Success Takes Work

By: D. A. Slinkard

Hard to believe we are already in the month of August, which means it is time for schools to start back up. I hated this time of the year as a kid. Sadly, we are still facing the ongoing dilemma known as COVID-19, though I have a suspicion the doom and gloom will end shortly after November. COVID-19 has changed the scope of how we live life.

The school year is right around the corner and because I have two teenagers about to start school, I feel the need to write an article detailing how a person can have a successful school year and what actions are necessary to do so. Staying organized is so important, yet so many people struggle with the organizational factor. I can remember being a kid, and the struggle was real. I did not know if I was coming or going and truly, I do not know if my parents had a clue either. We were surviving…trying to make it through each school year. Did I already say the struggle was real?

Here is the advice I wish I would have been given back then. I wish my parents would have been given this advice too! First things first – what is your goal for the upcoming year? What is your focus going to be? What are you wanting to accomplish? The very first thing a person must realize is what their desired result looks like. Too often we go about life not having a clue as to what we want and cannot even recognize it when we get it. The first step is to write down what the student wants to achieve. We are going to call this your goal. Sounds funny writing this, but I believe we have become a society that likes to play the victim card instead of giving ourselves goals to achieve. Though writing down goals is an elementary concept, many people do not write down their goals.

What you want to accomplish are mere dreams until you write them down, and at that point in time, they become goals. If you want to be a better math student – write it down. If you want to have better attendance – write it down. Whatever it is you are desiring to achieve – write it down. This is the first secret to achieving success.

The next step is to detail what actions you are going to need to take to achieve the desired result. If you want to become a better student in a particular subject, your focus could be upon getting a tutor, or maybe you want to watch instructional videos on the subject. Maybe you need to do something archaic in the 21st century and visit the library to check out some books on your desired topic. We live in the technology age, and I am surprised at how few people go to the library. What a great resource that not all people even use.

In detailing your steps, you need to be as specific as possible while also giving yourself a timeframe in which you expect to achieve your desired results or start seeing improvements. I recommend setting time expectations early and often because if you wait too long, it could be too hard to make any necessary changes to what you have been doing. Also, you must be flexible and ready to adapt to change. If what you are trying is not working, you cannot keep doing the same things repeatedly while expecting different results. This is the definition of insanity.

You have written down what you want to achieve. You have taken the time to write out specifically what actions you need to take. You have set forth a timetable to evaluate your success and failure. Now comes the hardest part and that is doing. So many people find the planning stage to be the easiest. It is easy to make a “To Do” list but hard to do the list. The final step is getting motivated to do the work. You know what you want to achieve, you have a clue what needs to be done, and now you need to go do it.

If you have truly taken the time to write out in detail from what was listed above, you will have a leg up on most Americans. Sometimes people fail because they do not thoughtfully plan to attack life. If you want to achieve something great, it takes work. Are you willing to work for your goals?
By: D. A. Slinkard

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