Most of us know the feeling of dieting for a week or so, and then stepping on the scale and seeing a pound or two gone. It gives you a feeling of “it was worth it”, doesn’t it?

Success, change, goal-setting -- they CANNOT be achieved without effort.

As one author noted, “God provides ample food for the birds -- but he does not throw it into their nests!”

God has provided ample “food”(rewards) for you too. You only have to be willing to go out and get it. He’s not going to send it to your door in a FedX package.

Results only come from the effort of going out and getting what you want in your life.

Effort is a very individual thing. Think of the Olympic athletes. To reach that level of competition, they had to spend hours and hours of unwavering dedication to a specific sport. Now maybe you’re not willing to go that far – or maybe you are – but it’s your decision.

The KEY is that it has to be a conscious decision. You must be able to say: I am willing to (keep trying, working, asking, experimenting, learning) until I achieve (fill in the blank).

Or you might say: I am NOT willing to (whatever).

I can easily say that I personally am NOT WILLING to spend 8 hours a day bundled up in layers of clothing to ski down a snow covered mountain. No way. Uh-uh. Not going to happen.

On the other hand, I will spend hours at my computer learning a new skill, or organizing my home (I love to organize, so sue me!). It’s what I love. It’s what’s important to me. That’s a skill that I can pass along to others to help make their businesses and daily lives easier.

Again, the *key*here is what you CHOOSE to do with your effort. You have a limited supply given to you each day. Where do you WANT to put it?

Where is your effort -- your energy, your resources -- directed each day?

Do you spend hours worrying about things over which you have no control?

Do you spend your day at a job you hate, yet not make any moves toward changing?

Do you wish for better relationships, but spend no time working on them?

Do you lament your weight and health, but make unhealthy eating choices over and over again?

My point is that effort must be in the right direction!

Thinking about it, and wishing it would happen to you, and hoping that someday your ship will come in are all mental wastes of effort.

Doing the same thing over and over and over and hoping that you’ll get a different result if you just do the same thing one more time is a waste of effort.

You cannot – never will – get a chocolate cake if you use a lemon cake recipe -- no matter how many times you bake that cake! You will never get roses as long as you plant tomatoes in your garden. Won’t happen. Uh-uh. No way.

If you focus your energy on the wrong things, in the wrong direction, you’re going to get a result you don’t want. Every time. Guaranteed.

Take a close look at your effort. Is it being spent on what’s really important to you? Is it being spent on what you want to GROW in your life?

Three steps are necessary for effort to be applied in the right direction:
1. A target, a place to aim for, a goal
2. Daily action, small steps, even if the entire blueprint isn’t yet worked out.
3. Learn as you go, make adjustments.

We often live “on the fringes” of things. Take just one SMALL thing in your life and totally commit to it – like doing the dishes immediately after dinner, or keeping up with your home files, or not snacking after dinner. Commit to it completely for one full month, and see how your effort pays off.

Author's Bio: 

Professional Life Coach Kathy Gates is the author of several eBooks and eCourses designed to help people live happier, healthier, easier lives. Sign up for her ezine “Make It Happen!” at