Don’t confuse effort with results.

Let those words sink in. Let them really hit home.  

The definition of effort: a determined attempt.

The definition of result: a consequence, effect, or outcome of something. 

It’s tangible. You can see and measure results. You can never truly measure someone’s level of effort. 

I’ve thought a lot about this quote over the past few weeks, as it was very fitting to what’s going on in my life. Or what WAS going on in my life. Spinning my wheels. Training and training and feeling like I couldn’t get out of my slump and focus. Granted, I have been dealing with my own personal stuff, this time was different. Usually training is my outlet. I crave it when I’m stressed. But, although I went, I didn’t really want to train. If you know me at all, you know I LOVE training. I’m obsessed. I miss hanging out and dinners with friends and all the other things so I can train. I love the grind. I am my best self when I train. And for this little period of time, I had to force myself to go. I was going in and putting in my best effort (at the time.) Some nights were amazing and some nights I felt so defeated. I wasn’t focused. I made mistakes during training. On the nights I felt like I didn’t progress, I got pissed. Emotional. (At myself, mind you.)  

Then one day I saw this quote somewhere. “Don’t confuse effort with results.”

That same night, after a not so great practice, I had a come to Jesus meeting with myself. This saying just kept replaying in my head along with some tough love motivation from my coach.I thought to myself “Michelle, what the fuck are you doing?” I tried to make excuses and reason with myself that I was putting in so much effort and that I “couldn’t help” that I wasn’t making progress. Cue the “duh” moment. So much “effort.” Seemingly no RESULTS.

In this new era of participation trophies, helicopter parents, and the “treat yo self” mentality, this is hard pill to swallow for some. Effort does not always equal results. You can put in hours and hours of effort, but unless it’s 100% focused effort, you probably won’t achieve a high level of success. You have to be willing to change and evolve to get the desired outcome. If you truly want success, you have to be willing to understand and change things like your mindset, the way you approach a problem, daily habits, and more, when you have a setback or when things feel a little off. Instead of self reflection, so many people just want to cry over the proverbial spilled milk instead of cleaning it up and moving forward. Achieving palpable results requires growing and evolving.

Think about the areas of your life where you aren’t succeeding or making progress like you want. Business. Your job. Your relationship. Your training. Your Weight loss. How is that going? If it’s all going great, good for you. If not, why isn’t it going great?

Here are a few reasons.

Reason 1:

Actual effort output-

Some people put in a little bit of effort in an area and question why they aren’t getting a higher level of results. An example is somebody doing minimal exercise, without changing their diet and wondering where their six pack is.

Reason 2:

Mindset-

Your heart is in the right place. You are physically there, putting in the hours but you lack motivation, focus, or both. I am a great example of this. At the gym, but my mind was elsewhere.

Reason 3:

You fail to differentiate between 1 and 2-

I’m sure many of you have heard the phrase “work smarter, not harder.” Some times when you aren’t getting ahead and you keep spinning your wheels its natural to think “More. More. More!” More time in the gym, more time working, more time with a significant other and all your problems will be solved. In some cases, that is the answer. We are capable of so much more than we give our bodies and minds credit for.

In many cases, however, it’s a mindset thing. We all go through ups and downs, set backs and major life pitfalls. It can be so easy to let focus and motivation slip away. It can be so easy to go through the motions.

When you are going through a point of little to no progress or tangible results, it’s important to reflect and ask yourself “why?” Then ask yourself how much and what type of effort you are putting in. Once you understand these things, it becomes easier to set a direct path to success.