Hard Work Isn’t Enough

This is a guest post by  Jim Woods is a writer, coach, and instigator in Nashville, TN. His passion lies in turning ideas into action and in keeping with that passion. You can connect with him at his blog here or @jimwoodswrites on Twitter.

Hard Work Isn’t Enough

If you work hard, success will follow, right? Wrong—hard work by itself is not enough. You need intentional focus and the best way to implement this is in the form of a goal. Whether you want to switch careers, become debt free or write your first book, goals are the mile goalsmarkers on your path to success.

But goals can become complicated or even blurry in the context of a daily routine. Just writing a goal down does not ensure it will happen. You still have to put in the hard work and the time. Good intentions are not enough by themselves.

So, how can you set goals and actually achieve them?

Here are five keys to setting and achieving your goal:

1. Figure out where you are right now. What season of life are you in? Do you have a newborn or small children? Are you in a very busy season at work? All of these things will play a huge roll in how much time and energy you have to devote to your goal.

2. Know where you want to go. Set your goal and that will point you in the right direction. Don’t be afraid to start small. The goal of working out three times a week can dramatically change your life when you have more energy. As Yogi Berra said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up someplace else.”

3. Create a plan of action and do it. A goal is a good thing to have, but it’s when you take your action plan and make it a part of your daily routine, you find progress. This means exercising when you don’t feel like it. Working on your book instead of watching  Shark Week. Sometimes it is not fun—but it is totally worth it.

4. Pursue one goal at a time. Otherwise it is easy to multitask yourself into exhaustion. Your will power is finite, so just pick one and your odds increase dramatically of finishing. The end result will be better too.

5. Get support. You need a great team around you to push you and encourage you. Every goal you pursue will have some high-highs and low-lows.  A great way to achieve your goal ensure success is to have at least three levels of support. The first level is your spouse or best friend if you are single. The second level is others who are in the trenches with you. The third level is your acquaintances, friends, and coworkers. Each level can provide you with encouragement and valuable insight.

Goals elevate you to the next level. It’s time to hop off the treadmill and start running cross country. Sure, it is dangerous. Yeah, you might twist your ankle.

Success is found when you combine hard work, time, and intentional goals.

What are some of your goals and what action are you taking to achieve them?

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