How to Consistently Give Your Best Effort

I’ve always believed there are two areas of our lives that we have complete control over. Those two areas are our attitude and the amount of effort we put into accomplishing whatever it is we are trying to get done.

It may seem that controlling our attitude is the harder of the two but truly putting forth our best effort day after day is a significant challenge as well. Consistently giving your best effort is essential for achieving success and personal growth in various aspects of life. Whether it’s in your career, relationships, or personal pursuits. It may seem like a generalization but the reality is the more consistent you are in your effort, the more consistently positive your results will be. So here are some thoughts that may help you give your best effort even when you’d rather just say the hell with it.

• Start by defining clear and specific goals for yourself. What do you want to achieve? Having a clear sense of purpose will give you direction and motivation. Write those goals down. Share them with the important people in your life. Ask them to hold you accountable for achieving those goals in a given time frame. Develop a plan to achieve each one of those goals because it’s that process that will make your goals real.

• Organize your tasks and responsibilities. Create a to-do list or use a task management system to prioritize your activities. This will help you focus on what’s most important and avoid wasting time on less meaningful tasks. Remember, there is no bigger waste of time than doing well that which doesn’t need to be done at all.

• Manage your time effectively. Allocate dedicated time for important tasks and avoid procrastination. Use techniques like time blocking to ensure you allocate sufficient time to high-priority activities.

• Plan ahead for your tasks and projects. This includes doing research, gathering necessary resources, and creating a step-by-step plan. Proper preparation can significantly improve your performance.

• Cultivate a growth mindset, which means believing in your ability to improve through effort and learning. Embrace challenges as opportunities to grow, and don’t be discouraged by setbacks.

• Keep your workspace and environment organized. A clutter-free and well-structured space can help you stay focused and reduce distractions. Do not fool yourself into thinking that mess on your desk somehow makes you more productive, it’s exactly the opposite.

• Focus on one task at a time. Multitasking can reduce the quality of your work and lead to errors. Concentrate on the task at hand and give it your full attention. All multitasking really does is give you the opportunity to screw up multiple tasks at once, so avoid it at all cost.

• Learn to manage stress effectively. High stress levels can lead to burnout and hinder your ability to perform at your best. Practice stress-reduction techniques such as meditation, exercise, or deep breathing.

• Avoid overworking yourself. Take regular breaks to recharge and maintain your productivity. Short breaks can help you regain focus and creativity. Do not kid yourself into thinking that things like eating lunch at your desk makes you more productive. It actually makes you less productive later in the day. You NEED to recharge throughout the day!

• Solicit feedback from peers, mentors, or supervisors. Constructive feedback can provide valuable insights into areas where you can improve and help you refine your efforts. Sometimes we can convince ourselves that we’re giving our best effort when others can clearly see that we are not.

• Commit to lifelong learning. Stay updated with industry trends, new technologies, and best practices. Expanding your knowledge and skills will enable you to excel in your field. I’d actually recommend blocking 15-30 minutes every week for the purpose of learning something new. If you can’t answer the question, “what have you learned lately?” then you may not be giving your best effort even if you think you are.

• Understand that giving your best effort is an ongoing process. There will be challenges and setbacks along the way. Maintain your determination and resilience to keep pushing forward. This is the hardest part, you’ll need to stay far away from negative emotions or you’ll risk allowing other people and events gaining control over your level of effort rather than you.

• Acknowledge and celebrate your achievements, no matter how small. Recognizing your successes can boost your motivation and help you maintain a positive mindset. Remember, all progress is progress and even tiny progress begets more progress.

• Regularly reflect on your performance and assess what is and isn’t working. Be open to making adjustments and refining your approach to consistently improve.

Consistently giving your best effort is a lifelong commitment to personal and professional development. It requires discipline, dedication, and a willingness to adapt and learn from your experiences. By trying these ideas and staying committed to your goals, you can maximize your potential and achieve success in every area of your life.

Pushing Yourself to Success

I’ve known a whole lot of very smart people with a ton of potential. All they needed was a break or two and someone to push them forward towards success. Unfortunately neither of those “needs” were ever fulfilled. So, much of their smarts, talents and abilities where left unused. 

They have done okay in life, outside observers might even say they have done better than just okay. But the people themselves often lament the fact that their “big break” never happened. They didn’t have that person in their lives they needed to really push them to use those smarts, talents and abilities. I feel bad for them. 

I feel bad because in fact they did have that person in their lives. In fact, they saw that person everyday. Every time they looked in the mirror that person stared back at them. That’s also the person who could have given them their big break if only they had made the effort. 

Full success was always there for the taking, they only had to stop waiting and start doing. 
Pushing yourself to success involves a combination of attitude, strategies, and consistent effort. Two of those you have complete and total control over. Once you realize that you’ll be a hard person to stop.

When you decide to control your attitude and give your best effort at every opportunity you can use these steps to push yourself to your full potential. 

  • Set Clear Goals: Define specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals. Having a clear vision of what you want to achieve provides direction and motivation.
  • Break Down Tasks: Divide your goals into smaller, manageable tasks. This prevents overwhelm and allows you to make steady progress.
  • Visualize Success: Create a mental image of your desired outcome. Visualization helps you build a positive mindset and fosters determination. Dream big, think big, plan big. Big success rarely comes from modest dreams, goals and thinking…so let it rip. 
  • Develop a Growth Mindset: Embrace challenges, setbacks, and failures as opportunities to learn and grow. Believe in your ability to develop skills and improve over time.
  • Create a Plan: Develop a detailed action plan outlining the steps you need to take to achieve your goals. This provides structure and keeps you focused.
  • Prioritize and Manage Time: Identify your most important tasks (MITs) each day and allocate time blocks to work on them. Use techniques like the Pomodoro Technique to maintain focus and productivity.
  • Eliminate Distractions: Minimize interruptions and distractions during your work periods. Turn off notifications, create a dedicated workspace, and communicate your focused periods to those around you.
  • Stay Consistent: Consistency is key. Commit to working on your goals regularly, even on days when you don’t feel motivated. Honestly, a half assed effort on days you’re not feeling it is better than no effort at all. Over time, consistent effort yields significant results.
  • Embrace Discipline: Develop self-discipline by setting boundaries, sticking to your schedule, and making conscious choices that align with your goals.
  • Seek Continuous Learning: Invest in your personal and professional development. Stay updated with industry trends, acquire new skills, and broaden your knowledge base.
  • Embrace Failure and Adapt: Accept that setbacks are part of the journey. Analyze failures, learn from them, and adjust your strategies accordingly.
  • Review and Adjust: Regularly assess your progress and adjust your goals and strategies if needed. Flexibility is crucial as circumstances change.

Pushing yourself to success is a gradual process that requires dedication and perseverance. Be patient with yourself. Some days you’ll say the heck with it, I need me time. That’s fine too. Don’t be afraid to seek guidance or support when needed. The journey may have challenges, but the rewards are well worth the effort. I’ve yet to find a single person who regrets using their God given talents and abilities to their fullest potential. I’m certain you won’t be the first.

Want more of LeadToday? I’ve changed things up on my Twitter feed for subscribers. I recently began publishing two or three videos each week focusing on an element of Authentic Leadership. I’ll post these videos each Tuesday and Thursday morning. Sometimes a bonus video pops up at other times during the week. They will be about 10 minutes long so we can get into the topic in a more meaningful way. The investment for subscribers in still only $4.99 a month. That’s for at least 80 MINUTES of quality video content on leadership a month.

If you’re interested in taking a look, head on over to my Twitter profile page. If you’re not a follower yet just hit the follow button. It will change to a subscribe button and once you hit that you’re on your way. You can cancel at any time you’ve decided you have nothing left to learn about leading the people who you count on for your success.

Here’s the link to my Twitter…

It’s Good to be Pushed

I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who liked to be pushed around. At least by my definition of being “pushed around.” I think that’s means being coerced into doing something you really don’t want to do for the sole benefit of someone else. Being pushed around can include being threatened with very unpleasant consequences. The worst part is that there is nothing to be gained by the person being pushed…it’s all for the benefit of someone else.

Being pushed is very different than being pushed around. Although it doesn’t necessarily feel better in the moment you’re being pushed. The end result however feels far better because the person doing the pushing is doing it for you and not only themselves.

I’ve frequently benefited from that type of benevolent pushing.

I should clarify what I mean by pushing. I went to a Military High School that promised parents that if they sent their boys to that school they would return them as young men. I felt pushed in that environment but often times that pushing was of the physical kind. Sometimes the “pushing” went well beyond a simple shove but eventually the bruises went away and the cuts healed up and it was all good. In the end the kids benefited from that sort of pushing too but I’m glad that type of pushing is largely a thing of the past.

The kind of pushing I’m talking about here is the encouragement kind, the positive affirmation that you can in fact do more than you think you can. That’s the kind of pushing I, and most people, benefit from.

I’ve always been lucky to have people in my life who believed in me enough that they pushed me to be better. Even very early in my life there were always people who believed in me. And then I got married.

Without boring you with all the details it’s safe to say that pretty much everything good in my life has come about as a result of my wife pushing me to do more, be more, enjoy more, care more, understand more, listen more…you get the drift, it was a lot of more more more. That can sure be frustrating except for this little detail…in every instance she was right. (sure hope she doesn’t see this)

Being pushed got to be such a habit that I actually started pushing myself. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when people believe in you. It’s beyond amazing when one of those people is you.

There is one major similarity between be pushed around and being pushed. For either one to actually happen you must allow it. The good news is no one can push you around unless you allow it. The bad news is no one can push you unless you allow it.

Eleanor Roosevelt said “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Being pushed around will make you feel inferior, DO NOT allow it.

Being pushed by people who believe in you and care about you can have a lasting positive impact on you life. Allow it despite the initial frustrations it may cause.

When the frustrations are forgotten you’ll be more than you would have been without them.