How to Try Your Best at Anything

Опубликовал Admin
22-07-2021, 08:30
“Just do your best!” How many times have you heard that piece of advice? As simple as it sounds, many of us don’t consistently put all our effort into the things we do. But although it’s possible to scrape by at school and work doing the bare minimum, real success comes only from challenging yourself to do the best you can. If you want to start trying your hardest in life, setting goals is a good way to begin. Once you’ve defined your goals, work on staying disciplined and overcoming setbacks.

Setting Goals

  1. Think about what you want to achieve and why. Choose goals that are meaningful to you. Imagine how your life will be different after you attain them.
    • Sometimes you may have to set a goal that doesn’t appeal to you much, like getting a good grade in a class you don’t want to take. In a case like this, focus on how the outcome will improve your life.
    • In this case, reasons like "I will feel a sense of accomplishment" or "I will keep my GPA up" might help boost your motivation.
  2. Choose your projects carefully. To make the most of your energy and motivation, choose just a few projects that matter to you. Don’t try to work on too many things at once. If you spread yourself too thin, you’ll have a harder time giving anything 100 percent of your effort.
    • Try to focus on no more than three goals at a time.
  3. Know what you’re capable of. Doing your best is about pushing your own limits, not trying to measure up to someone else’s achievements. Be honest with yourself about where your abilities are right now. Set goals that make sense for your current skill level.
    • For instance, if you’re new to running, don’t expect yourself to be able to run a six-minute mile right away. A better first goal would be to run a mile in under 10 minutes.
  4. Adopt a growth mindset. Believe in your ability to work hard and build your skills, even if that means making mistakes sometimes. Commit to challenging yourself as you work towards your goals.
    • The opposite of a growth mindset is a fixed mindset. Someone with a fixed mindset views their skills and abilities as inborn traits they can’t control or improve.
  5. Break down your goals. Turn each goal into a series of smaller goals. Then make a list of action steps you need to take to achieve each small goal. To keep yourself motivated, create daily or weekly milestones to work towards.
    • For example, if your overall goal is to learn a new language, you might break the goal down into steps like mastering basic greetings, comprehending the spoken language, and speaking fluently. Each of these smaller goals will have steps within that you must complete.

Staying Disciplined

  1. Create habits. It’s easier to do your best work when you do something regularly – preferably every day. Make working towards your goals part of your everyday routine. Think of doing your best as a new lifestyle, not something you do separately from your “ordinary” life.
    • For instance, if you’re working towards a degree, make some time to study every day, not just when you have an exam coming up.
  2. Avoid multitasking. Multitasking prevents you from focusing deeply on anything. Work on one thing at a time, and give it your full attention.
    • Do your best to block out distractions. Go somewhere quiet to work, or wear noise-canceling headphones to discourage people from talking to you.
  3. Avoid procrastinating. Use to-do lists and time-bound goals to stay on track. If you still struggle with getting things done on time, make yourself accountable to someone else for some added motivation.
    • For example, you could make yourself accountable by signing up for a class or finding a workout partner.
    • A time-bound goal has a built-in time limit. For instance, you might set a goal to learn to cook two new healthy recipes this week.
    • It might seem like procrastination prevents you from failing, but in reality, it just prevents you from learning and improving.
  4. Celebrate small victories. As you make progress towards your goals, don’t forget to congratulate yourself for the things you achieve along the way. Take time every week or month to look back at how far you’ve come, and give yourself a pat on the back for your work.
    • You might even set up a reward system for various milestones in goal completion. When you pass the first marker, you might reward yourself with a night out with friends. The second marker: new clothing or a gadget. The third: a short getaway. Just use things that you actually want to earn, so they are motivating.
  5. Renew yourself. Take breaks and look after your health, no matter how busy you are. It’s hard to put forth your best effort when you’re run-down, stressed, or in poor physical shape. Good self-care habits can help prevent you from burning out.
    • Take care of all the dimensions of your health – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Neglecting any of these dimensions can cause problems.

Overcoming Setbacks

  1. Have a tenacious attitude. Failures and mistakes are inevitable, so don’t let them demoralize you. Know what is most important to you in life, and keep pursuing it no matter how many times you have to pick yourself up along the way.
    • If doing badly at something makes you want to give up, change your thinking. Failure is just a temporary setback that all successful people experience. It’s not a reflection of your character or innate ability.
    • For example, instead of saying "I've failed again" you might reframe this and say "I'm one step closer to success."
  2. Maintain a positive outlook. Try to find the good side of a bad situation. Focus on what you’ve learned and how you’ll do better next time. Avoid complaining or feeling sorry for yourself – that will only prevent you from moving on.
    • Repeat affirmations, such as "This, too, shall pass" when you encounter hardships or setbacks to keep a positive, hopeful attitude.
  3. Avoid perfectionism. It’s good to have high standards for yourself, but don’t expect everything you do to be perfect. Perfectionism can make you afraid to take healthy risks, which often leads to procrastination and underachievement.
    • Remind yourself that making mistakes isn’t just okay – it’s a necessary part of learning and growing. In fact, challenge yourself to do something "wrong" each week so you feel comfortable making mistakes.
    • You can spill something on your clothes or purposefully arrive to a meeting late. When you realize the fallout won't be quite as big as you feared, you learn to relax the reigns and see the benefit of mistakes.
  4. Compete only with yourself. Track your progress and try to do a little better every day than you did the day before. Avoid comparing yourself to other people, since their circumstances may be completely different from yours.
    • Constantly track your progress. Only compare yourself to the person you were a week ago or a month ago. If you can spot any improvements, that's what matters. If you can't, keep pushing.


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