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Last Updated on December 4, 2020

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

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.

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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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.

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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.

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.

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.

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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.

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.

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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

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Mandie Holgate

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

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Last Updated on May 5, 2021

How to Achieve Goals and Increase Your Chance of Success

How to Achieve Goals and Increase Your Chance of Success

Does it ever feel like the things you want to accomplish always end up on the back burner? If the answer to that question is yes, you’re not alone. Only about 33% of people consistently work toward and achieve goals that they set. In some cases, their goals may seem too lofty to accomplish, or else they aren’t sure how to make a plan for them.

If you don’t come up with concrete steps to take toward your goals, they’ll remain dreams. There’s nothing wrong with being a dreamer, but being able to turn your dreams into goals will help you lead a happier and more fulfilling life.

Luckily, you can realize almost any dream when you harness the right goal-setting methods.

1. Break Dreams Down Into Measurable Steps

We can’t talk about how to set and achieve goals without mentioning SMART goals.

SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-based.

Specific and measurable steps are extremely important because if we don’t know what our target is, how can we ever hit it?

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Take all those beautiful dreams you have for yourself and make them into things you can actually do. If you want to be an entrepreneur, for example, a step toward realizing your dream might be researching what you’ll need to start your business.

Find out more tips about utilizing SMART goals here: How to Use SMART Goal to Become Highly Successful in Life

2. Have One Clear Goal for Each Area of Your Life

It’s so easy to become complacent or stagnate. We often think that our careers are the only places where we need to set goals, but there are many other areas of our lives that could benefit from specific goals.

To make the most of your life, take the approach that you’re always learning and growing in everything you do. Anything worth doing is worth doing well after all.

Set goals whether you’re sponsoring an activity for your child, taking up guitar lessons, or trying to prove your worth at work.

You’ll notice that this approach forces you to constantly develop new skills. It can also be fulfilling to put more focus and value into all areas of your life—not just the ones related to our careers.

3. Align Your Goals With Your Purpose and Passion

Take the opportunity to do some soul-searching as you’re working on how to achieve goals you’ve set. What is it that you want to do with this precious life of yours?

Anything that conflicts with your life’s purpose is bound to cause discontent. Staying in a bad relationship, doing a job that goes against your values, or maintaining the status quo just because it’s comfortable are not options for you.

Thinking about your goals in this way can help you eliminate things in your life that don’t serve you. This frees up mental space that you can use to do the things you care about the most.

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Many of us struggle to find the time to work on our goals, but this strategy enables you to make more time.

4. Create Goals That Inspire Action

If you can’t be fired up about learning how to achieve goals from the start, they might not be good goals for you.

The road to success is often tough, and you’re going to have times when you might feel tired or discouraged. You need to feel inspired enough that you’ll be able to overcome obstacles as you encounter them.

If what you’re doing motivates you to be the greatest version of yourself, you’ll be much more resilient.

5. Write Down Goals in Detail

This is your road map for what success will look like. The more you define what you want the finished product to be, the greater the chance that you’ll reach that vision.

When you write down your goals, you’re creating a document that you can revisit to make sure you’re on track.

When you’re in the middle of achieving goals, it can be hard to see what’s working for you. The things you write in this step will help you stay on-message as you take your goals out of your mind and into the real world.

Don’t just write down your goals and stash them away in a folder somewhere. Take the extra step to put them somewhere where you’ll see them.

If you have too many goals to post on your desk, write a summary or choose one or two steps to work on for the day. Just seeing them will keep them in the front of your mind.

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6. Commit to Hitting Each Target

You wouldn’t have created the target if you didn’t think it was necessary. Hold yourself accountable for taking the steps to succeed and achieve goals.

You can always adapt your strategy or break your targets into smaller steps if you find that they aren’t attainable as you originally wrote them. Hitting even the smallest target is cause for a celebration. It’s a step in the positive direction, and your success will make you crave more success.

We often make excuses when we get tired or overwhelmed. Take away the option to make excuses. You will only be satisfied with the best effort from yourself.

If you do find that you start making excuses and procrastinating, this Fast-Track Class from Lifehack can help: No More Procrastination.

7. Share Your Goals With Others

There’s something so powerful about people sharing their goals and dreams with one another. Doing so gives voice to some part of us that could remain hidden (and therefore never be accomplished).

When other people know about your goals, they can cheer you on and hold you accountable. When people share their vision with you, you can do the same for them.

This strategy is particularly beneficial when you’re trying to develop healthy habits. Post about your workout on social media, or do a healthy eating challenge with your best friend. You’ll be less likely to slack when temptation arises, and you’ll probably encourage someone else to reach for their goals, too.

8. Set a Series of Goals With Deadlines

Many people don’t achieve goals simply because they haven’t taken the time to measure them. People tend to forget what they set out to do, or their goal gets crowded out by other obligations.

Forcing yourself to revisit your goals at regular intervals breaks them into smaller steps, and it reminds you to think about them.

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Giving yourself regular deadlines for smaller tasks related to your goals also helps you reflect on your strategy. You’ll figure out what works for you, whether your timeline is realistic, and whether or not you need additional help to stay on track.

9. Take 10 Minutes Each Day to Visualize Success

Some of the most successful athletes, celebrities and business people take time each day to think about how success looks and feels for them.[1] Imagining that feeling of satisfaction can be a great motivator.

When you do meet your goals, take some time to be grateful. Thank yourself for showing up and doing the work. Be grateful when the stars align properly to help you advance to the next step.

It’s not just getting to the destination of your goals that matters. How you go through the journey is important, too.

10. Take One Step Toward Your Goals Each Day

Your goals can easily get buried in the hustle and bustle. Even the smallest step in the right direction is still moving you forward.

Keep chipping away at the work every day, and before long, you’ll start to see those dreams come to life.

Maybe you didn’t start your business today, but you designed the logo that’s going to go on your website and business cards. Concrete actions day by day draw your dreams out of obscurity and into the realm of possibility.

The Bottom Line

Dreams can leave us feeling overwhelmed while also inspiring us to be better in the long term. By turning our dreams into goals that we can work toward, we increase our chances of success. Things that once seemed impossible are suddenly within reach, and before long, we know how to achieve goals that matter to us.

It’s time to start turning your dreams into big goals and your goals into reality.

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Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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