Even Small Progress is Progress

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Walk slowly, but never backward. - James Clear

I came across this quote today while reading and thought it perfectly encapsulated the idea of progress, no matter how small, is progress. It’s something a friend reminds me of often when I’m struggling to get something done and just can’t seem to move it at the speed I want. It has the effect of me spending less energy on being unhappy and more energy on staying the course, the never backwards part of the quote.

I looked up the context of the quote and found it’s actually a chapter title from Clear’s best selling book “Atomic Habits”. It’s chapter eleven.

The chapter explores the difference between being in motion and taking action. If I spend time thinking about and planning a book I want to create, that is motion. If I keep returning to planning in an effort to get the perfect book, it’s continued motion. When I actually open the production software to create the book, that is action.

But, how will I get just the right book if I don’t plan for it? Isn’t a failure to plan, a plan to fail?

In this instance, yes and no.

I can spend hours and hours planning all the details of what I want in the book. If I’m designing a specialized journal, I can figure out how I want to lay out the pages. It wont be until I actually start working on laying the pages out that I’ll get a true idea of how good the planning is. By working in real time with layout, I can see what works and doesn’t work.

Will I need to keep altering and doing things differently until I get what I like? Absolutely. Every time I have to scratch an approach and take another one, I learn what wont work. I don’t learn that pouring over a page planning.

The motion of planning can move from getting the basic outline of what I’m wanting to do into procrastination. If I’m afraid of doing it wrong, planning can make sure I wont do it wrong — or at all.

Taking action means I’m practicing the work I want to do. When I start to plan another book, the knowledge of what worked and didn’t work will give me a base to build on. As I build the knowledge, my habit of taking action over motion will grow as well.

I’ll still have days when it will be slow progress. That’s okay, it beats backwards.

Are you stronger at motion or action?

NOTES:

  1. This is day 7 of 30 in the #HiveBloPoMo Challenge for April.
  2. Header image from Pixabay.com

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Shadowspub is a writer from Ontario, Canada. She writes on a variety of subjects as she pursues her passion for learning. She also writes on other platforms and enjoys creating books you use like journals, notebooks, coloring books etc.

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11 comments
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I think this was exactly the post I needed to read today, @shadowspub. If one is in motion (not necessarily making actual progress), it can be extremely stress-inducing. It often feels like the goal is always somewhere over the horizon. But taking specific action makes a difference. You can actually feel yourself moving toward the goal. And for me, that takes the stress level down. Good stuff!

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Hi Jayna, nice to see you stop by. Oddly enough, was working on another post and noticed that I wasn't going to do it justice by the time I consider my deadline for the day.

I shifted to this one which likely would have been tomorrow's post. Maybe the universe had plans eh? I took action and it lined up. Motion without action can indeed be frustrating.

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Sometimes we need a backwards step to create momentum to leap farther.

Are you stronger at motion or action?

I'd like to answer that with another quote I heard Casey Neistat saying in a video: "Perfect is the enemy of good enough." I spent two years writing my book in an on-and-off routine. I don't consider it perfect. But hadn't I accepted the 'good enough', the book would never come out.

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Definitely, shooting for perfection is an endless goal. I try to avoid the obvious huge gaffes but if I find something that could have been better, then I do better next time and let this time stand.

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There's always time o craft out work. And it might be cool to release a 2nd, 3rd, 4th edition xDDDD

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I have never heard it quote before. I am going to write that in my journal right now. I enjoyed the read and it is the truth. No matter how slow you are going as long as you are going forward then you are going in the right direction.

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I prefer action, but if I'm physically busy, motion is the only option for writing. And it can be very effective with fiction.
!PIZZA !ALIVE !LOL

This post has been curated by the VYB Curation Project - keep up the great work!

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