I remember running in the Army and there was a military cadence that we would sing that had a main line of “haaaaard work work”. Running is definitely hard work, and I was one that was always thankful to get to the end of the run. I didn’t have to run fast, but I did have to run.
There is no magical substitute for hard work. I think of that when I try to pursue new things. Right now I’m trying to learn how to golf. I tell people that I don’t play golf, I attempt golf. It’s something that I was never a natural at, but if I ever want to score less than double par on each hole I will need to put in the hard work. I need to find the skills and things I need to work on in order to be a better golfer. I have to hit the driving range, practice my putting, and keep running drills if I want to get better.
Admiral William McRaven has a great book with a simple title, “Make Your Bed”. In it, he talks about how there’s little things in life that help to set you up for success. For those that don’t love to read, there’s also a YouTube video of the speech that inspired the book. The main point of the speech is that by making your bed you have accomplished the first task of the day to set you up for success. From there, you can build upon that initial success towards accomplishing a larger goal or as he says, “change the world”.
Golfing under par for a round isn’t going to happen without hard work and isn’t going to happen without breaking it into smaller tasks to build on. Just as with any big goal you have to break it down into smaller, more manageable steps. Simplify your goals. Whether it is SMART goals or some other acronym, make them smaller and simplified. Build on the progress of one thing to another. For me, I need to learn how to drive the ball off of the tee. I also need to learn how to hit approach shots, hit from the bunker, put and, well, to golf but I need to do one thing and then build on that success.
What big goal are you trying to achieve? Does it seem overwhelming at times? Are there smaller steps that you can break it down into for them to be more manageable? Is there something you can do every day that moves you towards that goal? Is there a series of steps you can then repeat every day to earn tomorrow’s challenge and get you closer to your goal?