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.

Be Curious!

Chances are good, that if you are reading this blog, then you are interested in weight loss, and/or improving your health. Being part of a caring community makes such a difference because you know you’re not alone there are plenty of people like you. I always say this, but then something struck me during my WW meeting this morning, even though we are all on a weight loss journey, all of our experiences are so very different.

A friend next to me shared her struggles, and I could feel myself getting pulled into her story because it resonated so deeply. Her hardest meal of the day was dinner. Me too friend! But then as I listened I soon discovered my reasons are different. Dinner is a problem for me because during the workday, I make hundreds of decisions, and by the time dinner rolls around I have decision fatigue. I handle this by having a plan for dinner, Here I am sitting next to a friend who has the same problem yet my solution would be useless to her. We are the same but not the same.

Weight loss is a journey that is meant to teach us something important about ourselves. While it’s easy to relate and see yourself in others’ problems, what works for them may not work for you. What then? It may seem daunting but you need to think about yourself. A friendly way to begin is by being curious about one thing. Here are some ideas to start you off:

  1. How many nights do I eat dessert?
  2. How much sugar am I eating?
  3. How does my weight fluctuate from day to day?
  4. How can I apply what I’m learning about health/nutrition?
  5. How do I feel right before and right after a workout?
  6. How does mindful eating impact my hunger levels?
  7. How does the quality of my sleep impact motivation?
  8. How do my community/family/friends help or hinder me?
  9. What habits are or are not sticking?
  10. What would happen if I changed (…)?

Being self-aware unlocks so much of this process. Invest some time and do an inquiry into yourself. See what you learn, because there is no one in the world who is like you. You are unique and worthy of study – turn an “admiring lens” (Gravity Goldberg) on yourself and appreciate all that you are and all that you give back to the world.

A habit tracker is another great way to be curious about yourself.