with motion. You’ll need to plan what kind of jobs you want to apply for and spend a great deal of time considering what skills you have that will allow you to enter a new career.

Once this is done, you’ll need to bring in action. This is when you’ll build more skills (if necessary), apply for jobs, and go to interviews. You may even find that you have to return to motion if your actions aren’t getting you the results you need.

Sometimes, simply getting started and doing something is what is needed. This is motion. Once you get moving and find some motivation, then you can move on to creating specific actions that will lead you to success.

If you add action to the right motions, you then get the results you want. Even if you didn’t get the job or the contract by applying the correct action, you are able to learn from the experience and grow. Motion and action can work together if used correctly.

Final Thoughts

Motion and action will always be best if they work in partnership with each other. When doing this, monitoring the quality of the results is imperative so that no matter what, you are propelled forward. Everything must move, otherwise it stagnates. Don’t be a stagnant pond; be the free flowing river always moving toward the successes you want in life.

More Tips on Turning Motion Into Action

Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Mandie Holgate

International Coach, Best Selling Author & Speaker inspiring people around the world to success.

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Last Updated on September 27, 2021

8 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important to a Fulfilling Life

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8 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important to a Fulfilling Life

The importance of effective goal setting cannot be overstated on our personal journeys towards success. This is why there are countless articles out there on how to set your own SMART goals and even why it’s a skill commonly taught to a small degree in classrooms.

Learning the importance of goal setting and the benefits of sticking to those goals can be the defining factor determining whether we truly embrace the importance of goal setting. The more willing we are to embrace this method, the more likely we become to reach our personal definitions of personal and professional success.

Thus, this article is going to walk you through some of the benefits you’ll see from learning to set goals for yourself and answer the question — why is goal setting important?

1. Goals Guide and Align Our Focus

It’s hard to get to where you want to be in life if you don’t know what you’re aiming for. Some people believe avoiding goals means living a more care-free life. How many times have you heard the phrase “If I have no expectations, then I can’t be disappointed”?

But is that really what our lives have come to? Living just to avoid disappointment? It doesn’t seem like an overly optimistic view in my opinion. And since you’re reading this article, I’m willing to bet that you agree with me.

Without goals, we lack a degree of direction and focus. Sure you may be able to avoid disappointment, but just avoiding disappointment doesn’t mean you are necessarily happy.

Without goals, we will pointlessly waste our time, energy, and efforts. Listen to anybody who is the top of their field and they’ll tell you something like this,

“Yes talent is important, but often your success depends much more on what you decide to do with that talent.”

And what you will do with your talent largely depends on your focus.

Your goals give you direction. Your goals give you something to shoot for. This direction and target you create in your mind will help you to progress towards your main life goals rather than simply wander around aimlessly. These goals will help you align your actions and behaviors as you continue moving forward.

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So, why is goal setting important? Because it gives you direction, alignment, and purpose!

2. Goals Help You Avoid ‘Shiny Object Syndrome’

Basically, shiny object syndrome is always being in pursuit of the next big thing, constantly switching your goals based on what you feel is most fun and interesting at the given moment, but never actually giving yourself time to accomplish any of those goals.

You don’t get anywhere because you continually change the direction you are heading in. This is one of the consequences that may result if you decide to live a life without goals.

Your goals can sometimes help you to create mental barriers, or blinders, that help you to remain focused on what you think is important and avoid the things that are second priority. When you outline goals for yourself, you are better able to avoid things that distract you from achieving and accomplishing those goals.

Setting goals helps you to step around the other shiny objects because you’ve taken the time to make some mental notes that remind you what it is that you want from your life. Your goals act as subconscious deterrents to anything less than your main priorities. This is what helps you to reach your personal definition of success.

So, why is goal setting important? Because not only do goals tell you what you want from life, but they also help you realize what you need to give up and avoid to achieve that.

3. Goals Turn Our Largest Goals into Manageable Steps

A lot of us have big hopes and dreams. It’s one of the things that make our lives exciting!

But a lot of us never take the time to figure out how we can effectively get from point A to point B. So, sadly, we never fully achieve those goals. We look at our dreams and convince ourselves that only a select few people ever achieve them, so we write ourselves off as people not meant to reach that level of success. Looking at the end product of a goal can be intimidating, daunting, and discourage us from even pursuing them.

Thankfully, goal setting helps us break large intimidating goals into smaller ones. These small steps and more achievable goals will help us to build momentum and will encourage us to keep working towards the next phase of our goal. The form the foundation from which we can begin building the life that we truly hope to have for ourselves, our families, and may even for our communities depending on how big your goals are!

Whenever I get talking about this aspect of goal setting, I can’t help but think about the mountain climbing analogy, and that the easiest way to climb a mountain is simply step by step.

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So, why is goal setting important? Goal setting gives you a list of manageable steps that you can take in order to take your life from where it is now to where you want it to go both effectively and efficiently.

4. Goals Encourage You to Take Action

This builds on the last benefit of goal setting. Not only does effective goal setting help you break down your larger goals into smaller, more manageable ones, but it also encourages you to actually begin taking action on those goals. After all, a plan is completely worthless if you aren’t willing to invest the effort required to execute it.

Setting your goals and putting your plan in place motivates you to begin taking action towards achieving them. These goals give you something to plan and work towards. Essentially, they help propel you forward.

What I like to do is write out and place my goals somewhere that I’ll regularly see them. This constantly serves as a reminder of my top priorities. It allows me to focus on taking small progressive actions towards achieving these goals daily.

This ensures that I don’t fall into the trap of setting a goal, beginning to work towards it for a while, but then having my motivation fade resulting in me falling off track. This is exactly what many people see happen when it comes to their “New Year’s Resolutions.”

If you want to learn about how to take action towards achieving your goal, here’s how: How To Take Action Towards Your Goals Right Now

So, why is goal setting important? Because goal setting actually motivates you to stop thinking about your goals and actually get out there and achieve them!

5. Goal Setting Helps You Continually Improve

This is something that a lot of personal development and self-improvement writers talk about, continual improvement. For those of you who are not aware of the term, continual improvement is exactly what it sounds like — taking small steps towards improvement as frequently as you can to develop into the person you want to become.

What’s the point in improving a little bit each day if you’re not improving in the areas that you want to improve in after all?

The goals that you define for yourself will inevitably shape you into the person who you want to become. They’ll shape your character. Your goals can help you measure your progress as you strive for this type of development.

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Essentially, having goals helps you determine where you started, where you are now, and how much further you need to go. In this manner, your goal setting can serve as milestones and benchmarks that help you determine how well you’re progressing towards your most important goals!

So, why is goal setting important? Goal setting helps you make improvements each day that will slowly transition you into the person you want to become.

6. Goal Setting Keeps You Accountable

Not only does setting goals help you measure your progress, but it also is a means through which you can keep yourself accountable. Too many goals fail because they lack this crucial aspect of outlining accountability.

For example, if I have the goal to do 50 push-ups, that’s great. Most people would support that goal. However, this goal lacks accountability. When do I want to accomplish this goal by and what steps do I take to get there? These are important questions that the original goal leaves unanswered.

A much more descriptive and specific goal could be to do 50 push-ups within the next 3 months by starting at 5 push-ups, and then adding 5 each week. This goal outlines the deadline as well as the steps I’m going to take to achieve it. This plan will keep me accountable because if I fail to retain my progression schedule, I will know that I’m not going to achieve the goal on time.

Additionally, it can serve as a marker helping to signify when something is impeding my progress that I may not have initially accounted for. This tells me that I need to re-evaluate what I’m doing and figure out what adjustments I can make to facilitate my success.

So, why is goal setting important? Setting goals is key to keeping ourselves accountable and on-track towards accomplishing our goals according to the schedules and deadlines we set for ourselves.

7. Goals Make You Feel Good

Trust me, the progress you feel as you set and achieve goals can become super motivating and super addicting (in a good way)! The dopamine release you get from achieving your goals is like a little reward for our brains that continually motivates us to try and hit that next goal!

Having some clearly defined goals will help you to feel better about yourself and your life in general, especially when you stick to those goals, actively work towards achieving them, and end up accomplishing and surpassing your initial expectations. I’m not the oldest book on the shelf myself, but I can attest that there are not many feelings quite like the one you experience when you truly get on a roll!

Additionally, our goals give us an endpoint to shoot for. Rather than progress for progress’s sake, you can actually see where you’re heading! That’s so much more rewarding. Think about a long car trip as a kid. You ask “if you’re there yet?” ever 20 minutes. It seems like the drive drags on forever.

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If you don’t know where you’re going, you risk the journey becoming tedious. It doesn’t tend to be much fun wandering around aimlessly. Goals make us feel good about where we’re directing ourselves.

So, why is goal setting important? Because setting goals and accomplishing them plain and simply make us feel better about ourselves and our lives!

8. Goals Help You Live Your Best Life

I’ve talked a lot in this article about how goal setting helps us progress towards our top priorities and live the way we truly want to live. So I think it’s fit to end the article with this goal because, in the end, I feel it’s the most important one.

Setting your goals and clearly defining what they mean to you will help you live a life that is tailored to your beliefs and values. Your life will become directed towards the things that you most want to achieve.

Life is a tricky game and only in very rare circumstances are things handed to us on a silver platter. Often it takes a great degree of work, planning, and effortful execution of both.

There is no point clinging on to things in your life if they don’t bring you happiness or help you accomplish something that, in some way, aligns with your goals.

Simply put, setting goals helps us live a life that allows us to pursue the challenges and rewards that we truly want to achieve.

So, why is goal setting important? Because our time is always limited, and setting clearly defined goals can help ensure that you make the most of your life and live to the fullest! Find out more here: How to Use SMART Goal to Become Highly Successful in Life

Final Thoughts

These are just a few of the benefits of goal setting that outline why it truly is so important. If you take a moment or two, I bet that you can even think of a few more benefits yourself that you could add to this list.

If I could leave you with something, it would be this:

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Goal setting has the potential to take us to some amazing places in life because we all have talent and ambitions. To achieve your biggest dreams, you need to be willing to sit down and create a life design uniquely tailored to you that will help you achieve them!

More Tips About Goals Setting

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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