04/28/2014 06:19 pm ET Updated Jun 28, 2014

Rough Times Hold the Key to Success: Your Weekly Wake-Up Call to Live the Life You Have Imagined

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"Look at a stone cutter hammering away at his rock,
perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it.
Yet at the hundred-and-first blow it will split in two,
and I know it was not the last blow that did it,
but all that had gone before."

-- Jacob August Riis

To set a goal is to take a bold stand. It's expressing your willingness to do whatever it takes to bring your desired future into existence. Most people spend their lives designing elaborate excuses to avoid this heightened level of effort.

When you refuse to put your goals down on paper, your actions translate as either, "I'm content to just go with the flow and see what happens," or "I'm not serious enough about my goals to hold myself accountable to them."

Setting and pursuing goals can bring up many deeply-entrenched issues within us. It's not easy to handle the voice of self-doubt. There are times when you might feel that you will never reach a goal and transform your life into what you deeply desire it to become. At these times, your actions might seem futile and pointless.

Yet once you achieve your goal, you will know it was these moments of doubt when your resolve was tested -- when you had to dust yourself off, pick yourself back up and try again -- that were the most crucial in generating your success.

This week, identify the rock you are chipping away at -- whether it's to finish a project, learn how to communicate better in a relationship or make more of an impact in your career. Then ask yourself if you are truly honoring the effort you are mustering up with each blow.

Remind yourself that each ounce of effort brings you closer to transforming your goal into an accomplishment.