Motion & Action

After reading more of James Clear’s Atomic Habits, he has me thinking about the difference between motion and action:

Maybe James Clear thought about the phrase “spinning your wheels” when he came up with this image.

Clear says that although the two states (motion and action) sound and feel similar, there is an important distinction. Motion can be a form of procrastination, planning is no substitution for practice. I’m thinking about it because, on one hand, I do think that going through the motions can be a source of procrastination. On the other hand, I don’t know if I believe it is quite so simple.

I visited a Facebook Group that I belong to (Greenlawn Goal Setters) and everyone is sharing photos and their plans for a successful week. There are pictures of groceries, step counter totals, and various goals people want to work on. After looking at these posts, I opened up my Paprika App and planned dinnertime meals for the upcoming week. Now I have a grocery list, and I have a plan before I hit the food store. Isn’t this going through the motions? I suppose if I do not act on these plans (actually go to the food store and prepare these dinners) then yes, I just procrastinated… but, don’t I need the plan to take action? I see motion as a wheel too but one that generates heat to build momentum so we can take action:

My thinking on Motion and Action

What would make motion a form of procrastination? A lack of momentum. In my model of motion and action, I see intentional planning as a way to build up the greater capacity to take action – that is why they are linked. I think what hinders gaining momentum is perfection. The pursuit of perfection keeps us from gaining speed and building endurance. Don’t worry about your form right now, just keep moving and improving. Keep things in motion, and take action over and over and over again. Repeated practice will lead to better results over time.

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