Vail Valley: What’s your motive for action? |

Vail Valley: What’s your motive for action?

It’s the thought that counts, isn’t it? Well, maybe, sometimes.

Intending to do something is just like doing it right? No.

You know how good intentions sound: “I would have done it but…” or “I could have done it if only…”

Or maybe you are reminded of the scene in the Blues Brothers movie where Carrie Fisher is about to shoot John Belushi for leaving her at the altar. But just before she pulls the trigger, Belushi cries out a litany of excuses, “I ran out of gas! I–I had a flat tire! I didn’t have enough money for cab fare! My tux didn’t come back from the cleaners! An old friend came in from out of town! Someone stole my car! There was an earthquake! A terrible flood! Locusts! IT WASN’T MY FAULT!

Here we are, less than a month after we planned and announced our New Year’s Resolutions with the very best of intentions to adhere to and complete. How are we doing? Have our intentions been supported by our actions? Or did we run out of gas, get a flat tire, or just maybe our tux didn’t make it back from the cleaners? Are excuses winning out over our intent and actions?

New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are simply dates on a calendar. Out of tradition most people choose these days to do one of three things: stop a bad habit, commit to a new and better life, or make a long-desired change in their life. The good news is that we can choose any day or date to renew our commitment, commit to a new resolution, or take aim at a desired goal. How about today? How about right now?

I have also heard it said that intent is more important than technique. I have taught this very principle. When I teach this and talk about intent my goal is to help people understand that although we may lack the required skills to succeed, our sincere intent shines through and most people will acknowledge and appreciate the effort as the effort is really the action and attempt to meet the goal or expectation.

Motivation typically drives our New Year’s resolutions. Motivation is sometimes broken down and defined in its simplest form as motive-for-action. The action always seems to be the most difficult part. It really shouldn’t be, as all we have to do is start, begin, try, and take that first step to generate the slightest movement in the direction we wish to go. I promise you, once you get started, you will be more than on your way to reaching your destination.

There are fewer feelings that can compete with a goal or resolution that has been achieved. It is energizing and fulfilling while inspiring us to seek future challenges in our lives. What is your motivation, your motive-for-action that will inspire your commitment to reward yourself with the fulfillment of your goals and dreams in 2011?

Intent is awesome, action is better, and excuses are unacceptable. I would love to hear all about your commitment to your goals at and let’s make it a better than good week.

Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker, and CEO of He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.

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