Mondays are for fresh beginnings. Mondays are for starting over. Mondays are for getting over that stupid post-school slump of watching reality shows in bed all day (when you aren’t working), your diet and exercise habits so messed up from finals that you can’t remember the last time you ate a vegetable. Mondays – today is for putting in a little more effort.

Effort makes you. I’ve come across this saying recently and it’s been stuck in my head since. No matter what, when you look back on your life, the one thing you will never regret is how hard you tried at the things you care about. No one ever said “man, I shouldn’t have tried so hard,” (except about fitting in).

I am a chronic underachiever. I always do just enough to meet my goals but never enough to not be worried that they won’t work out. Maybe it’s the thrill of the suspense as I wait to see if I can talk my way out of yet another instance of failing to meet requirements, the rush of adrenaline from taking finals and wondering if I can mange to scrape by in yet another class I never studied for, or, most likely, sheer laziness, but I’ve just never been in the habit of trying my hardest.

I’ve often blamed the outside forces for not making me try harder; my teachers often told me what a shame it was that I didn’t live up to my potential, but they never failed me and often gave me above-average grades, so what was the point in meeting this so-called potential? As I got older, I became more frustrated with myself: if I can do so much better, why don’t I? Why do I always put myself in these stressful situations, where my assignments are done last minute and I’m unhappy with the results, unhappy with my body, and unhappy with my lack of progress?

Effort will make me. Effort will make my body. Effort will make my career. And effort will make my mind. I no longer have deadlines set by anyone else, just my own goals to motivate myself. There’s no point in only doing things half-way anymore, because without any teachers to recognize my potential, I really am only letting myself down, and that’s truly pointless.

So I’m posting again after months of silence to say that I’m going to put in more effort again. Laying around was nice but it can’t be forever. I’m going to work on my sleep schedule, limit my social media again, and be as productive as possible during the day. Whatever little achievements I’ve managed by putting in minimal effort are nothing compared to what I want. And I’m going to get what I want.

How will effort make you? x.