There is only one thing in the world you get to control and that’s your effort. When you put a lot of effort in, and you do it consistently, you get a lot back such as more pay, more joy, better relationships, and more fitness. When you constantly exude effort, and you experience the results that make you grateful, you start automatically associating your effort with gratitude. This helps you become confident that your work will create amazing opportunities in the future.
If you want to be more grateful and successful, then start a gratitude practice. However, even more important is getting super serious about the consistency of your efforts. Otherwise, your ingratitude for the progress you aren’t making will outweigh your gratitude for what you already have.
Below are four different ways you can cement your gratitude practice and take your success to the next level:
1. Start an “Amazing Efforts” note tab
Most people stop putting in effort because they don’t have enough positive reinforcement for the work they put in. They work, but they don’t see results by the time they think they should have. Because they haven’t encouraged themselves or felt grateful for their efforts, they fizzle out. The simplest solution is to start an ongoing note tab for your amazing efforts.
This note tab will be populated with all the good decisions you make from waking up and sticking with your morning routine even when you felt like hell to taking care of your body.
You’ll have several amazing efforts to write about each day, and when you write about them, you shine a spotlight on your effort, which makes that the reward in itself. You feel grateful for doing what less motivated people wouldn’t, and you feel empowered. All of this brings you a step closer to the person you want to be and the things you want to achieve.
“For every disciplined effort there is a multiple reward.” – Jim Rohn
2. Create a list of daily non-negotiables
It’s awesome to practice gratitude, but if you sit on your duff practicing gratitude when you should be busting your butt to make things happen, you won’t progress, and your gratitude practice will not be effective. How can you get up and give your best when you don’t even know what you should be doing? My solution is to draft a recurring list of daily non-negotiable goals.
Once a week, sit down with a pen and paper and think of your highest priority goals. Let’s say you want to get paid for writing, or for your design work—then writing, designing, pitching, applying for work, and studying to advance your craft should be the things you’re doing every day, no excuses.
There’s not going to be one massive action you take that gets you there, it’s going to be your daily effort towards the small-but-important goals in your non-negotiables list. If you have that list written down, and imprinted in your brain, you wake up knowing exactly what must be done to give your best effort for the day.
When you’re done with your morning routine, and feeling awesome about all the good things in your life, and excited about the great things to come, then you go out and do work. You put a ton of effort in and when you reflect on your day at night, you’re grateful that you cared enough about yourself to bust your butt. You’re grateful for the things that will come, because you know they will come.
3. Things you need to include into your non-negotiables
Along with any daily actions you need to take for your career, include your goals for health, fitness, happiness, and any kind of self-improvement that’s critical to you for the next week. For instance, meditating, journaling, practicing something you love, and exercising will probably appear on your non-negotiables list.
Don’t saddle yourself with too many goals—otherwise you’ll feel paralyzed and scared to even try. But at the same time, try to challenge yourself, and get yourself out of your comfort zone. The most important thing is that you’re putting in consistent effort towards the things that matter most.
“I’m a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.” – Thomas Jefferson
4. Get someone to keep you accountable to your efforts
It’s one thing to do less than what you expected of yourself, and to let yourself down. You’re not affecting anyone else, right? No one’s going to give you any guff about it, and you can rationalize your effort with any number of excuses.
But when you’ve got someone who’s as invested in your wellbeing as you are, and who’s not going to accept your lame excuses, that’s when excuses get a little painful. Your friend, your mentor or your coach will be a constant mental reminder that you’ve got a standard to uphold, and that your excuses don’t actually matter.
When you’re at a fork in the road, and you’re thinking about slacking off on an important goal, your accountability partner will appear in your head, and you’ll think, “What am I going to tell him if I don’t do this?” That thought won’t feel good, and that’s when you’ll find the motivation to do what ordinarily you would’ve made an excuse for. This will boost your self esteem through the roof.
Then, when you check in with your friend, mentor or coach, you’ll tell them about the amazing efforts that you made, and they’ll celebrate your efforts and give you a thousand times more positive reinforcement than you could experience on your own. You’ll associate your efforts with an incredible person who cares about you and who’s excited about your progress which will help you make amazing efforts no matter how you feel!
If you don’t have someone who can keep you accountable and celebrate your successes, it’s extremely important to find a mentor or coach who you can rely on.
If you’ve practiced gratitude only to quit, or you didn’t get the results you wanted, start putting in more effort today. Feel awesome about your efforts by starting an amazing efforts note tab, Ensure that you’re never lacking direction by creating a weekly list of daily non-negotiable goals, and if you really want to take your efforts to the next level, get someone to keep you accountable.
Which one of the above 4 tasks will help you on your journey towards success most? Let us know your thoughts below!
Image courtesy of Twenty20.com
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