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Now is the Time for Taking Action for Your Career Goals

Woman taking action by running.

In his book, Atomic Habits, James Clear makes the distinction between “being in motion” and “taking action.” I found myself re-reading his definitions, asking myself questions. Now, I’ll ask those and similar questions to you!  

What’s the difference between?

Clear defines motion as “the times when you’re “planning and strategizing and learning.” He gave examples, and I’ll give a few that you might find more relevant:

  • Calling around to get membership prices at different gyms. 
  • Having some good conversations with people who want to start an organic community garden.
  • Looking at some houses in your area and reviewing your finances.

However, he says that action is “the type of behavior that will deliver an outcome.” Here are some examples that someone is taking action:

  • Joining the local YMCA yesterday, and registering for the Zumba class.
  • Renting a 750-square foot garden plot a mile from your apartment.
  • Getting pre-approved for a home loan and signing a contract with a Realtor™.

Why does the difference matter?

Motion doesn’t get you anywhere. But it also doesn’t get you much, if any, criticism. That feels safer; less scary.

Many of us avoid doing something for fear we will fail, or be criticized, because the action isn’t perfect. Here, we need to cling to the famous quote by Voltaire: “Le mieux est l’ennemi du bien.” Which translates precisely to:

The perfect is the enemy of the good.

So, ask yourself: Are you paralyzed by your pursuit of perfection? Procrastinating after you’ve achieve the “good”? Fearful of criticism?

I had to do some serious introspection because I know that the “perfection” thing slows me down. Having taken the CliftonStrengths by Gallup, I realize that my top strength is “deliberative.” That characteristic is indeed a strength in many instances! But it becomes a weakness when I continue to be in motion rather than taking action.

Are you being in motion?

You just heard me say that I can get stuck in a non-action mode. So, I’m in no position to criticize you if you do that!

But if you’re thinking about getting your IBCLC® certification and you want to stay in the “motion” mode, here’s what I’ve got for you:

  • A video series called How to Become a Lactation Consultant. In a few very short videos, I’ve answered the most frequently asked questions that I’ve heard over the past 20 or so years. Click here to get this free resource that will save you hours of trying to figure it out on your own.
  • A Pathway 3 Checklist. People often don’t get started with meeting the IBLCE’s eligibility requirements because they get stuck trying to figure out Pathway 3. (Which, I admit, is very confusing! I created this resource to make this feel a little less complicated.) Sign up for the How to Become a Lactation Consultant video series. Within the FREE series materials, you’ll find helpful checklists for both Pathway 1 and Pathway 3.

Could you be taking action?

If you’re looking to take action to get your IBCLC certification, register for my 95-hour comprehensive course TODAY so you can get started now and meet IBLCE’s next deadline for applying. (Be sure you can meet all of the requirements.)

Register today and streamline your 95-hour lactation hour course studies.

What are you doing to ensure you are taking action in achieving your goals?

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  1. Cindy

    This is a book that I am beginning to read. I think it will be valuable in many aspects of my life. Thank you for sharing these principles; motion vs. action. You made a very valid point concerning perfectionism holding us back at times. Or the fear of not being perfect holding us back. I am a believer of the “we only go through this life journey once, so let’s do what we’re inspired to do.” I also don’t have an issue saying, “so sorry, I was wrong”.

    • Marie Biancuzzo

      Cindy, so glad that you’re enjoying this book! I’m starting to go through the chapter summaries and ask myself: What can I do today towards forming a good habit? What next, small step can I take? Certainly, the motion versus action thing really hit home for me. And, perfectionism, while absolutely necessary for some things, isn’t necessary for much or most of what we do in a day. I also believe that what feels “perfect” today might not feel perfect tomorrow. I’ve come to consider so much of what I do as a “beta version.” It’s the best version of what I can do at the moment, but it’s still a beta version!

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